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December 4, 2008

Shorties

Geekdad lists tired Christmas songs as well as geeky alternatives.


PopMatters interviews Dean Ween.


Amazon is selling the mp3 version of The Muppets: A Green and Red Christmas album for 99 cents.


Pitchfork lists the top music videos of 2008.


http://drownedinsound.com/in_depth/4135885 rounds up new indie Christmas music releases.


nyctaper again comes through with mp3s of last week's They Might Be Giants NYC performance.


Daytrotter's Thursday session features mp3s from Shelley Short.

see also: Short's Largehearted Boy Note Books essay


My Old Kentucky Blog's holiday interview series is in full swing, and has already featured Cassie Ramone of Vivian Girls, Casey Dienel of White Hinterland, Rafter Roberts of Rafter, and Will Johnson of Centro-Matic (and many more).


At Writers Recommend, authors (Adrienne Rich, Diane Ackerman, Robert Pinsky, and others) recommend holiday gifts (books, of course).


In the Times Online, Patti Smith talks about the musicians who claim her as an influence.

“All these people, I listen to them and I can’t really hear any influence,” Smith frowns. “If they say we gave them any inspiration then I’m proud of that, but all these people have done great work. They were all supportive when I had to come back, because of fate, into the public eye.” Smith talks warmly of her musician friends, but she can be prickly if they breach her famously guarded personal boundaries. When Bono described her as “a sister, lover and mother” at a 1997 awards ceremony she snapped back: “I’m not your mother, Bono. Do your own dirty work. F*** you.” Afterwards she told NME, “I’m not up for grabs”.


CHARTattack interviews singer-songwriter Sondre Lerche.


Seattle Weekly lists seven "lost" albums that should never be found.

R.E.M.: Murmur (Martin Rushent Sessions)

That's the same Rushent who had just come off his career peak—Human League's 1981 synth-pop standard-bearer Dare. By the time the sessions for R.E.M.'s debut wrapped, good sense had prevailed, and the album was re-recorded minus the lip gloss and with garage-rocker Mitch Easter manning the boards. The rough mixes remain a coveted—if not cherished—bootleg among fans of the Athens, Georgia, legends.


The Deseret News lists the 10 worst holiday albums.


The New York Press profiles Don Caballero.

Though Don Cab is said to have pioneered the mathematical, clean-guitar-tone approach that became an indie hallmark in the wake of the band’s groundbreaking early work on Touch and Go records, few of the band’s peers pursued Che’s muse in quite the same fashion. Now the band’s sole remaining original member, Che has always favored an in-your-face drumming style that borders on audacious.Where other likeminded bands embraced subtle rhythmic complexity, Che opted instead to play the drums like an octopus hell-bent on showing off.That is, of course, what the fans know and love him for. For better or worse, Che presents the drums as a “lead” instrument. Undeniably, this is also one of the qualities that makes Don Cab’s work so rousing.


HotelChatter reports that NYC's Algonquin Hotel is offering its guests pre-loaded KIndle e-book readers.

The Algonquin has launched an "eBooks on Demand" program which offers Kindles pre-loaded with "a variety of best-sellers, modern classics" and even a few books written by the members of the hotels legendary Round Table (Fanny Herself by Edna Ferber, Love Conquers All by Robert Benchley). And if you request a book that isn't loaded on there, the hotel can add it for you.


KCRW's Bookworm features an interview with author Jonathan Carroll today.


The Nation reviews Roberto Bolano's 2666.

2666, like all of Bolano's work, is a graveyard. In his 1998 acceptance speech for the Rómulo Gallego's Prize, Bolaño revealed that in some way everything he wrote was "a letter of love or of goodbye" to the young people who died in the dirty wars of Latin America. His previous novels memorialized the dead of the 1960s and '70s. His ambitions for 2666 were greater: to write a postmortem for the dead of the past, the present and the future.


The first Guardian First Book Award went to Alex Ross for his book, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century.


Katy Perry makes a mixtape for Drowned in Sound.


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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