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November 11, 2008

Shorties (Grizzly Bear, Mountain Goats, and more)

The New York Times reviews And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks, the collaborative novel of Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs.

The novel itself, a sort of murder mystery written in 1945 when the authors were unpublished and unknown, is a flimsy piece of work — repetitious, flat-footed and quite devoid of any of the distinctive gifts each writer would go on to develop on his own.


Author Ian McEwan talks to Wales Online about his opera, For You.

The Booker Prize-winner, famed for his dark plotlines, says he believes writing an opera is like writing a short novel: “The characters are established very quickly. There’s a strong central plot line with little branching sub-plots."


WRAL interviews Rolf Klausener of The Acorn.

How do you describe your sound?

600 mature, recently-fed bison, dropped simultaneously from an altitude of 1000 feet onto an unsuspecting gathering of basket-weavers and child psychologists in the Mission District of San Francisco.


PopMatters interviews Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne about the band's film, Christmas on Mars (out on DVD today).


FirstShowing.net has six posters from the Watchmen film.


The Book Design Review is a blog dedicated to book design.


Daytrotter is sharing an in-studio session with Audrye Sessions.


Wowow has a 12-cam video of Radiohead's October 5th show streaming online, and you can toggle between the cameras as the show progresses.


At NPR's Weekend Edition, Young Jeezy and a professor discuss the effects Barack Obama's U.S. presidential election victory will have on hip hop.


The Phoenix interviews Gregg Gillis of Girl Talk.

WHENEVER I COULDN'T QUITE PLACE A SAMPLE, I'D CHECK THE "CHEAT LIST" ON WIKIPEDIA OR WHATEVER.

It was hilarious, actually. We were up all night trying to prepare the release of [Feed the Animals], and I put it online at six in the morning. I was uploading songs to MySpace, and by the time the second song had been uploaded, the Wikipedia page had already started and people were listening to samples. Literally within the first hour the album hit, people were firing up on the Wikipedia page trying to identify everything.


Finland's FREE! Magazine interviews Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers.

Would you like to write something else other than a song?

I have two screenplays I have been working on, but I don’t like them enough to show them and finish them. I might write a book some day, if I have the time. I would love to. Even if it is just a book about our experiences on the road. That could be a pretty fun book. But I am amazed of the people that can write a book, though. I can’t image how difficult it can get. The book I’m reading right now [Corman McCarthy’s The Road]. I can’t imagine sitting down and writing that. I can’t imagine being in the frame of mind for long enough to write something like that.


Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn talks to the Toronto Star about religion and his music.

"The concepts of forgiveness and redemption keep coming up," says Finn, who took theological classes while studying communications at Boston College. "No matter what you believe, it's hard for me to imagine there are people who think those are ugly concepts."


The Brooklyn Rail reviews Jonathan Ames & Dean Haspiel's graphic novel, The Alcoholic.

While bodily fluids erupt on about every third page, most typically they take the form of tears. This is the story of a quirky, broken life that our endearing protagonist keeps trying to piece together.


TIME calls Robert Bolano's novel, 2666, "the best book of 2008."

The 898 pages of 2666 are divided into five parts, and it will give you some idea of the book's tone, rigorously literary and ridiculously informal at the same time, to know that those parts are titled "The Part about Fate," "The Part about the Crimes" and so on, as if they were Friends episodes. (The flawless translation, by Natasha Wimmer, is appropriately loose and relaxed.)


The Brooklyn Rail interviews Sean Wilsey, co-editor of State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America.

Rail: What writers turned you down?

Wilsey: [Laughs] J.D. Salinger. I attempted to get in touch with him through his son, and had the door firmly shut, but politely. Franzen initially said he couldn’t do a state because he had another book due, so we asked Don DeLillo to do New York. He wrote back saying that he couldn’t write something that didn’t originate in “my own dim interior.” Thomas Pynchon said no, but recommended we talk to Annie Proulx about the difference between Iowa and Minnesota, weirdly enough.


AfterEllen offers several excerpts from Alison Bechdel's new book, The Essential Dyles to Watch Out For.


Drowned in Sound interviews Grizzly Bear frontman Ed Droste about the band's next album.

After the success of the Friend EP, and its guest covers, are you planning on getting your friends like Beirut and Dirty Projectors involved on the new album? Or is it going to be solely a Grizzly Bear affair?

Other than Nico Muhly, and perhaps a guest backing vocal from Victoria Legrand of Beach House on 'Two Weeks' it will be largely a Grizzly Bear-only album. I've got to tell you, though, I'm infinitely more excited and proud of this record than Yellow House, I think we all are. Don't get me wrong, we all have a soft spot for that record but we were ready for a new album and a bit of a change. I feel strongly about every track we've chosen for the new album, and just can't wait for it to be finally done and to get back on the road to support it.


The Indie Band Survival Guide has a useful website for musicians.


NPR's All Songs Considered lists 2008 albums that are the year's overlooked gems.


nyctaper shares mp3s of the Mountain Goats' New York performance at Webster Hall Sunday evening.


MInnesota Public Radio's The Current features three great sets of streaming interviews and in-studio sessions from Blitzen Trapper, Eagles of Death Metal, and Peter Adams.


NPR is streaming Conor Oberst's performance from last night.


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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