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February 22, 2009

Shorties (Old 97's, Tao Lin, and more)

Amazon MP3 is selling the Old 97's 1996 12-track Wreck Your Life album for $1.99.

The Toronto Star reviews two of the Spanish author Albert Sanchez Piñol's novels, Pandora in the Congo and Cold Skin.

Piñol is mining pop culture for readerly pleasures that have essentially been lost to literature through its colonization by academia. His American counterparts in this are Jonathan Lethem and Michael Chabon, but to my taste neither of them has the appeal of Piñol.

Philadelphia's 6ABC profiles singer-songwriter Rachael Yamagata.

3:AM Magazine features video from author Tao Lin's Whitney Museum presentation on blogging.

Enter the Largehearted Boy contest to win the 21-DVD The Complete Monty Python's Flying Circus: Collector's Edition Megaset. Simply name your favorite television comedy in a comment for a chance to win.

20 Questions with Cartoonists blog

The Sunday Paper interviews an Atlanta comic book store owner.

How are you doing during the recession?

Everyone says print is dying, but the one area that isn’t dying is comics and graphic novels. We have not seen a downturn. People want to own comics and graphic novels; it doesn’t translate well to computers. Even though they may not collect it for its value, they do want to own it on the printed page. They may come up with a technology that kills us eventually, but we’ll be the last to go.

Barbara Hall talks to NPR's All Things Considered about her novel, The Music Teacher.

Read her Largehearted Boy Book Notes music playlist for the book.

The Scotsman profiles Amadou and Mariam.

They have done for Mali what Buena Vista Social Club did for Cuba in the Nineties. But Amadou describes his and Mariam's sound not as world music, but as music for the world. "Our music includes blues, rock, pop. It has the influence of Africa but it's about encounters, the meetings of sounds and peoples," he says.

The Austin American-Statesman reviews one of the most memorable literary biographies I have read in years, Brad Gooch's Flannery: A Life of Flannery O'Connor.

Throughout this biography, Gooch argues that O'Connor's private life seeped into her public writing. Though some critics deplore the assumption that an artist's life can be seen in her stories, Gooch makes a viable case that O'Connor used what she saw on her Central Georgia farm to good advantage.

Writer Augusten Burroughs shares episodes from his life with the Observer.

I have loved John Waters's films since I was a teenager and when I met him I was stunned into mute awe by his gentility, his ferocious intelligence and his literally astounding knowledge of contemporary and classic literature. I was expecting fart cushions and got Proust in the form of a true Southern gentleman.

Bostonist interviews comedian Eugene Mirman about his current book tour.

Bostonist: Given that it's a book tour -- and given the floating meme of you, Patton, and others opening up for Indie Bands—have you thought about asking bands to open up for you? To cash in your chips and/or turn the tables? Doesn't a bookstore deserve to be rocked?

EM: No, a bookstore does not need to be rocked. It is already dangerous to have a reading with a comedian instead of a regular author. Adding rock and roll could start a fire — or ignite an orgy the size of which Brookline would never recover from. On a side note, I have had bands open for me. My first tour that I headlined I had Langhorne Slim open for me.

Look for Mirman's Largehearted Boy Book Notes music playlist for his new book, The Will to Whatevs, next week.

The Los Angeles Times examines the "reinvention" of the rock show poster.

Despite the disproportionate attention lavished on Shepard Fairey, a small, innovative handful of artists-designers is reimagining the possibilities of silk screen and a relatively small rectangular field. These artists show a fascination with the iconography of the past, including book jackets, vinyl records, nature icons and modernist design, in a field that has been radically remade by technology: Like today's vinyl obsessives and neo-craft types, they are post-traditionalists, reveling in, almost fetishizing, print culture after what we're told is the end of print.

The New York Times reviews Marisha Chamberlain's debut novel, The Rose Variations.

Out of the homespun material of awkward love affairs and lust for tenure, she has written a story that surprises us with fresh insights.

see also: Chamberlain's Largehearted Boy Book Notes music playlist for the book

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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