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May 3, 2008


The 2008 Coachella music downloads page has been updated with mp3s of the performance by Stars and bittorrent downloads of the shows by Goldfrapp, Junkie XL, Prince, and Tegan and Sara, and videos of Portishead, Gogol Bordello, and Metric.

The San Francisco Chronicle reviews Michael Chabon's new nonfiction collection, Maps and Legends.

Now, after 20 years, six more novels and two books of short stories, McSweeney's has published "Maps and Legends," Chabon's first collection of nonfiction. Although almost all the essays have appeared elsewhere, bound together, this fascinating volume makes a passionate defense for the "borderlands" of literature, "the spaces between genres," "the secret shelves between the sections in the bookstore." It is a diverse assortment of writings, including serious literary criticism, some autobiographical sketches and a few more opinionated polemics, all of which in one way or another endeavor to counter the "disdain and neglect" Chabon finds too often heaped upon "nonliterary" fiction.

Entertainment Weekly lists the 19 best comic book movies ever made.

US News and World Report interviews Bill McKibben, editor of the new anthology, American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau, about the synergies between literature and environmentalism.

In the Guardian, Keith Gessen, author of All the Sad Young Literary Men, reviews the Modern Lovers eponymous album.

The Modern Lovers sounds as if it could have been made yesterday. The music is stripped of everything but the most essential rock instrumentation, and sometimes, as on "Pablo Picasso" ("Some guys try to pick up girls," it begins, almost ominously, "and get called assholes. / This never happened to / Pablo Picasso. / He would walk down the street, / women could not resist his stare. / Consequently Pablo Picasso / was never called an asshole") or "I'm Straight", Richman is barely even singing. Between this and the lyrics, which are funny, self-effacing, often flat-out pleading, all traces of the rock god have been eliminated. I don't know how much of this is attributable to the fact that John Cale, the VU's visionary bassist, produced half the album in 1972, but most of it must have been there to begin with. The Modern Lovers is modern in the sense of being continuously modern, of having managed to fall out of time. It seems as if Richman is naked, and speaking directly and immediately to you.

CNN profiles "the king" of comics, Jack Kirby.

Kirby was matter-of-fact about his talent; he loved to draw, and he tried to treat his readers with respect. "I don't think the average reader believes in fairy tales, and I've never given them fairy tales," Kirby once said. "Yes, I've given them fictionalized drama, but this is drama that is enacted by real people."

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

NPR's Morning Edition talks to author Joanne Harris, whose new novel The Girl with No Shadow is a sequel to her bestseller Chocolat.

"Chocolat was very much about what makes you happy, whereas The Girl with No Shadow is what makes you afraid," Harris says.

Though fantastical, Harris says Vianne's world, in which seemingly ordinary people live decidedly extraordinary lives, was inspired, in part, by her own childhood.

"I had a great grandmother who believed in so many strange superstitions," Harris recalls. "She used to tell the future from the things that catch on to the hem of your skirt when you've been sewing, and different colored threads would mean different things. … Of course, all that influenced me quite a lot as a child."

IGN lists the best ad jingles ever.

NPR's All Things Considered profiles singer-songwriter Kaki King.

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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