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April 6, 2008


Yesterday's additions to the list of 2008 SXSW streaming and downloadable music performances:
An mp3 download of a performance by Alejandro Escovedo.

A bittorrent download of a Dr. Dog performance.

The Los Angeles Times reviews Dean Wareham's memoir, Black Postcards.

The Miami Herald profiles author Jhumpa Lahiri.

Part of what makes Lahiri so hopeful about the future, she says, lies in the presidential election and the fact that a woman or an African American will be the Democratic nominee come fall. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, she says, are indicative of ``huge, huge strides in society. The fact they have come as far as they have says so much. I feel such excitement and pride. I feel for the first time in my life I'm really living through a profound period of history.''

Author Jennifer Weiner talks to the Buffalo News about chick lit.

Weiner thinks the major heyday of the trend is “almost over.” But what about her books, which come with those aforementioned high-heeled covers? And what about the fact that she’s consistently shelved in chick-lit sections?

“Those aren’t decisions writers get to make,” Weiner said. “You write a book. But the publishers, the booksellers – they make those decisions. All these things are arbitrary, and they’re not in the writer’s control.”

Billy Bragg shares his current music favorites with the New York Times.

The Telegraph lists the 110 best books that make up their "perfect library."

The Science Fiction Poetry Association was founded to "bring together poets and readers interested in science fiction poetry."

I finally added some songs to my Muxtape.

Alexander Solzhenitsyn's wife talks to the Observer.

'He hasn't left the house for five years. He has several serious problems, including with his spine - he's missing a vertebra - and he practically can't walk. Physically it's very difficult for him. His health is weak. But every day he sits and works,' she said.

'He writes on his own. His 30-volume selected works are currently being published; seven volumes are already out and five are appearing this year. This doesn't include his letters and notes, only finished books.'

Nadine Gordimer talks to the South Africa Times about her latest short fiction collection, Beethoven Was One-sixteenth Black.

In her writing she seems to have moved on to more temporal and humane questions than our concerns with political succession. Has her writing changed in retrospect? “When I was 14 or 15 years old, one of my first adult stories was written from the point-of-view of an old man. When I look back it was amazing: how did I know how an old man feels? I have lived through every age — writers have this ability of projection from one identity to another. I write differently at every stage because I have lived more — writing is a matter of discovery. You will never get to the end of it.”

The Daily Mail reports that singer-songwriter Lily Allen has stepped down as a judge for the literary Orange Prize.

The Observer excerpts from Stephanie Merritt's memoir, The Devil Within: A Memoir of Depression.

The Guardian profiles author Salman Rushdie.

He says that his access to this covert world, as well as to presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers, makes him - or a bit of him - want to write a spy thriller. If he did, I say, it would be sure to be reviewed by John Le Carré (some observers suggest that Le Carré's unsympathetic stance on The Satanic Verses was prompted by a poor review Rushdie had given one of his books).

'I think that's all right now,' laughs Rushdie. 'The truth is I hate literary feuds. Life's too short. I admire so much of his work... I don't want to fight him. We had a disagreement. Fair enough, I have no hard feelings.'

The Independent profiles one of the oddest jobs in the fashion industry, "iPod nanny."

It's a well-documented fact that a certain fashion designer has in excess of 100 iPods. It should therefore come as little surprise that said designer employs someone to look after them, in the manner of a librarian. Your initial gig, should you choose to pursue this career course, will be to upload your boss's CD collection on to the gadgets. Thereafter, your role will be to source new beats to keep your employer at the fore of sonic cool.

BloggingStocks lists the best Wall Street movies.

The Scotsman profiles Frightened Rabbit.

Comprising Scott, his brother Grant on drums, along with Andy Monaghan on bass and Billy Kennedy on second guitar, Frightened Rabbit began life as a hobby band for the singer. Their first album, Sing The Greys, was a happy accident, a series of songs that Scott wrote while a student at Glasgow School of Art. They were never intended to form an album but demos of the songs were released as an album after protracted record company wranglings. Grounded in the emotional, story-telling ethos of folk music but delivered in a tense, often confrontational squall of noise, it earned the band numerous tags as one to watch. They look as though they are going to make good on that promise with Midnight Organ Fight, which was recorded in Connecticut with Peter Katis, the producer responsible for albums by Mercury Rev, The National and Interpol. is looking for writers for its upcoming music blog.

Wired's Listening Post blog reports that Charles Manson has released his new album under a Creative Commons license.

Blog Design lists 25 "must buy, borrow, or steal books for web designers."

The Stumptown Comics Fest is scheduled for April 26th and 27th in Portland, Oregon. Featured cartoonists include Craig Thompson and Scott McCloud.

Minnesota Public Radio's The Current features the Shackletons with an interview and in-studio performance.

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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