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November 26, 2008

Shorties (Julian Koster, Glasvegas, and more)

Decider interviews Julian Koster about his holiday album, The Singing Saw at Christmastime.

Decider: How did you get into playing the musical saw, and what makes it particularly good for Christmas music?

Julian Koster: When I was little, I had a dream that one walked into my bedroom and sang to me all by itself. When I grew a bit older, I saw the most wonderful old man with a saw singing in his lap near the Sheep’s Meadow in Central Park. I was and have been in love with the sound of their singing ever since, and I am grateful they sing for me as well. Most saws are children, and it feels to me their voices sing in the language angels might speak in. They sound like the memory of something you miss, or a story someone once told you, maybe your favorite uncle late one holiday evening.

The Detroit Metro Times lists the year's best music books.

TIME reviews The Pitchfork 500: Our Guide to the Greatest Songs from Punk to the Present.

Pitchfork 500's reviews have been pleasantly stripped of their supercilious phrases (well, for the most part — one critic sounds like a high school student thumbing through a thesaurus when he deems the 1983 hit "Relax" by Frankie Goes to Hollywood "Fellini-esque") and its tributes to popular songs are exquisite.

The Guardian's books blog examines the state of fiction in newspapers.

Amazon has five digital albums for sale for only $5:

Portishead's Third
The Walkmen's You & Me
Beck's Modern Guilt
The Dodo's Visiter
Coldplay's Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends

Ar Drowned in Sound, Paul Donoghue from Glasvegas shares five things he loves.

3. The X Files.

I'm a big sci-fi geek and get ribbed by the rest of the band regularly for this. Don't care though, it's an amazing show. You can't help but think there is serious conspiracies going on. But Obama is in power now so if there's anyone the aliens are gonna like, it would be him.

Conversational Reading finds clues to Thomas Pynchon's next novel, Inherent Vice, in Penguin's Summer 09 catalog.

Author Joseph O'Neill discusses his personal immigrant experience with NPR's Morning Edition.

The Times Online ponders who will be the next Poet Laureate.

The University of Texas has a new litblog.

Rachel Johnson shares her joy at winning the Bad Sex Award with the Guardian.

Johnson said it was an "absolute honour" to win, taking her place alongside former winners including Norman Mailer, Sebastian Faulks and Tom Wolfe. "I'm not feeling remotely grumpy about it. I know that men with literary reputations to polish might find it insulting," she said, "but if you've had a book published in the year any attention is welcome, even if it's slightly dubious attention of this sort."

LAist interviews Eric Earley of Blitzen Trapper.

Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch blog interviews Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gillard about the 10th anniversary of the band's Something About Airplanes album.

Autopia lists the 10 best songs about cars.

Mashable pits music recommendation websites Pandora and Mufin against each other.

Drowned in Sound interviews Mastodon's Brett Hinds.

Minnesota Public Radio's The Current has Calexico in the studio for an in-studio performance and interview.

At NPR's Weekend Edition, Brian Eno shares the benefits of singing.

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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