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November 24, 2008

Shorties (Axl Rose, Alison Bechdel, and more)

RIP Guy Peellaert, who designed the album covers for the Rolling Stones' It's Only Rock 'n' Roll and David Bowie's Diamond Dogs.

In Omaha, doctors are using writing as a tool to help them practice medicine better.

"Writing about it forces you to focus on the details about the person," said Kang, an internal medicine physician at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. "It (helps) me humanize and personalize an illness."

Den of Geek! lists the top 5 writer's block movies.

PopMatters examines the pop culture icon that is Axl Rose.

Amazon is selling digital downloads of the new Killers album, Day & Age, for $3.99.

SingsBOX builds embeddable online music playlists.

Danielle Steele was Ethan Canin's mentor? That's news to me...

The Bat Segundo literary podcast features interviews with Alison Bechdel, Porochista Khakpour, and David Rees.

In other news, the podcast is offering 3 DVDs filled with its first 250 podcasts for $50.

This week NPR's Morning Edition is talking to three authors about "becoming American," the first is Junot Diaz.

nyctaper shares another excellent show by The Loom.

Daytrotter's Monday session features in-studio mp3s from F*cked Up.

Southern Shelter has mp3s of last week's live performances by Centro-matic and South San Gabriel.

Joyce Carol Oates talks about her writing career with the San Diego Union-Tribune.

“I think of myself as a wholly American writer in the tradition, however our styles may vary, of Melville, Poe, Twain, Dreiser, Faulkner, Hemingway – holding a kind of mirror to our lives that, despite its idiosyncratic distortions, is an authentic reflection of our lives.”

In the Telegraph, Margaret Atwood examines the importance of the Paris Review to her (and other authors).

Finally, as many have said, these interviews are a great encouragement to other writers, especially at moments of wavering faith. Why am I doing such an eccentric thing as writing? Is it just undigested neurosis? Why spend all day in a room, in the company of a bunch of people who don't really exist? What good does it do the world? Isn't it unhealthy? Why waste the paper? Every writer has such thoughts from time to time, and to know that others have had them too is reassuring: I am not the only one who has viewed the page with loathing. Not only that, but there's no obvious positive correlation between good writing and commercial success - good does not equal profitable - but on the other hand, there isn't a negative one - profitable does not equal bad. It's reassuring to know that anyone who's kept at it over time has written a few clunkers. And sometimes - not always, but sometimes - the writer knows quite well which ones those are. But look: the clunkers are survivable, we find in these accounts of writing lives, because after some defeating piece that, despite endless rewriting, never quite came right, there will be a clear masterwork. And that too is encouraging.

io9 lists 12 comic book shows that were never made.

In the New York Times, Ry Cooder visits the Mojave desert.

New York Magazine reviews one of the more interesting sports books of the year, The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac.

Free Darko’s new book, The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac, promises to be a bible for the overeducated basketball junkie. It isolates a handful of the current NBA’s most intriguing stylists (Kobe, LeBron, Yao Ming) and subjects them to a sustained flurry of unorthodox methodology.

also at Largehearted Boy:

Online "best of 2008" music lists
Online "best of 2008" book lists
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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