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October 2, 2008

Shorties (Vice-President Debate Drinkling Game, Silver Jews, and more)

The Mobtown Shank offers a drinking game for tonight's U.S. vice-presidential debate.

7. If you notice Biden plagiarize, keep it to yourself by taking 3 drinks.

8. Every time Palin explains that family is important to her, your drink becomes important to you. Drink one.

The Stranger interviews Dave Berman of the Silver Jews.

That idea of being protective—not just quality control, but of a band demanding that listeners come to them a little bit—was a lot more common when you started making records.

Bands would go away. They'd put out an album, tour, and then they'd go away for a little while and you'd wonder what they were doing, and then they'd come back. Now, bands are afraid to do that. They're afraid to go away for even a second, because there's so much energy toward grabbing market share from these little bands that are very energetic businessmen.

No Depression's website has relaunched.

Bay Windows interviews Girl in a Coma bassist Jenn Alva about opening for Morrissey.

Q: How was the tour in Europe with Morrissey last year? He’s pretty infamous for being a bit of a diva on tour.

A: It was really good, we went in there, and we were honored. It was our first time overseas, and we wanted to do a good job and we tried to keep that whole mentality of, just do the job. We always put the fan part of us aside, and we turned into workers and with the whole Morrissey thing, we’d see him now and then, we’d say hello, but we pretty much stayed in our dressing room and got focused on, we’ve got 30 minutes to play so we better make it good, cause we’ve never been over here. But the last night on the tour in Paris he came to our dressing room, and gave us a bottle of champagne, and he was being really sweet and we talked for a little while, and to us, he’s a sweetheart and we were just very grateful that he invited us out on tour and we left on good terms.

At Time Out Chicago, David Griffith remembers David Foster Wallace.

After reading a lot of DFW (as some fans refer to him, although I should not refer to him this way because I’ve never been able to finish Infinite Jest), I’ve come to understand that this fractured prose style was not all po-mo irony. Neither was it merely surfacey glimmer belying great depth. It was an indication of his genuine concern with precision.

The Phoenix profiles one of my favorite authors, Kelly Link.

Salon’s Laura Miller, an early and ardent champion of Link’s, claims that Link has a voice unlike any writer she can think of. “She’s fearless about incorporating things that writers at that high level of artistry might be fearful of, like pop-culture, like genre,” says Miller over the phone from New York. “She refuses to see the need to corral that stuff off into a sub-literary area. All of it is grist for her mill.”

PC World lists 100 "incredibly uselful and interesting web sites," including 7 great sites about music and literature.

The Ithaca Journal interviews singer-songwriter Andrew Bird.

Q: You are amazingly forthcoming about your songwriting process. You famously have been documenting the process with a blog for the New York Times, which I must say contain the most lucid and revelatory explanations about art-making I have read in a long time. It's rare for a pop artist, or any artist for that matter, to be so engaging. Do you really want to give away all of your secrets?

Bird: At first I was concerned that I would de-mystify something. Part of the reason of why I love songwriting is that I don't know what will come out of me at any given time, and I thought that talking about it might jeopardize that. But it's harder to do that than I thought. And talking about it...I'm glad I got the assignment. I began to realize I have a few things to say and it's become gratifying.

Nick Bertozzi had his SVA Comic Book Storytelling Workshop students at adapt O. Henry short stories into comics.

ReadWriteWeb lists 5 great science books to expand your mind.

DJ Z-Trip offers an mp3 of his official Obama mix he has been spinning at fundraisers.

I encourage you to download it and pass it along to anyone you think should hear it. Feel free to burn copies, share it with friends, family, co-workers, strangers, and especially anyone you know is on the fence about this election. I'm also putting out a radio friendly version, in case anyone wants to broadcast it.

Bryan Lee O'Malley talks to the Washington Post's Express about his Scott Pilgrim series.

» EXPRESS: The book incorporates video game elements into the story. Do you ever feel your life is like a video game?

» O'MALLEY: I think the video game elements are more about memory and storytelling than literally about video games. It's a medium through which to tell the story of your own life, rather than being actually the way you live your life.

Neil Gaiman is reading chapters of his new book, The Graveyard Tour, on his book tour, and sharing videos of his readings online.

Vibe interviews Tom Morello (Nightwatchman, Rage Against the Machine) about Obama, race, and the war.

ReadWriteWeb interviews founder Richard Jones about the site's competition.

RWW: As you know the competition in the online music sphere has gotten more intense this year. MySpace Music has just launched, Imeem has been growing in popularity in large part because of its music features (it also released a re-design today), Pandora continues to grow its market share despite legislative challenges. So can you tell us what you think differentiates from those services?

RJ: The space is crowded, I agree, and people now have a lot of choice if they want to listen to music for free. That's great for music fans - but what it means is that navigating through that mass of music is now the priority for them. It's all very well having millions of tracks at your disposal on Myspace or Imeem, but what's the use if you can't find what you want?

LAist interviews Stars frontman Torquil Campbell.

Is it easier to write a song about being in love or being heartbroken?

TC: Oh, it’s much easier to write songs about being heartbroken. I never usually write songs about myself. Tolstoy wrote that writing about happiness is the hardest thing. Keep it to yourself if its happy. Bob Marley was good at it, but he was a genius.

Nick Cave talks to the Globe and Mail about his songwriting.

“But it's always been important for me that the songs that we write and the music have some sort of deep emotional, inclusive resonance, so when you listen to our stuff it affects you emotionally. I mean, I know that there's an element in our music that does alienate people, lyrically, sometimes. But it kind of entertains people as well.”

New Scientist staffers list their favorite (and worst) sci-films and books.

Reuters discusses possible winners of this year's Nobel prize for literature.

British betting agency Ladbrokes gives Italian scholar and journalist Claudio Magris the edge with 3-1 odds, followed by Israel's Amos Oz and American author Joyce Carol Oates.

NPR excerpts from Curtis Sittenfeld's novel, American Wife.

Library Journal lists 2008's best debut novelists (so far) and includes the following Largehearted Boy Book Notes contributors:

Jami Attenberg
Toby Barlow
Lauren Groff
Ed Park

NPR's Day to Day interviews author Noah Levine, whose books link Buddhism with punk rock.

Levine's method, summed up in his new book, Against the Stream, has attracted thousands of students all over North America and Europe. His ethic is also captured in a new documentary film titled Meditate and Destroy, about punk rock, spirituality and inner rebellion. Levine says there is always a bit of struggle with meditation, which is another thing that makes it akin to punk mentality.

Larry Ferlazzo lists the best online sites to create music.

Five Chapters is serializing new short fiction by Amy Shearn this week.

see also: Shearn's Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay for her novel, How Far Is the Ocean from Here?

Okkervil River frontman Will Sheff plays DJ for NPR's All Songs Considered.

Leveraging Ideas lists 10 reasons venture capitalists love indie rock.

NPR's All Things Considered examines the current crop of political songs inspired by the U.S. presidential election.

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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