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February 2, 2009

Shorties (Daniel Handler, Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, and more)

The Sacramento Bee interviews author Daniel Handler about his new Lemony Snicket book, The Composer Is Dead.

Did having a child at all influence your writing?

I'm tempted to say no, but when he was first born I found it was a boon. In the first year of a child's life, all the parents do is brainstorm terrible things that can happen and ways to avoid them so suddenly I had a much longer list of horrible things than before – that came in handy. And, now I'm sure it's affected me in other ways. He's only 5 and not yet reading but he really likes "The Composer Is Dead."


AfterEllen profiles graphic designer Emy Storey (who designed the album cover for Death Cab for Cutie's Narrow Stairs, among others).


Paste's band of the week is Atlanta's Howlies.


Alternate Cover lists 5 comics that are better than the film version.


The Guardian, Simon Reynolds examines the resurgence of the fanzine.

In the age of Blogger, Live Journal and other online formats for non-professional music commentary, the fanzine ought be on its last legs, a relic of another era, as antiquated as an electric typewriter. Yet strangely zines are holding their ground. People still make them. And it's not just die-hard veterans from the golden age of the fanzine (approximately 1977 to 1994, punk rock to riot grrl) but younger people who've never known a world without email and the web. Although it's hard to quantify, it feels like the fanzine is making a resurgence in the face of digital culture, just like that other analogue format, vinyl.


Today only, Amazon is selling the six-track digital MGMT Time to Pretend EP for only 99 cents.


io9 previews next weekend's Comic Con.


Drowned in Sound offers an annotated Bonnie 'Prince' Billy discography.


The San Francisco Chronicle gives its reporters $20 and sends them bargain music shopping.


Wikipedia lists fictional diseases.


ChordStrike lists the top 100 romantic albums of all time.


Jayne Anne Phillips talks to NPR's Weekend Edition about her new novel, Lark & Termite (and its comparisons to Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury). An excerpt from the book si also presented.


nyctaper features mp3s from Antlers' recent NYC performance.


Southern Shelter shares mp3s from a 2005 Gerbils performance featuring several songs from the band's unfinished third album.


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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