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November 13, 2007

Shorties

The A.V. Club interviews Bryan Lee O'Malley, author of the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels.

The A.V. Club: Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together is a pretty apt title—Scott finally gets a job and has a big breakthrough in his relationship. Were you feeling the same way while making it?

Bryan Lee O'Malley: Not really. Scott Pilgrim is a few years behind me, thank God. I mean, I have my own stuff going on, but for the most part, I was pretty settled already when I was making this book.

AVC: So you went through some similar struggles a few years back?

BLM: I say that jokingly. Scott Pilgrim is fictional. [Laughs.] The book did sort of start out a little autobiographically, with me exploring what was going on in my own life, but it's diverged since then.


Mountain Goats cover of the day: a YouTube Video of the Manchester Orchestra performing "No Children" (the video starts with a cover of Willie Nelson's "The Party's Over")


Lullabyes is sharing mp3s of a Dallas in-store performance by Robbers on High Street.


The Boston Globe profiles singer-songwriter Alela Diane.

"There's nobody out there doing what she's doing," says Brosseau. "You may see a lot of female singer-songwriters playing acoustic music, but the thing about Alela is she's not hiding anything, and that gives her this wonderful presence in her songs and her performance, and in her life."


Popmatters examines the evolution of cyberpunk fiction.


The Miami Herald and Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel review Michael Chabon's latest novel, Gentlemen of the Road.


GQ lists three bands who dress better than they play.


Small Head lists famous writers and their polar opposites as sitcom actors.


Neojaponisme discusses Rolling Stone's recent list of the top 100 Japanese albums.


No Love for Ned's streaming radio show features an in-studio performance by the Hiss Golden Messenger this week.


Marvel is placing free digital editions of 2,500 comic books online today, and USA Today has two celebrity comic book writers offer reading suggestions from the collection.


KEXP features a streaming in-studio performance by Math & Physics Club this afternoon at 1 pacific.


It's official, CMJ reports that My Bloody Valentine is reuniting and will release a new album next year.


The Brooklyn Daily Eagle gathers local reactions to the death of author Norman Mailer.


Rolling Stone interviews author William Gibson.

You made your name as a science-fiction writer, but in your last two novels you've moved squarely into the present. Have you lost interest in the future?

It has to do with the nature of the present. If one had gone to talk to a publisher in 1977 with a scenario for a science-fiction novel that was in effect the scenario for the year 2007, nobody would buy anything like it. It's too complex, with too many huge sci-fi tropes: global warming; the lethal, sexually transmitted immune-system disease; the United States, attacked by crazy terrorists, invading the wrong country. Any one of these would have been more than adequate for a science-fiction novel. But if you suggested doing them all and presenting that as an imaginary future, they'd not only show you the door, they'd probably call security.


Bookspoke is a social network for readers and writers.


Minnesota Public Radio's The Current features an in-studio performance by Georgie James.


Seattlest interviews Adrian Tomine, author of the graphic novel, Shortcomings.

A lot people talk about Raymond Carver as a big influence on your stories but who you do you consider to be your literary influences?

I think one of the things that indirectly affected me quite a bit in working on Shortcomings was a lot of Phillip Roth's novels. Just the other day, reading his new novel, I suddenly felt myself in the weird position that a lot of readers of Shortcomings have portrayed when they come up to me. I wanted to get on the phone with Phillip Roth and say, "Now did this really happen to you? And how autobiographical is this?" I thought that maybe at some point, that had guided me a little bit in terms of the clouding of autobiography and just using the safety of fiction to probe even deeper into things that you might be apprehensive about if it’s your face right there.

The New York Times reviews Shortcomings.

Tomine has always been attracted to love gone wrong among the hesitant young men and women of the bourgeois-bohemian set, but he gets his subject across in the unsentimental style of an anthropologist’s report. Unlike the more playful graphic novelists who influenced him, Daniel Clowes (“Ghost World,” “David Boring”) and the Hernandez brothers (“Love and Rockets”), Tomine isn’t given to flights of surrealism, rude jests or grotesque images. He is a mild observer, an invisible reporter, a scientist of the heart. His drawing style is plain and exact. The dialogue appearing inside his cartoon balloons is pitch-perfect and succinct. He’s daring in his restraint.


Chicago Business News profiles noted indie poster artist Jay Ryan.

"Most poster art for the last 20 years or so has been pretty garish, a lot of cheesy imagery and aggressive graphics," says Steve Albini, owner of Chicago recording studio Electrical Audio, who hired Mr. Ryan to produce a poster for his band, Shellac, and then went on to write an introduction to a collection of Mr. Ryan's work, "100 Posters, 134 Squirrels: A Decade of Hot Dogs, Large Mammals, and Independent Rock: The Handcrafted Art of Jay Ryan."


Drowned in Sound interviews Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste.

I’d assume, given the full-band nature of Grizzly Bear now, that any progression from album two to three won’t be as pronounced as it was between albums one and two?

It’s likely the jump between Horn Of Plenty and Yellow House won’t happen between Yellow House and the new one, because that was going from solo to four people. The sound of a full band will remain for album three, but it definitely won’t be Yellow House part two. I don’t even know where we are going to record it yet, and that’s something really important. The first four songs on the EP were recorded in a church this August, and there’s this very different feel to them compared to anything on Yellow House. It’s a little more ‘live’ sounding.


T-shirt of the day: "I 'Heart' Typography"


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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