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December 9, 2008


Yesterday's additions to the "best of 2008" online book lists include Salon's books of the year and the Independent's best graphic novels.

Yesterday's additions to the "best of 2008" online music lists include Aquarium Drunkard's favorite songs, PopMatters' best songs, and betterPropoganda's top artists of the decade.

Free mp3 downloads at at include holiday songs by Rosie Thomas and Blitzen Trapper.

In the New Yorker, Sasha Frere-Jones discusses his favorite songs and albums of the year.

Blur is reuniting for a July London performance (and possibly more shows).

The Jerusalem Post profiles "rock's indie superman," Ken Stringfellow.

Not only is he maintaining a thriving indie solo career as one of rock's most innovative songwriters and performers, he's also juggling tours for The Posies, the acclaimed Seattle alternative pop band he cofounded with Jon Auer in the late 1980s; The Disciplines, his current band with three Norwegian musicians; Big Star, the reformed '70s power pop legend and Posies inspiration led by Alex Chilton; and numerous production dates for up-and-coming European and American bands. And to think, until a few years ago, he was also a semi-permanent fixture in REM's touring and recording band.

The Louisvile Courier Journal profiles Ra Ra Riot.

Best described as energetic chamber pop, Ra Ra Riot is often compared to Canadian indie favorites the Arcade Fire, who hit the Billboard top-10 last year. While Ra Ra Riot's music is more demure -- and its lyrics more irreverent -- than the epic Montreal band. The subtle differences make Ra Ra Riot less stuffy and more accessible. It's the dramatic hooks, clean vocals and lush instrumentation -- cello and violin -- that make the bands similar.

PopMatters from Rebels Wit Attitude: Subversive Rock Humorists by Iain Ellis.

The New York Times reviews recently released winter holiday albums.

Daytrotter's Tuesday session features in-studio mp3s from Fertile/Flying Crescent.

NPR is streaming a recent Matthew Sweet live performance.

The Confabulum lists 10 modern novels worth reading again.

Austin360's Music Source blog interviews Uglysuit's Jonathan Martin.

The Seattle Post Intelligencer interviews Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla.

The Los Angeles Times' Pop & Hiss blog debates who is the best bar band.

CNET's Webware blog lists the top 5 online music streaming services.

Spin lists the top 5 San Francisco bands.

The Stereogum Gummy readers' poll awards have been announced.

NPR is streaming an eclectic holiday mix.

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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