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November 5, 2007


Filmcritic lists the best L.A. books made into movies.

The Los Angeles Times reviews Stewart O'Nan's novel, Last Night at the Lobster House.

O'Nan's description of the landscape -- the restaurant and the mall -- derives its poetry from the author's respect for detail. It's literary without being condescending. "Inside it's dark as a mine," he writes of Manny's first moments of the day. "He props the door open with a rubber stop, then chops on the lights and waits as the panels hopscotch across the kitchen ceiling."

Pitchfork interviews PJ Harvey.

Pitchfork: Some people talk about songwriting like a trade, and for other artists it seems more muse-driven, more fickle, more spontaneous. Do you ever get writers' block?

Harvey: I've never thought of it as writers' block, but I definitely have periods of greater or lesser activity. I think that's pretty natural. The key is not to panic when you're in one of the troughs of creativity. Because that's so valuable, there's so much learning to be done in that. In the moment, I feel like I'm in that space. It's not resting, it's almost like treading water and gathering information and trusting that it will come around again, and it will. I see it on a greater scale with projects, really. I can see, over the eight or so albums that I've done, some of them reach great peaks of creativity, where everything lines up and works well, but then you go through lesser phases, and then it will happen again. I think that's completely natural. Sometimes you see artists burning very brightly, and they'll have three or four projects in a row that are absolutely incredible. But I think it's very hard for anyone to sustain that time after time after time. Some people do, but they burn out quite quickly. Or they die or something. [laughs] But in lots of artists that I admire, I see the peaks and troughs that [they] move through.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel interviews Edwidge Danticat, author of the National Book Award-nominated memoir, Brother. I'm Dying.

Q. How would you say that writing nonfiction is different from writing fiction?

A. Nonfiction is an act of documentation. Where the presentation is important, but the way that you link what you have is the great struggle of the story — what to leave out, what to put in. Whereas the fiction you can just draw it out of the air and make those connections. I mean, it still has to make sense, it still has to feel real, and it has to feel true, but if there's a missing link you can produce it. Whereas with nonfiction you don't have that, you're working with what you have.

Land of Talk's Lizzie Powell talks to Student Direct.

Lizzie is pretty much skint despite non-stop touring and a ‘critically acclaimed’ (translation: brilliant but poor sales) album on One Little Indian. All those downloads aren’t helping matters, especially when you’ve lost the tour income and are reduced to sleeping on your label boss’s floor. “I’m just sick of it…we put out these CDs and they sell nothing while my friend can fill her iPod with everything she’s ever wanted for free. I always used to have my favourite six CDs in my van – some Dizzee Rascal or something – and someone would always break in and steal them. That’s what it’s all about nowadays. Music’s worth nothing. I’ve given up and just go around people’s houses copying music onto my laptop.”

Sleater-Kinney's Carrie Brownstein has started a blog for NPR called Monitor Mix.

My hopes for Monitor Mix are that it will be descriptive as opposed to merely prescriptive. I would rather discuss and examine what it is that people actually consume than to tell you what you should be listening to. There are already plenty of great blogs and online resources that tell us what the best new music is or that unearth rarities and lost classics. Though I might occasionally review a piece of music, I would rather explore the contexts and the ways in which we enjoy or maybe even despise it.

Comic Book Movie is a blog that describes itself as " a super news source for comic adaptations."

Music for Humans shares mp3s of Bob Dylan's 1961 Carnegie Chapter Hall performance.

Marjane Satrapi talks to the Los Angeles Times about the film adaptation of her graphic novel, Persepolis.

"I never had the pretensions to be a voice of a generation. But still you've got certain responsibilities. I cannot just sell the story and wait for them to make 'Not Without My Daughter,' but now the Iranians would be the nice ones," says Satrapi, referring to the melodramatic 1991 Sally Field film about an American woman trapped in Iran. "Either I had to do it myself or it shouldn't be done at all."

Southern Shelter is sharing mp3s of a 2004 Nikki Sudden Athens performance.

Ireland's The Event Guide interviews Matthew Friedberger of the Fiery Furnaces.

Profy reviews TuneSquare, the social networking site based on indie music.

NPR's All Things Considered excerpts chapter one of Ha Jin's new novel, A Free Life, and interviews the author.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reviews the book.

Attention graphic designers: Solar Power Rocks is holding a contest to design its new logo and is giving away an 8GB iPod Nano to the winning designer.

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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