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January 27, 2009

Shorties (The Bird and the Bee, Guy Delisle, and more)

Amazon is selling the mp3 version of The Bird and the Bee's Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future album (released today) for only $3.99.

The Los Angeles Times reviews the album:

Building crisp pop imbibements that can stand up to several listens is no easy task, but the Bird and the Bee has found the trick: Complex melodies constructed of several simple, shiny parts, all revolving around George’s breathy voice, the calling card of a nocturnal party sprite who might be cooing her songs at a flirty soiree.

BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat examines the rise in popularity of band blogs.

The Miami Herald and Forbes review Azar Nafisi's latest memoir, Things I've Been Silent About.

Teen actress Emma Roberts talks about books with USA Today.

"Right now I'm reading A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. I liked the title and it's a period book. And Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris. I love Chuck Palahniuk as an author. I love Invisible Monsters. It's really twisted but really cool. I think he's amazing. My favorite book is The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky."

Decider Milwaukee interviews Muzzle of Bees music blogger, Ryan Matteson.

D: You’ve said that Muzzle Of Bees will no longer write about shows happening at the venues you work at. Does it ever get awkward reconciling being both a music blogger and a music PR guy?

RM: It’s just a matter of making sure that there’s definitely a line drawn between what I do on the website and what I do at the Pabst. I think that’s the best way to position it. As much as I’d love to talk about some of the great experiences I have at these shows, hopefully other people are in those crowds and can write about their feelings.

The Telegraph reviews Guy Delisle's graphic novel, Burma Chronicles.

Delisle’s style is as light and uncluttered as Hergé’s, and his wry humour has been compared to that of Bill Bryson. But he provides much more than entertainment: this is valuable and surprising first-hand reportage which demystifies the realities of existence in repressive countries where photography and journalism is heavily censored.

Daytrotter's Tuesday session features in-studio mp3's from Koufax.

The Scotsman profiles singer-songwriter Justin Townes Earle.

These grittily timeless qualities in Earle's music – as heard on last year's debut The Good Life, and mined further on his follow-up, Midnight at the Movies, due out in March – have certainly proved efficacious in distinguishing his sound from his father's more rock-oriented style, and winning him widespread plaudits in the American press.

USA Today reports that music festivals are adapting to the bad economy by offering layaway options for tickets.

Johns Hopkins Magazine profiles the two members of Matmos.

For compositional purposes they have recorded the flapping pelt of a rabbit, Daniel's wrist being burned by a cigarette, and an old mechanical adding machine. A microphone rubbing across human hair. Snails wagging their eye stalks across a laser beam that in turn changes the pitch of a light-sensitive theremin. Surf guitar, a classical string quartet, and the sampled sounds of plastic surgery. The latter resulted in what is surely the first-ever music derived from rhinoplasty.

The Tuscaloosa News shares author Richard Yates' ties to the city.

Gasping from an oxygen tank, but still stubbornly smoking, Yates came to Tuscaloosa in 1990 for a one-term endowed chair in writing at the University of Alabama. He stayed on afterward in part because the cost of living was low, depending on friends and graduate students to ensure he didn’t become a complete recluse.

NPR's Morning Edition examines how music videos are adapting with more people watching them online and on portable devices.

SPIN asks, "Is Animal Collective the new Moby?"

Chip Kidd talks to NPR's Day to Day about his book, Bat-Manga!.

SciFi Wire interviews Neil gaiman about the film adaptation of his book, Coraline.

Gaiman also talks to the New York Times about his young adult novel, The Graveyard Book, which won the Newbery Medal yesterday.

“You always have this Platonic beautiful ideal of a book in your head, and then you write something which isn’t as good as that,” he said. “The Graveyard Book’ is the first time I’ve had a Platonic ideal of a book and written the thing and looked at the book and said, ‘You know, I think you’re better than the thing I set out to write.’ ”

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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