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June 24, 2008

Shorties offers summer reading suggestions.

All Shook Down reviews Liz Phair's recent San Francisco show where she covered Exile in Guyville in its entirety.

But really, with this Fillmore crowd, Phair could do no wrong. Men and women were screaming for her from the minute she took the stage with a fervency I haven’t seen since, well, a couple weeks back when the ladies wet their panties for Flight of the Conchords. They also yelled out requests, until Phair – clad in a very ‘90s look of white leggings under cut off jean shorts – said, “This is one of those shows where you can be assured I’ll play your song.” She grinned and added, “If it’s on the record, I’ll play it, in order.”

The Globe and Mail profiles Wolf Parade.

What eventually emerged (the CD was released last week) was less immediately brain-sticky, but more ambitious. Zoomer's guitar, piano and synthesizer-fuelled rock ranges from Springsteen-esque opener Soldier's Grin, jittery pre-release single Call it a Ritual and ultra-catchy The Grey Estates to the anthemic anti-metropolitan poetics of standout Language City and the 11-minute Kissing the Beehive, a soaring indie epic featuring, for the first time, the singers trading verses on the same song.

Joseph O'Neill talks to the Los Angeles Times about his novel, Netherland.

"I also think it's in a very specific American literary tradition, that of The American Dreamer. I don't want to suggest any kind of canonical future for this book, because that would be stupid -- but 'The Great Gatsby' is obviously in that tradition, and one of the books I've loved since I was a teenager. I've been entranced by those kinds of American narrators -- like the narrator of Ralph Ellison's 'Invisible Man' -- and the voice they share, the voice of a turbulent individual consciousness. Saul Bellow does that too, and Marilynne Robinson. You can just go on and on, back to ' Moby Dick' and even farther."

The music blog Southern Shelter has started a record label and is selling a 7" single by Harvey Milk frontman Creston Spiers.

Metromix Detroit lists ten "screaming, guitar-driven songs" from the Motor City.

The Los Angeles Times and the Independent remember comedian George Carlin, while the Houston Chronicle recommends reading his books..

The Financial Times examines Nigeria's literary renaissance.

The new literary terrain is almost a self-created environment. Young writers have discovered that to reach audiences in Nigeria you need to be several things at once. "What is stopping literature from taking off is the commercial infrastructure to support it," explains Bakare. "The demand is there but we have to generate enough value in literature to pay everybody down the line."

Variety reports that HBO has purchased the rights to Sloane Crosley's I Was Told There'd Be Cake, and hopes to develop a series from the book.

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

At NPR's All Things Considered, author Caroline Langston recommends three books about weddings.

Bleacher Report lists the all-time baseball movie lineup.

John McWhorter, author of All About the Beat: Why Hip-Hop Can't Save Black America, talks to NPR's News & Notes.

Drowned in Sound lists the best albums of 2008 (so far).

NPR's All Songs Considered previews the most anticipated summer albums.

IGN makes an ultimate Pixies mixtape.

also at Largehearted Boy:

daily mp3 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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