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October 31, 2007


Today's "Best of 2007" online music lists:

Stylus (best albums)
Stylus (best songs)

Jam! Showbiz lists its 13 top Halloween songs.

The New York Sun reviews Ha Jin's new novel, A Free Life.

Much like Mr. Jin's breakthrough novel, "Waiting," a great deal of "A Free Life" describes how men frequently rationalize their emotional unavailability by claiming a higher purpose — in this case, it is the inextinguishable fire of poetry. These men hurt those around them, so as not to damage them permanently: Nan constantly fantasizes about escape from his loveless obligations to his wife and son, yet he refuses to leave them, which occasionally seems like the crueler fate.

Popmatters examines Radiohead's innovative marketing technique and its effect on the music industry.

Drowned in Sound offers a Halloween treat: an mp3 of a spooky story read by Jarvis Cocker.

The Austin American-Statesman interviews Sherman Alexie, author of the National Book Award nominated The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

Why did you make the book a novel rather than, say, a memoir for young people?

I didn't want it to be overtly self-aggrandizing. It still is, in some sense. It's a pretty amazing story, and I didn't want to write some rags to riches story. By making it fictional, I was able to change Arnold's journey a bit, make him at the same time smarter and more fragile in ways that made it a much more — I'm trying to think of the term — well, the funny thing is, by making it fictional, I made it more realistic.

Exclaim! interviews Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman.

The new album has a lot more samples than your previous work. Was this a phase you were going through?

That’s how I started making songs, and at some point I just became lazy. I started thinking it’d be nice to travel around with a ukulele and a straw hat. And it’s impossible to tour with a symphony orchestra when no one know who you are. It started getting into the way I recorded as well. I started recording songs with just a ukulele and a voice, and that isn’t the way I pictured my songs in the beginning. I felt like I was just being lazy, and it wasn’t doing it for me.

amNY lists the 10 classic books on New York City.

Exclaim! offers a primer on starting your own record label.

Slate asks novelists to talk about a great novel they haven't read.

Drowned in Sound shares a playlist of "cold comfort songs."

Sufjan Stevens brought his orchestra to WNYC's Spinning on Air to play his classical composition, "The BQE."

Michael Chabon talks to NPR's All Things Considered about his latest novel, Gentlemen of the Road. Also included is an excerpt from the book.

The Village Voice also reviews the book.

WDUQ lists the top 5 jazz halloween songs.

also at Largehearted Boy:

Daily Downloads
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from this week's CD releases)
this week's CD releases


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