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October 9, 2008

Shorties (Richard Belzer the Writer, Liz Phair the Writer?, and more)

Richard Belzer talks to USA Today about the co-author of his novel, I Am Not a Cop!

"He would take what I wrote and get it in shape. He was the Ezra Pound to my T.S. Eliot," referring to Pound helping Eliot edit his works.

Liz Phair a budding novelist? The Los Angeles Times Sound Board blog thinks so.

Phair's publicist confirmed Tuesday that the Connecticut-born singer has a literary agent, but Phair, currently a South Bay resident, was adamant on Monday that nothing is currently in the works, so don't expect to see anything at your local Barnes & Noble just yet. The songstress did say that she was not interested in pursuing a memoir, a la Juliana Hatfield's just-released offering "When I Grow Up" or Chris Connelly's "Concrete, Bulletproof, Invisible and Fried," but rather, a work of fiction.

Carl Newman of the New Pornographers talks inspiration with the Sydney Morning Herald.

"A lot of songwriters will say, 'Oh, I had a break-up or I've been really depressed, so I wrote an album about it,' " he says. "I'm not like that at all. I don't find depression creatively inspiring and I don't want to write songs that remind of being depressed. I think that makes me an optimist."

The New York Times visits the home of Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne.

Staving off crack dealers isn’t usually a concern for rock stars of Mr. Coyne’s stature. His band has toured the world; released 12 albums, including “The Soft Bulletin” and “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” which combined have sold nearly two million copies; and influenced a generation of artists, from Radiohead to Coldplay. And his latest project, “Christmas on Mars,” a film he was the co-director of and stars in with bandmates and friends — and which he filmed largely at the compound — will be released next month. Yet Mr. Coyne, 47, still lives a few blocks from where he grew up, in a neighborhood of mostly one-story shotgun shacks with chipped paint and weedy yards. Large dogs standing guard on sagging porches suggest the crack reference wasn’t a colorful metaphor.

Medium Fidelity lists the best music releases of 2008's third quarter.

The Associated Press reports that Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clezio jhas won the Nobel Prize for literature.

Entertainment Weekly's Fall music guide includes 25 unforgettable one-hit wonders.

The Bay Area Reporter reviews Jonathan Ames & Dean Haspiel's graphic novel, The Alcoholic.

Whether based on the actual life of Ames or not, it's a dense, moody story that definitely deserves attention. Ames' writing has the power to play with the reader's emotions, turning them on and off with the flick of a page. Artist Dean Haspiel is no stranger to literary greats, since he illustrated Michael Chabon's book Escapist, and contributed to the Goosebumps comic series. His illustrations lend the story a dark, brooding, noir quality that perfectly fits Jonathan's tale of woe.

Southern Shelter shares mp3s of a recent Atlas Sound Athens show.

The Mirror lists the top 10 one-liners from Noel Gallagher of Oasis.

5. “We’re not arrogant, we just believe we’re the best band in the world.”

The New York Press interviews Sarah Vowell about her new book, The Wordy Shipmates.

With this book, you shift to more of a role of historian than in your previous books. The tone here is more serious, in that your quirky life is not the centerpiece to the book’s narrative. And any worries that readers will find this book not as personal and funny?

I wish! That sure sounds like a very lighthearted thing to be worried about. Maybe after the world financial markets recover, global warming is reversed, the global food crisis is solved and the U.S. government closes the prison at Guantanamo and brings the soldiers home from Iraq, I’ll have it in me to get jittery about whether a book about the roots of American exceptionalism written in the wake of Abu Ghraib isn’t sufficiently chatty. That said, as far as I know, this is actually the breeziest book ever written about the founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The Phoenix interviews John Hodgman about his new (not surprisingly very funny) book, More Information Than You Require.

Do we live in particularly funny times?

I think these times are possibly hilarious, but it’s a laugh to keep from crying hilarity. But I don’t know if that’s particularly unusual to these times. There have been difficult times throughout history, and that is why there has been humor. There was a lot of great Black Plague humor, for example. I don’t know if that’s true. If they existed, I’d love to read the transcripts of some Black Plague standup comedy.

The Los Angeles Times Soundboard blog lists the top 15 songs about being broke.

The Stranger profiles the Pica Beats.

The Pica Beats' arrangements have the kind of endearingly shambolic quality—these are home recordings that want to sound like home recordings—typical of twee pop, making up what they lack in studio polish with a toy chest full of odd instruments (or their synthesized equivalents) and a judicious use of coy male/female vocal interplay (à la Belle and Sebastian or Architecture in Helsinki).

Noteflight is a free online tool for music composers.

Mufin is a new online music discovery engine.

Feministing lists its ten favorite feminist books.

Minnesota Public Radio's The Current features Jamie Lidell with an in-studio performance and interview.

The A.V. Club interviews comedian Patton Oswalt.

IGN lists 10 underrated metal drummers.

Always Watching lists 25 fantastic indie films made for less than $1 million.

Daytrotter features an in-studio session with Wye Oak.

Lambchop frontman Kurt Wagner plays a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR.

The Futurist features mp3s from Jukebox the Ghost's recent WOXY Live Act session, including three unreleased 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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