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October 31, 2008

Shorties (Harry Shearer, Bruce Springsteen, and more)

Gothamist interviews Harry Shearer about his new album, Songs of the Bushmen.

I hear some Steely Dan in that Colin Powell song, "Smooth Moves." And the lyrics are very funny, like, “They snapped a big towel at the doctrine of Powell."

Thank you. I will never deny being informed by [Donald] Fagen and [Walter] Becker because their songs were a huge part of my musical landscape growing up and getting older. I think we were more self-consciously influenced by them in the Wolfowitz song ["Wolf on the Run"]. But in terms of lyrics I was really trying to follow in the footsteps of another master, Randy Newman, in the sense of writing from inside the head of the person I’m writing about, as opposed to just throwing rocks from the outside, which is a lot easier. “He’s a jerk! He's a jerk! He's a jerk! We're really good people!" I think that's really tiresome.


Bruce Springsteen is offering a free download and video of an unreleased track, "A Night with the Jersey Devil" for Halloween.


GalleyCat examines Thomas Nelson's innovative Book Review Bloggers program.

Some of the initial reaction among publishing insiders and other literati on Twitter Wednesday focused on what was perceived to be wrong with the Nelson system, like the imposed obligation to review the books, or the insistence that reviews need to appear not just on blogs but on catalog pages at online bookstores. (The latter was said to put people's Google rankings at risk; frankly, we'd be more offended at being "forced" to create content for websites from which we haven't bought a book in ten years, and that only because we looked in every local indie bookshop first.) Other suggested that printing 1,000 ARCs was a waste of resources—although Hyatt himself commented that "our 'cost per thousand' will be roughly a tenth of conventional advertising—and with much more impact." (Including, though he doesn't mention it, impact on the environment.)


Lateral Action offers the "Kurt Cobain guide to startup success."


In the Guardian, Peter Washington lists his top 10 ghost short stories.


The Guardian lists (and shares) songs that were considered (but not chosen) to be the themes songs for James Bond films.


Access Hollywood lists the best and worst vampire movies of all time.


Cracked lists candies you hated getting every Halloween.


WXPN's World Cafe has Okkervil River in the studio for an interview and performance.


The Philadelphia City Paper interviews Deerhoof drummer Greg Saunier.


nyctaper is sharing his excellent recording of John Vanderslice's New York show from earlier this month.


The Guardian asks, "Who is your literary crush."


The Nation interviews author Kelly Link.

You're a short story writer. Do people always want to know when you're going to write a novel, or why you haven't written one yet?

Yes. Part of me thinks it's a reasonable question, and I also think, Well, if you like the short stories, shouldn't you ask for more short stories? I don't think there's any guarantee that I would write novels that work in the same way the stories work. I don't think I have the skill set yet. I would love to write a novel, but mostly because it seems like a shame not to try to do something that a lot of people want you to do. I feel sort of like a coward every time I start a short story. But I think I will always love short stories. I'm more excited by short story collections in general--a lot of the editing or anthology work I do is based around the short story. I love novels. Some of my best friends are novels! But I really love short stories best.


On Saturday, there will be a Day of the Dead Beats poetry reading in St. Louis.


The Independent gets authors' opinions on the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

Dave Eggers adds: "We're about to elect a guy who pretty much arrived 30 or 40 years sooner than most people expected. So maybe we're being catapulted forward into the future in a way that our imaginations will need to catch up with."


The Dubuque Telegraph Herald profiels singer-songwriter Pieta Brown.


NPR's Talk of the Nation excerpts from John Updike's new novel, The Widows of Eastwick and talks to the author about the book.


Prefix wonders if the mp3 blog era is ending with Blogger recently deleting posts containing mp3s.


NPR lists a musical guide to Canada.


IGN lists the 10 creepiest guitar riffs.


Radus is a combination online video hub and social network.


Myriad Issues is a comics blog by the senior editor of Comic Foundry Magazine.


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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