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March 1, 2008

February 2008 Largehearted Boy Wrapup

February was another month filled with special features at Largehearted Boy. In case you were groundhogging it, here's a recap of the month's posts (but don't forget to review the free and legal mp3 and bittorrent downloads).

The Hot Freaks blog collective announced its 2008 SXSW day parties.


52 Books 52 Weeks (book reviews)

Jim Shepard's short fiction collection Like You'd Understand, Anyway: Stories
Julie Doucet's graphic novel 365 Days
the collection, The Pushcart Prize XXIII
Harvey Pekar's graphic novel Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History
Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food


Book Notes (authors create a music playlist for their book)

Toby Barlow for his novel, Sharp Teeth

Salty Dog - Cat Power

Ever since I was little, this old, traditional tune seemed like the funniest song in the world. Back in my house growing up, there was a bluegrass band that would sometimes play it in the living room and I would clap along like a joyful monkey. But when Cat Power sings it, it becomes dark and a little seductive. Then again, she could sing about toast and it would be dark and a little seductive.


Janice Erlbaum for her memoir, Have You Found Her

“Daddy Never Understood,” Deluxx Folk Implosion, Kids soundtrack

Sam was somewhat of an anomaly at the shelter – a white girl from the Midwest, more into punk and screamo and death metal than, say, reggaeton. Our first conversation was about the cast on her hand, which she’d acquired after punching a concrete wall; her own dad, she said, used to punch out the windows of whatever squat in whatever meth ghetto they were currently passing through.


Grant Bailie for his novel, Mortarville

So let me just say that the one song that I can mention with complete honesty as being essential to the creation of Mortarville is Daniel Johnston's "I Killed the Monster." In fact, "I Killed the Monster" was the original title of the book, when it was just a few paragraphs and notes. Some of the paragraphs might still exist in the book. Most of the notes were ignored or forgotten, but somewhere, embedded deeply in the DNA of the book, is that song, sitting quietly in the shadows, waiting to be played.


Martha Frankel for her memoir, Hats and Eyeglasses

While I was writing my memoir, Hats & Eyeglasses, music would be blasting from the computer. Sometimes I felt that the louder the music, the more I could focus. The experiences and feelings that have touched me deepest have so many layers, and my playlists inspired me to peel them back--- all the way to the core. I know there are people who talk about how lyrics get in the way--- but I am definitely not one of them.


Cindy Guidry for her memoir, The Last Single Woman in America

SOMETHING SHINY
“Mathar” by The Dave Pike Set

I adopted this as my theme song back in 1997. If you were to scratch the CD so that it began skipping almost immediately after the song began playing, then yanked your CD player’s plug out of the socket at some point after that, you’d have a pretty good audio facsimile of what’s happening in this essay.


Joshua Henkin for his novel, Matrimony

“Choice in the Matter,” by Aimee Mann, from I’m With Stupid

I loved her in ‘Til Tuesday and I love her solo. I don’t know what it is about this song, but it gets to me. There’s a whole narrative in the song—the woman goes over to the guy’s house and she sees the phone message light blinking and the guy won’t play the message, which makes her wonder what he’s hiding from her and so she decides to leave. “As much as I would like to stay the message light just blinks away and while I’m here you won’t push play, ‘cause you leave me no choice in the matter.” In some way, though there’s no scene exactly like this in Matrimony, the feel and tone of the song capture something about the love triangle between Julian, Mia, and Carter—and of the secrets that lie between them.


Margaret Lazarus Dean for her novel The Time It Takes to Fall

6. Run-DMC, “You Be Illin’”
If we should feel any nostalgia for 1985-86, let it be for a time when Dolores could fall in love with this song sandwiched between Madonna and Phil Collins on Top 40 radio, a time profoundly different from our own. I love the single-finger piano vamp in this song, and the real horns. Old school perfection.

Best line: “He gave a quarter and his order: small fries, Big Mac!”


Note Books (musicians discuss books)

Michael Epstein, frontman of Boston's The Motion Sick, shared his favorite books.

The Arrogance of Humanism by David Ehrenfeld (1981)

I’m the kind of person who is very reluctant to enjoy sociopolitical non-fiction. I am hyper-wary of being manipulated by the presentation of selected “facts” and information. It is far too easy for an author to provide a very convincing argument for just about anything. What is special about The Arrogance of Humanism is that I cannot find the flaws in the arguments or identify the omission of pertinent bits of information.


Interviews

Daily Show writer Sam Means interviewed John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats.

SM: "In the Craters on the Moon" talks about "the end of a long war," but it's not a political song...

JD: THANK YOU SAM DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW MANY INTERVIEWERS THINK THIS IS A POLITICAL SONG BECAUSE IT HAS THE WORD "WAR" IN IT. I love everybody but seriously people a signpost doesn't always indicate a road.

also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
guest book reviews
musician/author interviews
directors discuss their film's soundtracks
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2007 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2006 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2005 Edition)
52 Books, 52 Weeks (2004 Edition)


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