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November 16, 2008

Shorties (British Sea Power, John Updike, and more)

The lists of the online "best music of 2008" lists and online "best books of 2008" lists have been updated.

The Chicago Tribune examines the resurgence of interest in live music albums.

The Times Online has members of British Sea Power compare music videogames (Wii Music and Guitar Hero).

"I didn’t think Interpol songs were this easy,” says Yan in a discreet tone, but the frontman’s confidence is premature. An ambitious foray into the Beastie Boys’ 1986 classic No Sleep Till Brooklyn results in a humbling 6% completion rate. “Okay, the Beasties are beyond us — we know our place in the world,” he concedes.

John Updike explains the challenges of an aging writer at AARP's magazine.

I do not mean to complain. Old age treats freelance writers pretty gently. There is no compulsory retirement at the office, and no athletic injuries signal that the game is over for good. ... A writer's fan base, unlike that of a rock star, is post-adolescent, and relatively tolerant of time's scars ...

io9 lists 5 reasons that Neil Gaiman's The Sandman changed the world.

The Los Angeles Times reviews Jonathan Lethem's comics collection, Omega the Unknown.

The story has too many strands to summarize, including infectious robots, school bullies, a sentient statue, a fake superhero called the Mink and a race of ubermen (the Omegas) sent to protect truth, justice and the American way. That, however, is what makes it so much fun.

USA Today lists the bestselling books of the past 15 years.

Green Left reviews Spain Rodriguez's Che: A Graphic Biography, the most informative graphic novel I have read all year.

Obviously, this is a far from comprehensive biography, given its short nature. Rodriguez does remarkably well to include as much background information as he does, although in some sections his analysis seems oversimplified. But as a general overview of Che’s life, this book fares very well.

The Allentown Morning Call reviews an R. Crumb art exhibit in Philadelphia.

''R. Crumb's Underground'' at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia is a perversely pummeling retrospective of the graphic cartoonist's gods, demons and enemies. It left me feeling zapped by a brilliant alien.

NPR's Weekend Edition interviews Salvatore Scibona about her debut novel, The End (which is a finalist for the National Book Award).

One of my favorite indie music sites, nyctaper, is looking for photographers and tapers.

NPR is streaming Electric Arguments, the Fireman album featuring Paul McCartney.

Happy people spend more time reading and socializing, while unhappy people watch more television, according to this study. (via)

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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