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July 5, 2008

Shorties

The New York Times reviews James Frey's novel, Bright Shiny Morning.

Frey is lazy about his lazy prose — so lazy, in fact, that some readers will be tempted to rationalize away his neglect and carelessness so as not to feel abused. When Frey presents Parker’s agent as “incredibly smart, incredibly savvy, incredibly smooth, incredibly successful and incredibly rich,” it’s possible — if one is used to being demeaned and has grown practiced in denial — to think that Frey is being bad on purpose; that he’s reproducing others’ mental impoverishment rather than exhibiting his own. It’s hard to sustain such a charitable view, though, after seeing a character depicted as “an extremely attractive woman in her early 30s,” a pair of chaise longues as “stylish, yet comfortable” and Beverly Hills’s Rodeo Drive as “lined with the most expensive and most exclusive boutiques in the world.” These aren’t images, they’re ratings. This isn’t fiction, it’s catalog copy.


The New York Times magazine profiles CocoRosie's Casady sisters.

The music of CocoRosie (the band’s name is an amalgam of their mother’s nicknames for the girls) is most often categorized by critics as “freak folk,” placing the two sisters in a new wave of 20-something singer-songwriters like Devendra Banhart or the harpist Joanna Newsom, who have revived the ’70s culture of homemade authenticity with at once more wholesomeness and more joyous perversity than their elders. Freak folk is not a bad label for CocoRosie, as far as labels go. But CocoRosie’s sound — the effects they deploy include windup toys and a kitten’s mewling, as well as more conventional instruments like a snake charmer’s flute, an out-of-tune ukulele or a beat box — is a little freakier, even, than that of most of their colleagues.


Alpha Mummy lists the "most awesome old-school children's books."


TV Crunch lists the 25 worst television dramas of all time.


LP Cover Lover is a music blog dedicated to classic album covers.


ComicMix interviews Warren Ellis about webcomics, FreakAngels, and Doctor Who.


Cracked lists the best Batmans.


Buffet Libre's Rewind features covers of 57 80's songs by indie bands available as free and legal mp3 download.


nyctaper features an mp3 download of the first Feelies show in years.


Drowned in Sound has three indie record labels (FatCat, DSouthern, and Wichita) discuss what independence means to them.


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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