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December 3, 2008

Shorties (Commandments of Year-End Music List Making, Alison Bechdel, and more)

Yesterday's additions to the "best of 2008" online book lists include The Millions' Year in Reading writer choices and the Harvard Bookstore's "Harvard Hundred."


Yesterday's additions to the "best of 2008" online music lists include JamsBio's breakout acts of 2009, Prefix readers' best albums, and Yer Mam!'s top songs of the year.

The perfect gift for a comics fan (like me)? Original art panels from the Comic Art Collective, where 100% of the purchase price goes directly to the artist.


At Penguin's website, authors list the books they are giving (and want to receive) for the holidays.


Pretty Much Amazing offers the 10 commandments of year-end music list making.


The Guardian's books blog explains the fine art of literary rejection letters.


John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats talks songwriting with the Courier Mail.

So people who take four years to make an album?

"It's pathetic! Get out of the way and let somebody who wants the job do it. If you showed up for five days a week three years in a row and said, 'I can't put down these bricks today, I'm not feeling it', you would be fired."


Metromix Los Angeles profiles Friendly Fires.

Friendly Fires combine big, anthemic choruses; nervy, angular guitars; dreamy shoegaze atmospheres; and hot-footed dance beats.


Threadless is holding its annual holiday sale $5 t-shirt sale.


Songbird, the open source music player and browser, is out of beta and has released version 1.0.


The New York Times reviews and excerpts from Alison Bechdel's new anthology, The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For.

The most important thing to know about “The Essential Dykes to Watch Out For,” however, is how deeply amusing it is. It crackles with one-liners. Log Cabin Republicans, one character intones, dream about “skinny-dipping at the Bohemian Grove with George Will.” During sex play, one woman says: “I’ll be the Lexus lesbian with a flat tire, and you be the surly biker who stops to help.” When a boy with two mommies leaves the house for a soccer game, one says to him, “No kicking.” His reply: “Not even the ball?”


Daytrotter's Wednesday session features mp3s from Takka Takka's in-studio performance.


Five Chapters is serializing a new short story by Katie Chase.


The Utne Reader interviews author Dave Eggers.

You don’t hole yourself up in a rarefied literary world, but instead get out in the real world and meet real people. Is it more fun out there?

“I tried the more cloistered writery life, and I guess I realized it wasn’t for me. It works really well for a lot of people, but I was going a bit nutty just thinking my important literary thoughts all day. I have no doubt it’s a Catholic guilt thing, but the fact that I can make a living writing books seems to underline the essential inequity of the world. My parents worked very hard all their lives, and I think they would have looked askance at me if I was just sitting alone in a room all day, writing a book every few years and not doing much else.”


SF Weekly tells the story of Von Iva's casting in the new Jim Carrey/Zooey Deschanel film, Yes Man.


LAist Interviews John Dragonetti of The Submarines.

Do you have any advice for struggling LA bands who are just starting out?

(Laughs) Never move to LA to be in a band. Young bands put up with all kinds of crap just to be heard. Like the pay to play clubs. Fortunately the Submarines happened in the sensible stage of my career. I’m not going to put up with some of the crap that I would have when I was younger.


Mashable pits streaming music services Pandora and Last.fm against each other in a feature comparison.


Amazon offers a 10-track sampler from Vice Records as a free mp3 download. The album features two tracks each from Japanese Motors, King Khan & The Shrines, Chromeo, and a single track from the Black Lips and Dark Meat.


NPR praises author Roberto Bolano.

While all of Bolano's books are interesting, three knocked me out. By Night in Chile is a lacerating little novel about a literary-minded priest who backed General Pinochet's dictatorship. The Savage Detectives is the great Mexico City novel, a freewheeling tale about a group of young poets known as the Visceral Realists. And then there's his latest: 2666, superbly translated by Natasha Wimmer, is a magnum opus about, well, almost everything.


Laundromatinee features a video in-studio session by Langhorne Slim, complete with mp3 downloads.


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)
weekly music & DVD release lists

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