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February 15, 2009

Shorties (Neko Case, Gillian Welch, and more)

Neko Case talks to the New York Times about her life, career, and new album, Middle Cyclone (out March 3rd).

Neko Case's life and musical career, viewed together, form a collage — the visual-art form she favors. They consist of many “found” or accidental or rescued elements, starting with the old brown Chevy diesel van that she drives. The more you look at them side by side, however, the more they cohere and interconnect. Take the dogs (“gassy dogs with smelly butts,” she called them, before that Tucson walk). Well, in the barn of her new old farm in Vermont, where some of “Middle Cyclone” was recorded, there are six of eight castoff pianos that Case discovered offered free on Craigslist.


Amazon MP3 is offering Gillian Welch's excellent 1996 debut 10-track album, Revival, for only $1.99.


The Chess Comic is a webcomic that teaches chess.


SXSW Music has posted its showcase schedule, sortable by band.


Daytrotter's Sunday session features in-studio mp3s from Pillars & Tongues.


NPR's Weekend Edition talks to Nels and Alex Cline about the brothers' respective music careers.


The Observer reviews the new Bonnie 'Prince' Billy album Beware, giving the disc 4 of 5 stars.

Beware is one of the more playful entries in the Bonnie "Prince" Billy canon. It's also one of his fullest sounding records. The songs shift between light and dark, between personal revelation and emotional suffocation, never settling.


Simon Singh lists great science and mathematics books.


With his Hold Me album out Tuesday, M. Ward is profiled by the New York Times.

Mr. Ward, 35, a singer-songwriter and guitarist, doesn’t hide his nostalgia, or his taste for the homemade. “I don’t like expensive sounds,” he said. “I’m still using the same four-track I bought when I was 15 to write songs.” That retro-crafting is evident in his sixth studio album, “Hold Time,” which will be released by Merge Records on Tuesday. About half the songs were produced in this house. Like his previous work, it is indie folk with some pop glimmer and more country pluck, and a roster of starry collaborators, like Lucinda Williams and his partner in the duo She & Him, the actress Zooey Deschanel, who sings backup on the peppy, toe-tapping single “Never Had Nobody Like You.”


Newsarama.com lists the top 10 comic book romances.


The Quietus reviews the new Pet Shop Boys album, Yes (out March 24th), track-by-track.


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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