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June 16, 2008


2008 Bonnaroo music download page has been posted, and mp3s of the performances by Metallica, Raconteurs, Cat Power, and the Swell Season have already been posted (along with a lossless set by Rilo Kiley) with many more to come in the next few weeks. I'll be updating the page daily with new recordings, so check back often.

The New York Times reviews the new Hold Steady album, Stay Positive.

Plenty of rock bands treat their fans like congregants. But not many shine a light on the arrangement. Fewer still go as far as the Hold Steady, whose lead vocalist and lyricist, Craig Finn, has a disarming way of combining humility and exultation. “Our psalms are singalong songs,” he sings within the first 30 seconds of “Stay Positive,” the band’s lean, unstoppable fourth album. And he should know.

The New Yorker features new short fiction by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, "The Headstrong Historian."

Popmatters asks Rhett Miller of the Old 97s 20 questions.

2. The fictional character most like you?

Sherlock Holmes. Swear to god. Musician, obsessive-compulsive, crime-solving, drug addled...Wait, what was the question? Really...I’d have to say David Foster Wallace’s Hal Incandenza from Infinite Jest. I love the alternate universe in which the years are no longer numbered but named according to corporate sponsorship, e.g., “The Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment”.

Popmatters examines the summer festival phenomenon.

It’s hard not to get excited about being a part of something—and the festival lineups are incredible. All Tomorrow’s Parties bills itself as the ultimate music experience, a sonic art exhibit curated by bands and musicians, with different festivals occurring throughout the year in the U.K. and U.S. One glance at the lineup for this year’s ATP in the Catskills in New York is enough to send a music fan’s salivary glands into overdrive: My Bloody Valentine, Built to Spill performing the entirety of Perfect From Now On, the Meat Puppets playing Meat Puppets II. But a glance at the ticket prices is more likely to feel like a blow to the jaw: $225, and a minimum of $450 for accommodations. The question for All Tomorrow’s Parties is not “what costume shall the poor girl wear” because the poor girl can’t even go.

The New York Times notes the start of the Progressive Book Club.

As with a classic book club, members of the new club will be offered a slate of books each month, reviewed and chosen by a panel that includes the novelists Michael Chabon, Erica Jong and Barbara Kingsolver; John Podesta, president of the Center for American Progress; Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation magazine; and Todd Gitlin, the author and a journalism and sociology professor at Columbia University.

The Associated Press examines the convergence of music and politics at this year's Bonnaroo music festival.

Inside a Dog is a website for young people about books.

New York magazine profiles cartoonist Dash Shaw.

This willingness to write outside his own experience makes Shaw’s comics harder to write about—he doesn’t spend our interview hinting at dark secrets in his past—but much better to read. His current project, a sci-fi-inflected Web comic called BodyWorld, resembles Bottomless Belly Button not at all, and Shaw, unlike some other “alternative cartoonists,” doesn’t feel he needs to separate himself from more-commercial work. “If Marvel called and asked if I wanted to do Ghost Rider,” Shaw says excitedly, “I would be like, ‘Hell, yeah.’ ”

see also: Shaw's Largehearted Boy Book Notes essays for Bottomless Belly Button, BodyWorld, and The Mother's Mouth

WNYC's Soundcheck features Joan as Police Woman's Joan Wasser with an interview and in-studio performance.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Geraldine Brooks has won the Australian Book of the Year award and the Literary Fiction Book of the Year award with her novel, People of the Book.

Born Magazine is an "experimental venue marrying literary arts and interactive media."

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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