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March 28, 2009

Shorties (Leanne Shapton, The Hold Steady, and more)

NPR's Books We Like recommends and excerpts from Leanne Shapton's unique novel, Important Artifacts and Personal Property From the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry.

Read Shapton's Book Notes music playlist for the book.

California Chronicle interviews Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn.

National Record Store Day is coming up. Can record stores survive in the Internet age?

I think they have to sell an experience as well as a product. There's this theory -- maybe from "High Fidelity" -- of the holier- than-thou record store employee, but I think what they can sell is inclusiveness or being able to turn people on to things. A lot of the best records I bought were from helpful record store clerks. Record stores can sell a sense of community you're never going to get on the Internet.

In the New York Times, Alison Bechdel explains the motives behind her cartoon review of Jane Vanden­burgh's memoir, A Pocket History of Sex in the Twentieth Century.

“The truth is, I don’t think I could have written this review, no matter how much time I had. I think in words and pictures, and find it difficult to explain myself without access to both registers. Graphic language has its own strengths. What my take on Vandenburgh’s book lacks in breadth, I hope it makes up for with a core sample of her memoir that’s vivid and accurate.”

Netherland author Joseph O'Neill lists his five favorite books for the Wall Street Journal.

Shelved Books is a blog dedicated to book covers that were rejected (or never were published for various reasons).

Drowned in Sound offers a history of Radiohead through the band's b-sides.

IGN creates a Guitar Hero band wishlist.

TechCrunch examines the "sorry state of music startups."

Online streaming music startups are in one very sorry place. On demand streaming rates range from .4 cents to 1 cent per stream - this is what the startups pay to the labels every time they play a song for a user. Add bandwidth and storage costs on top of that, which aren’t trivial for services that want to stream music quickly on demand. The result is hundreds of millions of dollars flowing from venture funds to startups to labels. Little of it makes its way to artists, and advertising revenues only cover a tiny portion of the fees.

These musician portraits made from cassette tape are amazing (via).

The Handsome Furs visit The Current studios for a streaming interview and live performance.

WXPN's Live Fridays is streaming yesterday's Gomez performance.

The Futurist has started sharing live SXSW 2009 WOXY sessions. First up are in-studio mp3s from the Pains of Being Pure at Heart and UME.

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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