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January 18, 2009

Shorties (Antony and the Johnsons, Jay McInerney, and more)

The Guardian reviews the new Antony and the Johnsons album, The Crying Light (out Tuesday).

Hegarty has simply switched perspectives, swapping the bittersweet introspection of I Am a Bird Now for a more extrovert approach. It's as if all that acclaim has allowed him to relax and consider something beyond his own neurosis, the spine of the album being a series of ballads about the environment, Another World, Daylight the Sun and Everglade.


Newsday ponders the effect the Obama presidency will have on hip-hop.

Jeff Chang, hip-hop historian and author of "Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation," says the change has already begun. "We've already seen this really interesting explosion of music last year - if not creativity, period - around the Obama campaign," Chang says. "I think that's where people's heads are at now - 'We have to raise our game now. This guy raised his game. We all have to raise ours.'"


Sign On San Diego profiles author Geraldine Brooks, whose latest novel People of the Book has just been released in paperback.


Author Benjamin Percy talks to the Bend Bulletin about the film adaptation of his short story, "Refresh, Refresh."


Metromix Los Angeles lists bands to watch in 2009.


The Boston Globe profiles Department of Eagles and compares the band with Daniel Rossen's other outfit, Grizzly Bear.

To be fair, there are certainly similarities between the two bands, mostly in the densely textured song structures and cinematic sweep of the music. But Rossen says the material he writes for Department of Eagles, at least on "In Ear Park," tends to be more personal. The new songs didn't seem like a good fit for Grizzly Bear.


The Guardian interviews Bruce Springsteen about his new album, Working on a Dream (out January 27th).


In the Guardian, Bret Easton Ellis recommends crime books everyone should read,


The Times Online profiles guitarist Johnny Marr's professorial side.

It wasn’t just that Marr had apparently “turned to the dark side”, as one blogger put it, that proved so controversial. It is his belief that teaching is the way forward. “One interviewer said to me, ‘Isn’t it a contradiction in terms to come to university to learn how to be a rocker?’ That’s such an outdated, old-fashioned paradigm. To them, true ‘rockers’ are supposed to be hanging about on the streets in leather jackets, throwing bricks through windows. It’s a cliche. We’ve grown and moved on a long way.


The Independent reviews Jay McInerney's new short story collection, The Last Bachelor (published as How It Ended in the US).

I've often found McInerney, at novel length, too much the swimming pool of vodka. But the short story is the perfect measure for his brand of beautifully distilled prose and dry sophistication. Each tale here has a clever little kick. And each comes with a twist.


Variety reports that the film adaptation of Michael Chabon's The Mysteries of Pittsburgh will be in theaters nationwide this spring.


In the Guardian, author Sebastian Faulks shares his writing room.


Maple Leaves is an online Jens Lekman fan community.


Viva Les Bootlegs shares live show mp3s, including performances by the Cure, Pink Floyd, and others.


NPR's All Things Considered excerpts from Barry Unsworth's new novel, Land of Marvels and talks to the author.


Daytrotter's Saturday session features in-studio mp3s from Minipop. The Sunday session features TK Webb & the Visions.


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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