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November 29, 2007


Yesterday's additions to the constantly updated master list of online 2007 music lists:

Alcoleptic (top albums)
Amber Waves of Twang (best albums)
Boston University Daily Free Press (top import albums)
Eartaste (top albums)
Exclaim! - Aggressive Tendencies (top albums)
Exclaim! - Destination Out (top albums)
Exclaim! - Groove (top albums)
Exclaim! - Pop Rocks (top albums)
Fear of Arthropods (best albums)
Harp (via Brooklynvegan) (top albums)
headingeast (top & bottom albums)
Holding Richards (favorite albums)
The Jacksonville State University Chanticleer (top albums)
KCRW - Aaron Byrd (top albums)
Razing the Bar (top albums)
Surfing on Steam (favorite songs and L.A. albums)
There is a Place in Hell for Me and My Friends (top albums) (album of the year)
Turn Your Ears Off (top albums)

see also:

the constantly updated list of online "best of 2007" music lists
the complete list of online "best of 2006" music lists

The Union interviews poet Gary Snyder.

P: Do you have a writing discipline or write when the muse hits?

GS: When I am working on prose (and I have published several books of prose essays, including my latest, "Back on the Fire"), it is necessary to work tirelessly and stay on schedule. Work means reading, research, interviewing people, etc., as well as just "writing," and then it also means editing and rewriting.

The discipline of poetry requires that you keep yourself available. The muse "hits" unpredictably, almost like an accident. An artist keeps herself/ himself "accident-prone." And then there is the whole practice of order - files and notes - manuscripts at different levels of finish - and having a few good dictionaries always at hand.

Inside Higher Ed reports that someone is spray-painting Thomas Pynchon-inspired graffiti at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Movieweb interviews Bear McReary, a composer for the Battlestar Galactica television series.

The Ottawa Citizen profiles one of my favorite singer-songwriters, Christine Fellows.

One of the most delightful aspects to Fellows is that you never know what she's going to do next. Rather like the birds that permeate her work, she hops contentedly from one topic to the other, producing a short beautiful song before moving on. The result is bewitching, but I imagine the constant variety makes it harder to build up a substantial audience.

The University of Georgia's Red and Black offers insight into the "real state of the Athens music scene."

The Los Angeles Daily News chronicles the fight to give Charles Bukowski's apartment building a historical designation.

NOW Toronto offers a gift guide for music nerds.

The Detroit News lists five "Christmas albums that don't exist but should."

Rolling Stone lists the top DVDs of 2007.

Jami Attenberg (and her publisher Riverhead) are giving away galleys of her new novel, The Kept Man (out later this month and easily one of my favorite novels of the year), to people who download the flyer for the book, post it somewhere, then post a snapshot to Flickr.

Check out a short film inspired by the book.

see also:

Jami Attenberg interviews Ryan Walsh of Hallelujah the Hills
Jami Attenberg's Book Notes essay for her book, Instant Love

The people behind PaperBackSwap and SwapaCD have launched a DVD trading site, SwapaDVD.

The List profiles (and interviews) M.I.A.

Because Kala eschews any single ideology, style, form or even culture, listening to it can be as dizzying and confusing as inhaling the flashing day-glo graphics on her self-designed website. But then, the contradictions are typical; M.I.A. is a hard woman to pin down. She grew up in refugee camps and on London council estates listening to bashment and dancehall music; she’s also an Alternative Turner Prize-nominee who shared a flat with the slightly Sloaney designer Luella Bartley while they studied art at St Martin’s College, and who got her big break in music under Justine Frischmann’s privileged wing. Nothing seems to stick to her, although almost certainly not through any conscious deviousness on her part. Maya Arulpragasam is the sort of person who generates rumours around her head without apparently meaning to. The internet places her age at anywhere between 25 and 32 (most sources say she’s 30); casts doubt on the degree to which she is estranged from her revolutionary father, and is abuzz with speculation about exactly why she was refused entry to America. But it’s from – and about – this mess of contradictions that she makes her art. Maya Arulpragasam is the sort of person who can tell four different, possibly conflicting, stories about the genesis of her album, and have them all be true.

In the Stranger, Tao Lin lists the "levels of greatness a fiction writer can achieve."

$9.98 PETCO GERBIL: Anne Tyler/Carol Shields/Jane Smiley

Have won the Pulitzer Prize and other major awards but are thought of by most critics, writers, and journalists to be primarily romance authors or perhaps "self-help" authors, partly because all their books are bestsellers but mostly because they are women who write about human relationships and are not from a foreign country. Make enough money to not have blogs, MySpace pages, or their e-mail addresses on the internet. Will never be written about in Review of Contemporary Fiction. Secretly considered "unseemly in a wholesome way somehow" by serious literary critics; "I don't know, is it okay to read these people?" by MFA students at Iowa Writers' Workshop; and "I really, really want to stay away from those people and their books" by people who like Thomas Pynchon a lot.

The List lists five reasons to see a Ryan Adams show.

Exclaim! interviews Carl Wilson about his new 33 1/3 book on Celine Dion, Let’s Talk About Love; A Journey to the End of Taste.

David Bazan talks to the Denver Westword about recording under his own name (instead of Pedro the Lion).

"In a way," says Bazan, "quitting the band name was just me saying to myself, 'Hey, something's wrong with the way that you do things. It's time to gather perspective.' It was time to take ownership of what I do and take responsibility for it. I'm just trying to learn from past failures and successes and figuring out what I do, what I want to do and who I am."

Macworld lists DRM-free download options.

The Morning News has posted its annual list of "good gift games." collects links to YouTube post punk videos.

Jim Walsh talks to Minnesota Public Radio about his latest book, The Replacements: All Over but the Shouting.

T-shirt of the day: "Blinkey Road"

This image was widely used as part of the infamous "Pinky Is Dead" conspiracy theory, in which the member of the famed foursome was thought to have died while crashing into a pole after swerving to avoid Ms. Pac-Man, only to be replaced by a body double in future installments of the classic arcade series. Other purported "evidence" of the hoax included clues in the lyrics to Pac-Man Fever and hidden messages encoded in Level 256.

Most of the theories eventually dissipated when everyone realized that ghosts cannot actually die.

also at Largehearted Boy:

2007 online music lists
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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