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December 17, 2008

Shorties (Charlie Louvin, Mike Doughty, and more)

Yesterday's additions to the "best of 2008" online book lists include Some Velvet Blog's best books and Julie's Health Club's greatest health books.

Yesterday's additions to the "best of 2008" online music lists include Cover Me's best cover songs and I Rock Cleveland's top albums.

The Wall Street Journal profiles legendary singer-songwriter Charlie Louvin and his new album, Charlie Louvin Sings Murder Ballads and Disaster Songs.

The album is his second of 2008; in September, he released "Steps to Heaven" (Tompkins Square), a gospel recording. On both, it's evident that Mr. Louvin's voice has aged: Now it's a fragile instrument that quavers tenderly as he sings soft and thoughtfully, the lyrics guiding his delivery, vocal harmonies rising to accompany him. As guitars and fiddles flit around him, his quiet intensity is both soothing and arresting.

Decider Madison gets holiday gift book suggestions from independent bookstores.

The Guardian's books blog examines bands with literary names.

The Telegraph lists the best Christmas pop songs of all time.

Five Chapters features new short fiction by David Bajo this week.

The New York Daily News gets reactions to the state's possible tax on music downloads.

Mike Doughty talks to PopMatters about his MSNBC addiction.

For his part, Doughty calls himself an “obsessive MSNBC watcher” but cautions that he’s “not looking for inspiration.” I asked him whether he thinks anyone on MSNBC enjoys his music. “I think Rachel Maddow does,” Doughty said, perking up. “I was invited on her radio show a couple of times in the past. Each time something real happened in the world she had to cancel me for. Something of actual political interest. You know when they’re booking a singer-songwriter on a political show that it’s a slow news week,” he laughed. offers a free and legal digital jazz sampler from Koch Records.

Degree Directory lists literary podcasts worth listening to, but misses the genre's shining star, The Bat Segundo Show.

Daytrotter's Wednesday session features Crooked Fingers.

Metromix Los Angeles interviews Amanda Palmer.

One of my favorite things about this album is that there’s a lot of studio chatter. I love hearing the sounds and conversations of the studio between songs—not enough records do that anymore.

Yeah, I really love album segue-ways. Even if they make no sense and you have no idea what it is…there’s just something about it that cushions the record in a little bit more of an atmosphere, in a world. I like anything that does that. I think that’s also why I’ve become prone to leave in my “Amanda grunts” and groans as I’m playing that I used to edit out. I just leave them on now.

Neko Case talks to CHARTattack about writing songs for her forthcoming album.

"I was about five songs in when I realized four of the five songs had tornado references, and one of them was 'This Tornado Loves You,' which was what if a tornado fell in love with you?" Case says. "What does a tornado's love look like? It's probably pretty dangerous."

The Independent wonders if videogames can save the music industry.

Publishers Weekly profiles Akashic's successful Noir series.

Don't tell Akashic Books publisher Johnny Temple that anthologies don't sell. Akashic's Noir series—moody crime volumes, each set in a particular city—is up to 28 titles, with more on the way. The books sell well, attract foreign rights interest and help to brand the Brooklyn indie house around the country and the world. The press plans to release new books set in Rome and San Francisco in January, and Temple has announced that acclaimed novelists Edwidge Danticat and Dennis Lehane have agreed to guest edit upcoming Noir volumes set in Haiti and Boston, respectively.

Minnesota Public Radio's The Current has Golden Animals in the studio for an in-studio session and interview.

nyctaper shares mp3s of Pylon's recent NYC perfoprmance.

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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