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March 3, 2008


The New Yorker points out some of New York's notable smaller music venues.

Entertainment Weekly profiles the new wave of female singer-songwriters.

BBC News profiles the Cardigans.

At the New Yorker, author Jonathan Lethem reads James Thurber's story "The Wood Duck."

The New Yorker also interviews Michael Chabon about the attire of superheroes (his essay on the subject).

Popmatters interviews comedian Margaret Cho.

The latest book or movie that made you cry?

La Vie en Rose. I love Edith Piaf and Marion Cotillard in the role is genius. Piaf lived a brief and tragic life. The film is just gorgeous and so sad. There are lots and lots of crying opportunities in that film. I am also amazed at the way Cotillard really is able to transform herself from the young Edith to the old Edith. It’s truly a beautiful film.

The New York Times reviews Mat Johnson's graphic novel, Incognegro.

The inspiration for “Incognegro” comes from the personal and professional experience of its writer, Mat Johnson. The author’s note reveals that Mr. Johnson, as a young boy, could pass for white and would act out missions as a race spy in the war against white supremacy. As an adult he learned of Walter White, the former chief executive of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, who passed for white to investigate lynchings. The 2005 birth of Mr. Johnson’s twins — one “brown-skinned” with “Afro hair” and the other with “the palest of pink skins” and “European curly hair” — also inspires part of the tightly plotted tale.

The Seattle Times also reviews the book.

Trent Reznor is offering the 9 tracks of Nine Inch Nails album, Ghosts I, available as a free mp3 download.

USA Today profiles author Jeffrey Archer.

Archer says he has mellowed and cares less about what the critics say of his work. And not all critics are as generous toward his new book as Publishers Weekly. In London's Evening Standard, critic Sebastian Shakespeare knocked his prose. "It's not that the story is bad," he wrote. "How could it be, given that it's largely a rip-off of Dumas? It is a rollicking adventure narrated in Janet and John-style prose and draws on Archer's own experiences in the nick."

Spin is listing the top 100 albums from 1985-2005, and lists 51-100 online.

Spin reviews the new REM album, Accelerate.

More than just velocity lifts Accelerate: It slows for the requisite Important Ballad ("Until the Day Is Done"), a political brooder more akin to "Drive" than "Everybody Hurts," and the terrific, mid-tempo "Hollow Man," with the most satisfying R.E.M. chorus in eons. Still, Accelerate will be rightfully championed as the defibrillator that shocked a once-great band back to its senses. R.E.M. lay no claim to being the biggest rock group on earth -- leave that empty title to their contemporary U2 -- but if they need an award, here's one that fits: Most Improved.

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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