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November 12, 2008

Shorties (Fleet Foxes, John Hodgman, and more)

Crawdaddy! profiles singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan.

The New Yorker's Book Bench blog interviews author/actor John Hodgman.

B.B.: Is it difficult to come up with fake facts instead of real ones? Did anyone fact-check your book? What’s your opinion, generally, of fact checkers? (This post may be fact-checked.)

HODGMAN: Creating fake facts does require a measure of haphazard research, insofar as they need to not just possible, but also interesting. You need to know, for example, that Alexander Hamilton really did want there to be a King of America before you can claim that he wanted Washington to wear a crown of tomatoes and live in a palatial National Bank. But it is usually enough to rely upon the half-truths you already know—the urban legends and, well, trivia that you’ve picked up over your life. Only occasionally do I have to turn to actual books of real trivia in order to figure out how to smartly falsify it. “The Book of Lists” was a great influence on my first book. Obviously, “The Book of Lists 2” came in handy this time.

The Globe and Mail profiles Joseph Boyden's Giller prize-winning novel, Three Day Road.

This year's jury - Margaret Atwood, a Giller winner in 1996, federal Liberal leadership hopeful Bob Rae and Irish author/critic Colm Toibin, the first non-Canadian juror in the Giller's 15-year history - lauded the book "for its spare prose style that ranges from lyrical to brutal ... and that shows us unforgettable characters and a northern landscape in a way we have never seen before."

The Guardian lists the 147 books longlisted for the Impac Dublin prize (for fiction published in English).

Boise Weekly interviews Tad Kubler of the Hold Steady about the band's musical influences.

"We all grew up with punk rock. I think it's less so in musical influences than maybe how we conduct ourselves," Kubler said. "This is the longest I've gone in an interview without it coming up, but I don't think we sound that much like the E Street Band [best known for playing with Bruce Springsteen]."

CMJ Relay profiles the Delicious Vinyl record label.

Delicious Vinyl T-shirts have become really popular. Why do you think they’re selling so well?

The logo is just one of those classic brands that make people happy. It’s really nice to see the shirts everywhere. LeBron James was wearing his at the Olympics this summer. We recently created a few offshoots of the logo, including a Gold Delicious Rmxxology shirt and of course the Delicious Gutter
shirt, and they’re all really fun.

La Blogotheque features another amazing Takeaway Show, this one featuring Fleet Foxes.

The Daily Cross Hatch interviews cartoonist Charles Burns.

JamsBio lists the 25 best album-closing tracks.

Daytrotter features four in-studio tracks by Tim Fite.

LAist interviews Justin Rice of Bishop Allen.

What is your writing process like?

Justin:A lot of the germs for songs will come from traveling or wandering around New York. Christian and I split time at our rehearsal space. Christian goes in in the morning, and then I join him in the afternoon and play at night. It’s great. Our studio is like a mad scientist laboratory.

The Breeders' KIm Deal talks to the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Publishers Weekly reports that Nam Le has won the Dylan Thomas Book Prize for his wonderful short fiction collection, The Boat. lists 5 guitar bands you should know.

Amazon offers the 14-track Daptone Records sampler, This Is Daptone Records, as a free download.

San Diego CityBeat profiles Minus the Bear.

So, let’s set the record straight. Minus the Bear used to have wacky song titles, yes, but it wasn’t gimmickry—just offbeat humor (even the band’s name is an inside joke alluding to ’80s TV show B.J. and the Bear). Minus the Bear isn’t math rock or emo, though the band does pack rhythmic complexity (finger-tapped guitar melodies, intricate drumbeats) and emotion (spitted vocals) into proggy, electronica-enhanced indie rock.

Inside Higher Ed gets reading suggestions for U.S, president-elect Barack Obama from college professors.

WKSU interviews Janis Ian about her autobiography, Society's Child: My Autobiography.

see also: Ian's Largehearted Boy Book Notes music playlist for the book

Topless Robot lists the sci-fi and fantasy books that "most desperately need movies."

IGN lists 10 great punk rock singers.

Maximo Park frontman Paul Smith talks to Drowned in Sound about the band's forthcoming third album.

How do you feel your sound has evolved between this and the last album?

I think we've learned lessons from each of the other two records, as you'd expect. There's a buoyant, uplifting quality combined with a live rawness that gives us a fresh sound. The basic tracks were created a lot more spontaneously than ever before, but having worked hard on the arrangements, they still sound like a tight band. We wanted to make three pop records that had their own distinct atmosphere, which I think we've achieved. It would be dull to repeat ourselves, but there's a melodic, emotional element that remains our own.

NPR's All Things Considered lists three books for insomniacs.

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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