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May 11, 2008

Shorties

Marisa de los Santos talks to the Philadelphia Inquirer about her novel, Belong to Me, being categorized as "mommy lit."

In contrast, while she accepts some overlap with Cornelia, she consider herself "not that nice."

How could she be, with people tossing phrases like "highbrow mommy lit" at her? "It's insulting," she says, "not specifically to me, or to mothers, but to anyone, men or women, who write about parenting. . . . It implies most literature about mothers is stupid. . . . In my experience, the relationship between a parent and a child is as complicated as it gets."

"Sometimes people mistake a happy ending for lack of seriousness," she muses. "I don't think happiness is trivial, and I don't think it's easy."


Rotten Tomatoes lists the 50 most memorable movie cars.


The Independent examines how independent record labels are breathing life into hip hop.


The New York Times previews summer music festivals, including Birmingham's City Stages music festival (June 13-15, the same weekend as Bonnaroo, just a couple of hours down the road).

And the award for most incongruous headliners at an outdoor urban concert series goes to ... City Stages in Alabama, with the once-in-a-lifetime-at-most combination of Diana Ross and the Flaming Lips.


In the Observer, Adam Mars-Jones reviews Lorrie Moore's The Collected Short Stories.

The dominant influence on American short fiction when Moore started publishing was the stoic minimalism of Raymond Carver, the recovering binger's pledge of: 'One sentence at a time.' She escaped that influence, and was spared the struggle of throwing it off, but its underlying principle of whittling away excess is something her stories badly need. A Lorrie Moore story can sometimes be like a schoolroom full of precocious kids, every sentence raising both hands and squeaking: 'Me! Me! Choose me!'


The Observer glowingly reviews Joanne Proulx's debut novel, Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet.

Emo teenage stoner angst might seem the least likely vehicle for literary significance, and the slouching hoodie-clad angel on the front of Joanne Proulx's Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet (Picador £7.99, pp356) inspires equally little promise. But beneath the heavy crossover marketing lies a gem. Proulx has taken a risk with this novel and it's paid off.

see also: Proulx's Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay for the book


The New York Times reviews three recently published baseball books: Anatomy of Baseball, Branch Rickey: Baseball’s Ferocious Gentleman, and Baseball’s Greatest Hit: The Story of Take Me Out to the Ball Game.


JamBase profiles Akron/Family.

"I was asked the other day if we'd be happy being seen in the lineage of jam bands like Phish and Dave Matthews. I actually don't think we fit very well there but there's some crossover with The Grateful Dead in that we're both exploring really deeply American music. It's blues, it's hillbilly music, it's hip-hop, it's jazz, it's folk. America has this amazingly rich country and tradition. If you drive around the country, where you're in the desert then you're in Big Sur, then you're the Northwest, then Florida, you find all these different landscapes with such different climates and feelings. The country itself is an epic geographic journey, and sometimes I think one of the things that holds our music together is this kind of American sense of discovery and exploration, with some failure but ultimately the heart at the middle of it is what drives it," says Olinsky.


Author Philip Pullman talks to the Times Online about writing a comic strip.

“Normally I write a book, give it to the illustrator and he gets on with the pictures,” said Pullman. “With this project, it is as if I’m doing a film script with me specifying what I want drawn.”


Drowned in Sound interviews Mission of Burma guitarist Roger Miller.

Finally, has the band’s songwriting changed since the reformation? Are you absorbing influences from contemporary artists, be they post-punk or whatever, or writing from within a bubble, impervious to external pressures?

I think, generally, our songwriting has gotten slightly easier to assimilate. Maturity? I hate to think so. Clint noted that, since 2002, we play our songs about 2 per cent slower than we used to, such that we hammer the changes and chords into a more obvious shape, rather than blurring at high speed between the sections of a song. I heard a recording of us in 1982, and some of the songs that I wrote, hell, even I could barely follow! In that sense, a touch of maturity never hurt anyone. However, if we ever get labeled as playing ‘Mature Rock’, please contact me and tell me to get a real job.


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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