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April 25, 2008

Shorties

The Owen Sound Times profiles Don Pollock, author of Knockemstiff.

Pollock said he's flattered, even a bit embarrassed, by the accolades. Publishers Weekly and The New York Times compared his book to "Winesburg, Ohio," Sherwood Anderson's 1919 masterpiece on small-town life. Amazon.com put the book on its list of top new releases for March.

"Knockemstiff" is filled with degenerates but Pollock doesn't mean to portray his hometown as a gothic freak show.

"I probably pushed the envelope as far as you can go without stereotyping or going too far to the point where you're just making fun of these people. And making fun of these people was never my intention at all," says Pollock, a high school dropout who battled his own drug and alcohol addictions."


Business Week examines the controversy surrounding Google Book Search.

Brewster Kahle, founder and digital librarian of the Internet Archive at the Open Content Alliance, said Google may be trying to "lock up the public domain" by making proprietary copies of works whose copyrights have expired -- which includes the vast majority of the world's books.

Kahle said there's a core value in the project, in preserving material indefinitely and enabling broad access to it. But he questioned whether Google will share the works it digitizes with other search engines.


The A.V. Club offers a primer to the music of Elvis Costello.


The Pilcrow Lit Fest is scheduled from May 23rd-25th in Chicago, and will feature panel discussions with Largehearted Boy contributors Jami Attenberg, Kelly McMasters, Cristina Henriquez, Jonathan Messinger, and Jennifer Banash participating. Proceeds from the Saturday night fundraising reception will benefit rebuilding New Orleans libraries.


The New York Times profiles Girls Write Now, a very good cause.

The reading was hosted by a nonprofit group that pairs high school girls from disadvantaged backgrounds who want to be writers with women who are authors, journalists, playwrights, poets and editors. The group produces an anthology of student writing each spring, and puts on several public readings.


Chicagoist interviews Peter Moren.

C: The title of the album, The Last Tycoon, apparently is taken from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s unfinished novel. What do you consider your connection to that story to be?

PM: It’s not in any way some sort of concept album or anything. To be honest, at first it was just that I saw the movie adaptation maybe six years ago and I kept that title in my head because I thought it sounded so good. And knowing that this album was going to be very like European and homey and intimate, I thought it kind of funny to have a title that was very grandiose and almost pretentious. It becomes sort of like an ironic, funny touch to it. I would say that was the main reason. But then of course there are themes like “the end of an era” and trying to combine the career with personal extras and stuff like that. So sure there are some connections.


The Guardian lists the 50 best cult books (I've read 29 of these).


Drowned in Sound examines the roots of math-rock.


NPR's Day to Day offers an excerpt from Michael Pollan's life changing (for me, at least) book, In Defense of Food.


At Drowned in Sound, Islands give a track-by-track breakdown of their new album Arm's Way (out May 20th).


The Guardian reviews the film adaptation of Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel Persepolis.

Here is an adaptation so inspired, so simple and so frictionless in its transformation of the source material that it's almost a miracle. When I tell people it's a lo-fi animation, largely in black-and-white, about Iran, they put their heads in their hands and make a low groaning sound. But I've seen those same people bounce happily out of the cinema after seeing it as if they had had some sort of caffeine injection.


WXPN's World Cafe features the Drive-By Truckers with an in-studio performance and interview.


GoodReads is not only a bookish social networking site, it also features interviews with authors Dean Wareham, Jennifer Weiner, Augusten Burroughs and more.


NPR's Bryant Park project features two new songs from Smoosh's 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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