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November 9, 2008

Shorties (Previously on Lost, Sci-fi Songs, and more)

The Washington Post profiles the band, Previously on Lost.

Suddenly, a band that draws its source material from smoke monsters and actor Matthew Fox's ability to flash a sly wink finds itself with blogosphere buzz, a smattering of live gigs (including one tonight at Iota in Arlington and another tomorrow at the Kennedy Center), and a reputation as perhaps the best-known (though not the only) recap rock band in America.

The Los Angeles Times examines the current intersection between books and the internet.

The Newark Star-Ledger lists eight recently published books for Abraham Lincoln aficionados.

U2 Start is a fan community that offers over 1,000 live show downloads by the Irish band.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reviews Best American Comics 2008, edited by Lynda Barry.

Barry's insight informs her selections. Last year's edgy edition was engaging, but burdened by the angst and indulgence of autobiographical and experimental pieces. Maybe because Barry is not part of the Angry Boys Club, her choices open rich worlds built more on narrative and the complexity of relationships and observation.

HueDoo is a forum expressly for comics colorists.

My Secret Playlist has musicians share their current favorite songs/albums.

Sci-fi Songs is a music blog combining science fiction and music.

The Times Online profiles Toni Morrison.

She is black America’s most famous author, but instead of being compared with other African-American writers, she is usually grouped with fellow Nobel laureates, such as Saul Bellow. Does she believe her novels have transcended race and gender? “Yes, that’s probably true.” A Mercy, her ninth novel, is set in 1680s America, when the slave trade was still in its infancy. At the heart of the novel is the story of a mother and a daughter - a mother who has cast off her daughter in order to save her, and a daughter struggling to exorcise her abandonment.

The Financial Times has lunch with Morrison.

Attempts to marginalise her have failed; Morrison's novels have a mass appeal that is perhaps surprising, given that her books are anything but easy reading. The narrative seeps through the prose and can be hard to follow; you often have to read pages, even whole sections, again; the writing has a beautiful, slow rhythm but this also makes it hard to break out of to read faster. Morrison smiles: "Readers say, 'Your books are so hard'; I say, 'I have no words in there you don't understand.' "

The Times Online examines the literary decline of John Updike since his novel, Couples.

Has the reputation of any novelist fallen quite so far and so quickly as that of John Updike? Thirty years ago, he was at least the equal of Philip Roth and Saul Bellow, and maybe even a good few notches above Roth. Bellow’s matt-grey seriousness, to be fair, has also fallen quite sharply as a commodity — whereas Roth keeps on rising with every novel, perhaps because his best work has been written since he hit pensionable age. Updike has been prolific of late, for sure, but his novels, for the past quarter of a century, have been greeted by the critics with a sigh and a knowing nod of the head: uh-oh, it’s him again.

The Times Online also features a new short story by Updike.

Japan Times reviews Guy Delisles excellent graphic novel, Burma Chronicles.

This witty and incisive graphic novel draws on the 14 months in 2005-06 when Guy Delisle accompanied his wife on a posting in Burma with Doctors Without Borders. Delisle, who has also published graphic novels about North Korea and China, mines the everyday life and experiences of an expatriate, often shared with his infant Louis. Even from within a relatively comfortable cocoon, Delisle helps readers understand what it means to live under an incompetent but scary dictatorship.

TechCrunch examines the "360" music deals some major labels require for new bands.

Bronfman argued to a hostile crowd that it doesn’t make sense for labels to pour money into artist development when CD sales, their primary source of revenue, continue to decline (although he did say that digital sales now make up 20% of their revenue). Without other ways to make money from an artist, he said, they wouldn’t continue to promote artists.

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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