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August 30, 2008


Joan Wasser of Joan as Police Woman talks to the Allentown Morning Call about her songwriting.

''But there is a thread running through my new album ['To Survive'] about the fact that I lost my mom to cancer recently. Losing someone we love is something we all have to go through, and it's a very difficult part of life. But I'm just all for communication. If I feel helpless, the way I feel better is to talk about it. Isolation is the worst. Put it into words and get it out there.''

The San Francisco Chronicle profiles the streaming music site

The short, knuckleheaded description goes something like this: lets you set up a quickie Internet radio station and share what you're listening to with everyone else on the network. In other words, you're putting together playlists of your favorite music and blasting it out to the crowd much like a DJ would. In the process, one "blips" a song.

Aquarium Drunkard interviews Howe Gelb of Giant Sand.

The Christian Science Monitor ponders the future of music critics.

To thrive in this medium, traditional media outlets may host online communities that create a dialogue between critic and reader. "I feel like I'm almost more part of a conversation than I am a tastemaker, and that's the way I like it," says Joan Anderman, music writer for The Boston Globe. "I also write a lot of feature stories and concert reviews, so we do a lot more than just pay attention to new product coming out."

Philip Pullman lists his 40 essential books, then explains his listmaking process.

Today's Zaman has news of Orhan Pamuk's new novel, Masumiyet Müzesi.

Focusing on the question "What, in fact, is love?" the author touches on every field of life, ranging from the details of everyday life such as newspapers and television to painting to loneliness, friendship and family. Beginning in 1975, the novel narrates the story of a rich İstanbul man named Kemal and his poor distant female cousin, Fisun.

Geekdad lists 10 geeky movies to raise your kids on.

The Guardian profiles author Aleksander Hemon.

Hemon's books are full of people who have been taken out of one context and put down in another and can't, now, see how it works - his parents standing mute in a lift as they're cheerily addressed by their American neighbours, Russian intellectuals rendered stupid by English lessons. His fiction understands the nature of such losses. Many of his stories remember life before loss, a child's world - Hemon says the move to America "amplified" his childhood memories. More obliquely, some of his fiction's vividness and freshness comes from his exploitation of a child's angle of view: objects loom large. Hemon remembers feeling close to the ground, "in the literal sense, in that I would see what was on the ground; things that were on the ground attracted my attention".

The Boston Globe profiles Jeph Jacques, the cartoonist behind the webcomic Questionable Content.

"My favorite thing people tell me," Jacques says, is that reading the strip led them to blow off a day's work or a school assignment: " 'Now I have to write an entire paper in one night because I've been reading your comic.' That's good! That's what Web comics did for me when I had a real job. I'd like to be able to return the favor, and make people happy for 30 seconds every day."

SF Station interviews David Klein of Birdmonster.

SFS: You had a lot of buzz with bloggers and with different media outlets with your previous album. Are you finding the same response this time around?

DK: There is definitely some but, thus far, there is not as much. At the same time, we are not trying to be as involved or pay that much attention to it this time. Although they are a great way to find out about new music, blogs are definitely fickle.

The Week features author Brock Clarke picking his favorite books.

see also: Clarke's Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay

Bloomberg lists the bestselling books at independent booksellers.

The Buffalo News and New Haven Register list highly anticipated fall music releases.

WXPN features a streaming performance by singer-songwriter Jim Boggia.

JBooks interviews David Levithan about the state of young adult fiction.

You not only write YA novels, but you’re the editorial director for Scholastic. It’s safe to say you have a pretty good pulse on what’s out there. What would you say to the notion that much of what’s being written for teens these days is senseless and below their reading level?

That’s patently ridiculous. Only someone with the narrowest of readings of teen literature could say that—it would be like using James Patterson as the sole indicator of American literature between 2003 and the present. Even something as derided as Gossip Girl actually contains some acute social satire (as was recently noted in The New Yorker, of all places). But really, the best of teen literature right now more than stands up to its adult counterpart. If you doubt this, go read M.T. Anderson’s Feed, or Virginia Euwer Wolff’s True Believer, or Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief or Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian.

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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