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November 25, 2008

Shorties (Walkmen, Jhumpa Lahiri, and more)

Pitchfork interviews Hamilton Leithauser of the Walkmen.

Pitchfork: Many reviews of You & Me have noted that you seem to have a voice that is "older than your years." Do you feel older than your years? Or, perhaps even more broadly, are you starting to feel old?

HL: [laughs] I don't know. I'm 30 now. But I did like turning 30 more than I thought I would. When you're in your twenties you always think that 30 is a long ways off, and maybe you'll have things in line when you hit that number-- maybe own a house or be married. And when I finally got to 30, I'll admit that there was a little anxiety, but at the same time I actually really liked it. [Bandmate] Paul [Maroon] described turning 30 as finally feeling legitimized. I'm not really sure exactly what he meant, but I like the sound of it.

Frightened Rabbit is keeping a tour diary at Drowned in Sound.

Popdose lists its favorite singles of the past 50 years.

At NPR's Morning Edition author Jhumpa Lahiri explains her struggle to feel American.

nyctaper features an mp3 download of singer-songwriter Jeremy Messersmith's Saturday New York performance.

Daytrotter's Tuesday session features in-studio mp3s from Apollo Sunshine.

Singer-songwriter Josh Ritter impresses a writer for Ireland's Trinity News.

When we start talking about influences, Ritter tells me that he has lately been listening to jazz and soul, music that he hasn’t listened to before. It’s not clear, though, if his current playlist will affect the music he is making: “Sometimes you think you are influenced by something but then people don’t even hear that, and then sometimes they hear things you wouldn’t have heard yourself, things that you wouldn’t have noticed or realized that even influenced you. Like The Beatles always wanted only to play Chuck Berry, but they ended up playing The Beatles instead”, he says, and then swiftly continues asking me what kind of music I am listening to at the moment. So genuine and heartfelt is his interest that I’m left speechless for a while and then, after a moment of subconsciously deciding that he is the friendliest musician - no, actually the friendliest person - in the world, panickingly splutter out the words: “Mostly yours.” Josh Ritter really seems to appreciate his fans.

The Independent profiles Brandon Flowers of the Killers.

He's an odd bloke, is Mr Flowers – a 27-year-old, man-boy, Mormon dandy whose effete pronouncements ("I don't understand why more people don't wear sequins — they're wonderful under a spotlight") are at odds with the heterosexual competitiveness in his songs.

io9 calls Jack Heath's YA novel The Lab "a gateway drug to hard science fiction."

The Guardian's music blog explains why demo tapes still matter to both musicians and record labels.

The Los Angeles Times profiles the Hold Steady and the band's frontman, Craig Finn.

Lyrically, Finn, a Minneapolis native and veteran of the Twin Cities' thriving alt-rock scene, remains devoted to creating an ambitious, wry and densely layered take on American 21st century life -- and one that rewards repeated listenings. Which explains why Hold Steady fans can be particularly obsessive.

The Arizona Republic shares a Thanksgiving playlist of songs about Pilgrims and Indians.

The digital version of the Shins' Oh, Inverted World album is on sale for $3.99 at Amazon.

Wired explains how comics can save us from scientific ignorance.

NPR is streaming Neil Young's forthcoming live album, Sugar Mountain — Live At Canterbury House 1968 (out December 2nd).

Laundromatinee features a new video session with Film School.

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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