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September 15, 2008

Shorties (David Foster Wallace, Marjane Satrapi, and more)

At Salon, Laura Miller remembers David Foster Wallace.

He was my favorite living writer, and I know I have plenty of company in that. His detractors accused him of being show-offy, of calling attention to his own cleverness, but they, too, were wrong. He meant, with his footnotes and his digressions, to acknowledge the agonies of self-consciousness and the "difference between the size and speed of everything that flashes through you and the tiny inadequate bit of it all you can ever let anyone know." Point taken. Still, I read about his characters, each tennis prodigy and recovering addict and transvestite hooker and yuppie and ad exec and game show contestant and closeted political aide, and thought: Hey, I know you. Maybe it was an illusion -- Wallace would have been the first to admit as much -- but it made me feel less alone, too.

At the New York Times, Michiko Kakutani eulogizes Wallace.

Paste's band of the week is the Chapin Sisters.

The three siblings—Abigail and Lily Chapin and Jessica Craven—often perform by candlelight in vintage dresses, singing dark lyrics and gorgeous harmonies as if they were traipsing around Laurel Canyon 40 years ago.

Pitchfork interviews Miles Seaton and Dana janssen of Akron/Family.

New York Magazine has the down low on author Jonathan Lethem's new band.

Jonathan Lethem wants to debunk any rumors that he aspires to be a rock star. “Nobody’s lives would be improved by that,” says the Brooklyn-born-and-based author (Motherless Brooklyn, Fortress of Solitude). “I want to emphasize the continuing dilettante-ness of my presence in this music collective.” The collective in question is I’m Not Jim, who play their first concert ever Thursday night at Lethem’s “home field,” Housing Works Bookstore.

Kelly Link talks to Publishers Weekly about her forthcoming story collections aimed at teens, Pretty Monsters.

Although Link is best known for her two adult collections from Small Beer, Magic for Beginners and Stranger Things Happen, she found moving into children's a natural progression. “I wanted to try writing different kinds of stories,” she says, adding that she had become interested in children's literature when she worked at a children's bookstore, B. Dolphin, while she was getting her MFA at the University of North Carolina. “A big part of the job was to read as much as I could. I probably spent half my paycheck in the store.”

Esquire lists the 75 books every man should read.

The Independent wonders if intelligent literature can survive in the digital age.

Wellmedicated lists 50 amazing gig posters sure to inspire creativity.

Echoing Green's Spark Blog has its readers list music that inspires them to make the world a better place.

The Chicago Sun-Times lists 5 things you can learn about My Bloody Valentine.

The New York Sun reviews Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum's novel, Ms. Hempel Chronicles.

Ms. Bynum, whose unconventionally structured first novel, "Madeleine Is Sleeping," was a National Book Award finalist, here creates a seamless, intuitive novel of short stories, several of which have been published elsewhere individually. Each is a small, gorgeous thing on its own, but the wise and whimsical "Ms. Hempel Chronicles" gives them their collective due, deploying them on a broader canvas, their colors more layered, their impact more powerful. Stepping back from it, we see something we couldn't have detected before: Ms. Hempel's students feed her young brain; they shape her character, too.

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

The San Diego Union-Tribune shares today's article about the resurgent vinyl music sales.

Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock shares his favorite music with the Observer.

Awesome' is a word that crops up a lot when talking with the New York-based 37-year-old. NERD, and especially Pharrell, are 'pretty awesome'. Cypress Hill are 'awesome'. The Sex Pistols too. He's equally fond of 'blew up' and 'busted out', making Spurlock sound like an improbable amalgam of bubbly, backslapping revolutionary ('Do I like music with "f*ck you" qualities? Oh absolutely!') and all-American perpetual adolescent. Tellingly, Foreigner soundtracked his early teens.

Marjane Satrapi talks to Haaretz about her animated film, Persepolis.

"My film is not about the conflict between East and West or between Islam and Christianity and other religions, and therefore I also tried to make it so that stylistically the sequences that are set in Iran would not have an 'Orientalist' character as compared to the sequences that are set in Europe," she says. "The film deals with the conflict between fanatics and non-fanatics, and this is a conflict that happens nowadays in every country, including in Europe and in the United States. Any intellectual and artistic work is anti-fanatic. Its aim is to ask questions, not to give answers. I don't have any answers."

Drowned in Sound profiles Sub Pop Records.

This Google Map lists locations mentioned in Mountain Goats songs.

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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