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October 5, 2008

Shorties (Robert Pollard, Pretenders, and more)

Robert Pollard talks to the Chicago Sun-Times about his songwriting and collage artwork.

The reason it works, Pollard said, is because he doesn't approach anything he does as a conventional songwriter. "I consider myself a collage artist," he said.

That claim is now validated by the publication of Town of Mirrors: The Reassembled Imagery of Robert Pollard (Fantagraphics Books), a 141-page hardcover book collecting more than two decades of Pollard's collage work, an art form he learned much like a child would: by gluing together images torn from vintage magazines to create unexpected visuals embedded with political undertones and comic jabs.

The Guardian calls for the west to publish more Chinese literature.

Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show talks to the Tennessean about the inspiration behind the band's new album, Tennessee Pusher.

"This record is certainly full of messed-up dudes with bloody gums, and people selling their babies for food, and people selling their souls for a high," Secor says. "We tried to take a snapshot of the guy down at the bus station and the America that he lives in. The machine that churns out country music is totally removed from the people for whom it was intended. Country music is for busboys and bus riders and hitchhikers and prostitutes. It's for the destitute. It's not for big business, big machines, big sales and big-box stores."

Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders talks to the New York Daily News about the band's new album, Break Up the Concrete.

"The sound made by that original band [with James Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon, who both died in the early '80s] has always been the true spirit of the Pretenders," she says. "I lost my two best friends back then. So I feel like I have no choice in the matter. I have to keep this music alive."

The Boston Globe profiles author Donald Hall, who has just published his memoir, Unpacking the Boxes: A Memoir of a Life in Poetry.

The Salisbury Post attends a reading by Clyde Edgerton, who is also performing music on his book tour.

see also: Edgerton's Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay for his latest novel, The Bible Salesman

In the New York Daily News, Jim Farber examines the hipness quotient of the soundtrack to Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist.

The Reading Eagle profiles book cover designer and author Chip Kidd.

"Even though we are in an art gallery and I love this show," remarks Kidd, "I don't really think of myself as an artist, I think of myself as a graphic designer. I still have to make stuff but in most cases it is somebody else's work of art, which is the book, the prose. The design is the main subject, not me. It's supposed to attract your attention to pick up the book and read it."

GamesRadar lists the best videogame storylines ever,

NPR's Weekend Edition excerpts from Doris Lessing's new book, Alfred & Emily.

At the Chicago Tribune Turn It Up blog, Greg Kot explains vinyl's revival in the iPod age.

The Austin American-Statesman interviews cartoonist Art Spiegelman.

If you were convinced that the audience would have accepted it, would you have done 'Maus' with the seams showing?

I don't think "Maus" would have come into existence if there'd been an audience saying, "Yeah, Spiegelman, you're making it impossible for me to understand! I love stuff I can't understand!" (Laughs.) Prior to starting to work on "Maus" I was interested in communicating emotional states the way paintings and poems might and communicating thought in terms of the diagramming possibilities that comics had. And, you know, there didn't seem to be a lot of people interested in that. They'd much rather hear about Charlie Brown's kite again. And I can't do that kind of comics.

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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