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January 9, 2008


The Charleston City Paper profiles singer-songwriter Mike Farris.

"I saw Mike Farris on my last trip to Nashville and he blew me away!" says Dan T. Henderson, of Suncoast Promotions. "His version of 'Green Green Grass of Home' at the Americana Music Association's 'Tribute to Porter Wagoner' was amazing. He was like the young, white Al Green."

The Washington Post's Lost Tracks blog lists good CDs they overlooked last year.

The Lansing State Journal lists five one-album wonders worth a listen.

Philadelphia Weekly lists four local indie bands that "can expect a big year."

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a new study has found the real-life models for P.G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Bertie Wooster.

When it came to uncovering the truth about the resourceful valet Jeeves, Murphy was initially sceptical about Wodehouse's claim that he was based on his butler, Eugene Robinson. But his research led him to interview John Millar, a friend of Wodehouse, who recalls a servant indeed called Robinson who possessed all of Jeeves's attributes of quick wits and intellect. Millar recalls Wodehouse describing Robinson as "a walking Encyclopaedia Britannica".

MovieMaker lists its top films of 2007.

Business Week's Next blog examines Radiohead's release strategy for its latest album, In Rainbows.

Popmatters is offering best television, film, and DVD of 2007 lists this week.

CMJ interviews Post Parlo Records founder Ben Dickey.

Mike Brotherton lists the top science-based sci-fi movies.

The Guardian examines the use of book clubs as healing tools.

These reading groups aren't just about helping people feel less isolated or building their self-esteem. Nor are they merely a pretext, in an area of high unemployment, for giving the experience of working as a unit. More ambitiously, they're an experiment in healing, or, to put it less grandiosely, an attempt to see whether reading can alleviate pain or mental distress.

E-mail and receive a ten page sampler of John Darnielle's 33 1/3 book, Black Sabbath: Master of Reality.

The Kansas City Star examines the rising popularity of graphic novels and comics.

The A.V. Club interviews my favorite television personality, Anthony Bourdain.

AVC: Some of those years, you wrote about in Kitchen Confidential, which was later turned into a sitcom. What was it like seeing your life played for laughs?

AB: Well, I've always thought that if you can't laugh at heroin addiction… [Laughs.] You know, then what is funny? I don't know. In some ways, it was kind of a relief. It was over with quick. I didn't mind. I had a pretty good attitude about the process, and what it could have been or might be like. Better writers than me have been smashed on the wheel when their work went out to Hollywood. Unlike me, they drank the Kool-Aid. So when people were telling me all along that it was going to be a David Fincher picture and star Brad Pitt, I never believed it. I always figured it would be a David Hasselhoff vehicle or something. So in the end, I was happy to see a reasonably entertaining half-hour sitcom about some smart people. Like I said, it was over fast. I feel a sense of relief that I emerged unscathed from the experience.

Drowned in Sound lists bands ready to make the "next step" in 2008.

Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury talks to Publishers Weekly about his latest novel, Yalo.

What part of your novel do you expect Americans not to understand—and what part do you hope they understand?

I don’t put the book in those terms. It is important to see literature less provincially. The European novel is said to have started with Don Quixote. Very well. What does Cervantes say at the beginning of the novel? That he is translating it from an Arabic novel. Of course, he wasn’t, that is a fiction, but he was legitimating his fiction with a reference to what he thought was an important literature. Literature travels from language to language through translation, and there are no barriers, which is the force of literature. And unlike empire, literature travels alone.

Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason talks to the Sydney Morning Herald.

"Well, I think apart from the principals, the four or five of us, including Syd - which is a story in itself - there is an interesting thing about the way bands who survive or produce good work need a certain element of conflict quite often," Mason argues. "You certainly need more than one person driving it. I think it's infinitely fascinating and I think there is probably a great book to be written - but probably by a psychiatrist."

The Financial Times lists the best novels featuring entrepreneurs.

Forbes goes behind the scenes in the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus.

At a time when many public schools are cutting their art and music programs, Ono feels a deep bond with the mission of the bus program."It's the best thing to do for children," she told on Sunday."We have to cover the earth with music and art," she mused. "The vibration of music and art is a love vibration, to make the planet a more peaceful place."

Publishers Weekly notes Bay Area writers who are falling in line to support Barack Obama for the US Democratic presidential nomination.

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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