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January 6, 2009

Shorties (Animal Collective, Hype Machine 2008 Zeitgeist, and more)

Billboard profiles Animal Collective.

Instead of drawing on direct influences, Animal Collective makes albums with a connection to places in mind. "We usually try to connect to outdoor environments, and there was something about this that was harking back to the time where we would be outside, in backyards, listening to music on a boombox," Portner says. "Because that's how we really grew up and got attached to listening to music together."

Yesterday's additions to the "best of 2008" online book lists include Publishers Weekly's best audiobooks.

Yesterday's additions to the "best of 2008" online music lists include Paper Street Cinema's worst albums and Merry Swanksters favorite songs of the year.

The Globe and Mail reviews the Oxford American's annual music issue (and its accompanying 2 CDs).

Certainly there's romanticism to scratchy LPs, tape hiss and hold-in-your-hands reading material, but there's more at play than the notion that old music is better music. Sure, Allan Lowe, with his piece on late sixties artsy roots-rockers Hampton Grease Band, touches on the virtues on analog tape and tube amplifiers. But he and many others explore the notion that with a passage of time comes an understanding of what the old music (or the music of one's youth) can come to mean. The separation of years carries with it abilities of wider reflection.

The Telegraph discusses the revival of the 7" single.

According to a BBC report, as the 7" single reaches its 60th anniversary, sales of this antiquated object that requires specialist equipment (ie a record player) have been steadily increasing. Well, they have stopped declining anyway. From a low of under 180,000 annual single sales in 2001, they have crept back up past the million mark. It's a long way from their sales heyday of 1979, when 89 million 7-inch singles crossed the record store (remember them?) counter, but it suggests something is afoot.

Singer-songwriter-cartoonist Jeffrey Lewis contributes a comic to the New York Times' Measure for Measure blog.

Flocabulary is a program that encourages the use of hip-hop in the classroom.

Reading Trails is a new social network for book lovers.

Daytrotter's Monday session features in-studio mp3s from Death Vessel.

LAist interviews singer-songwriter Theresa Andersson.

The Associated Press reports that Scribner will publish Laura Bush's memoir.

The Arizona Republic lists six novels that use the state as a backdrop.

Newsarama asks comics insiders about the biggest opportunity in the firld in 2009.

Musebin is a new website that offers one line music news and reviews.

The Hype Machine has begun posting its music blog zeitgeist of 2008, which includes the top artists, albums, and songs of the year.

Amazon is still selling digital downloads of its top 50 albums 0f 2008 for $5 each.

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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