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January 28, 2009

Shorties (John Updike, Andrew Bird, and more)

RIP, John Updike (coverage from NPR, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, the New Yorker, the Telegraph, Financial Times, Martin Amis in the Guardian, the Times Online, the Associated Press San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Tribune)

Drowned in Sound interviews Magnolia Electric Co.'s Jason Molina.

DiS: Can you tell us more about the collaboration with Will Johnson [of Texan bands Centro-matic, and Dan’s Silverleaf]? I.e. what did you each bring to the table, and how the project came about?

Molina: That project was wonderful top to bottom. It was beautiful to be out under the Texas sky watching the season change. Writing was very seriously taken by Will and I. We wrote all the time and everyone involved put their back into it. There was no real plan for how the record had to be in the end. Will is a wonderful songwriter and musician and that was a starting point. The most important thing is that not a single record label was involved. He and I paid for everything and then sent the recordings out as if we were starting from scratch. We did the recordings in secret and sent out the first recordings to our friends and then to labels. Secretly Canadian records were on the phone the day they had it on their desk and I am proud that even outside of the formula of Magnolia/Ohia/Molina/Pyramid record-making this is a group that backs my projects. The songs on the Molina/Johnson record are some of Will's finest of all time.

Chordstrike lists the 100 greatest debut albums.

SloshSpot shares motivational posters featuring Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. quotations.

Daytrotter's Wednesday session features in-studio mp3s from DM Stith.

Fingertips offers a "free and legal mp3 manifesto" for the music industry.

The New York Times examines the ease of self-publishing.

Now, for as little as $3, an author can upload a manuscript or collection of photos to a Web site, and order a printed book within an hour. Many books will appear for sale on or the Web site of Barnes & Noble; others are sold through the self-publishing companies’ Web sites. Authors and readers order subsequent copies as needed.

The Village Voice profiles Matt and Kim.

Matt and Kim, the people, are Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino, two New England natives who studied at Pratt and met at a party. Matt and Kim, the band, are a party, an immensely likable clap-punk blast universally known for their boisterous live shows.

Preview the new Muxtape.

T-shirt of the day: "I Survived the Bush Administration: 2001-2009"

At Drowned in Sound Andrew Bird breaks down his new album, Noble Beast, track-by-track.

NPR's Mountain Stage features streaming performances by Nellie McKay and Mia Doi Todd.

The New York Observer explains why "young male writers love icky, tough guy deadbeats."

“Hard fought bitterness or acidity feels like it gives you a framework for a kind of angry comedy that is, if not necessarily cathartic, at least accommodating enough to encompass an entertaingly hostile, plausible inner life,” said literary agent Jim Rutman, who represents among others Beautiful Children author Charles Bock. “Everything that is potentially bothersome can be fit into that mold. It’s fun to write angry. And you can sort of take cover behind this deeply bothered persona you’ve invented and you can go anywhere with it. You grant yourself permission and access. I guess it’s a species of irreverence.”

NPR excerpts from Roberto Bolano's epic novel, 2666.

The New York Times profiles the late Bolano.

LaundroMatinee features video and mp3's of Princeton's in-living room session.

Today is the last day of Threadless's Three Day Sale, with many t-shirts only $6.

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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