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September 23, 2008

Shorties (Silver Jews, John Hodgman, and more)

Randy Newman talks to the Philadelphia Inquirer about his music career.

"If I could have, maybe I should have written short stories, or serious music or something," says Newman, on the phone from his home in Los Angeles. He is playing a solo piano show Friday at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside in support of his first CD collection of new songs in nine years. "But it's what I know how to do."


Drowned in Sound interviews Dave Berman of the Silver Jews.

You consider your lyrical ability to be your primary strength as a musician?

It can be a strength, but it’s a weakness to degree that people aren’t looking for such things. There isn’t a premium placed on it – people don’t find themselves criticised for not being more ambitious about their writing. It’s something that nobody is calling for, but that I need to do or else I won’t be interested in it. It’s the way… I can only succeed in these certain areas. My whole life I’ve tried to find the thing I can do that other people can’t do, and invest in that, and the one thing I can do is write narratives and build characters. I can do that. That’s my way in.


The Examiner lists the 10 best books for treating Harry Potter withdrawal.


PopMatters examines the rise and fall in popularity of the English Football song.


Amazon is giving away an mp3 of "Mississippi (Unreleased, Time Out Of Mind)" from Bob Dylan's forthcoming album, Tell Tale Signs: the Bootleg Series Vol. 8.


NPR's All Things Considered excerpts from Nadeem Aslam's new novel, The Wasted Vigil.


IGN lists 10 classic glam rock albums.


Phillyist reviews Matthew Quick's debut novel, The Silver Linings Playbook.

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


Wired interviews John Hodgman about his new book, More Information Than You Require.

Wired: Did you always plan to write comedy?

Hodgeman: I was trying to write serious short stories. But people would tell me they were hilarious. I realized that I was ignoring the most important and easiest path to laziness of all, which is that jokes are the shortest stories there are.


The Huffington Post offers an exclusive excerpt (that features Monica Lewinsky) of Jonathan Ames' new graphic novel The Alcoholic.


Wired lists six new directors who are making music video cool again.


NPR excerpts from Julian Barnes' latest novel, Nothing To Be Frightened Of.


Daytrotter features Ani DiFranco with an in-studio session.


NPR's All Songs Considered previews fall's most anticipated music releases.


IGN ranks Metallica's albums from best to worst.


Wtiting White Papers has named its top 10 blogs for writers.


MixTube allows you to share audio playlists made from YouTube videos.


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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