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November 3, 2008

Shorties (TV on the Radio, William S. Burroughs & Jack Kerouac's Novel, and more)

Still undecided about the US presidential election? Browse through the Why Obama essays by authors and musicians, including Ayelet Waldman, Min Jin Lee, George Singleton, Alina Simone, Greg Saunier, and many others.


TV on the Radio frontman Tunde Adebimpe talks to the Independent.

This is something Adebimpe sees as intrinsic to the nature of the band when I meet them. "I can never understand why, when there is so much recorded music out there, that you would limit yourself," says Adebimpe. "If you just stick your head out you are going to be bombarded by all these different sounds and cultures. But it seems some people are just like, 'no I can't listen to that. That's not in the box'."


Paste's band of the week is Bears.

At first, the songs from Cleveland-based duo Bears sound casual and jaunty, exemplifying breezy pop that aspires to be nothing other than good-natured and agreeable. But there proves to be underlying hurt behind some of the lyrics. On "Wait and See," the band bemoans: "I can't take it / I give up / I knew that we were doomed right from the start." The relationship-minded songs are accompanied by sunny, toe-tapping arrangements, and it's a juxtaposition the duo embraces—as if if it take the good with the bad in equal stride, and hopes for the best at the end of it.


The New Yorker features new short fiction by Wells Tower, "Leopard."


Popmatters interviews Tom Morello.

3. The greatest album, ever?

Why that would be London Calling by The Clash. It combines rock fury, adventurous music, brilliant lyrics and a commitment to righteousness that has rarely been seen before or since. God Bless Joe Strummer.


Th Independent reviews And the Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks, the collaborative novel by Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs.

They wrote alternate chapters, Burroughs as "Will Dennison," a New York bartender, Kerouac as "Mike Ryko," described as "a 19-year-old, red-haired Finn, a sort of merchant seaman dressed in dirty khaki". While many of Burroughs' thematic interests and later obsessions – drugs, violent death, hustlers, gay sex, broken glass – are apparent from an early stage, the young Kerouac held his own against the chilly sage.


New Music Strategies ponders the devaluation of music in the digital age.


tunesBag backs up your digital music collection online.


Daytrotter features a live in-studio mp3s from Aesop Rock.


Gotham Acme interviews Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear about politics and the band's next album.

Q: Where are you in the process?

A : We have probably like a dozen songs, but we’ve only started recording about eight of them, and we’re working on even more new ones. So we’re really hoping to have like a surplus this time for B-sides and stuff. “Yellow House” was very much, like, we have the amount of songs and that’s what we used. There were no, extras. So this time we want to have extras that we can pick and choose from so that it’s not like this feeling of, oh, we only have ten songs, we have to release them all. And I think we’re going to have extras, so we’re excited about that.


The Daily Beast offers 10 ways to avoid hipster baby names.


io9 offers 10 science fiction alternatives to Obama/McCain.


Five Chapters is serializing new short fiction by Irina Reyn this week.


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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