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March 26, 2009

Shorties (White Lies, Jonathan Safran Foer, and more) profiles White Lies.

White Lies deal in big, dark songs about feelings, about emotions that stay with you instead of one-offs that end as soon as the last note is played. The songs are brooding, a bit painful and undeniably British. But what some seem to be missing is just how tuneful these tracks are and how hard that is to do. That despite the darkness and pain in Cave's lyrics, the music is dynamic and provocative, and its ability to be big and small at the same time is, well, pretty rad.

NYU Local interviews author Jonathan Safran Foer.

JR: So what do you think has been the hardest thing about being a writer in New York?

JSF: I don’t know if anything is harder in New York than any where else, but the hardest thing is probably that you’re alone with it. And I mean that in so many different ways. One is that you have no real peers; there’s no office banter or boss. There’s no one who forces you to do it, which can make it very hard to do it. You’re also alone with your work. You know, it’s very, it’s not only hard, it’s totally impossible to know if you’re working on something good or bad, because there’s no objective yardstick. So in most other occupations people are regularly getting feedback that feels like it matters, but with writing you can be doing terrifically and have the world say you’re doing terribly, or you can be doing what you know is terrible and have the world say you’re doing well. So you’re alone in that sense. It’s very hard to muster all the energy that’s necessary.

Ben Ottewel of Gomez talks to the Baltimore Sun about the band's new album, A New Tide.

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News interviews singer-songwriter Laura Gibson.

Gibson said she is pleasantly surprised by the positive feedback she is getting about "Beasts of Seasons."

"The most rewarding thing is that in the reviews I've read, people understood me," she said. "It's really quiet music. It's a slow record, not immediate pop music, so it takes some attention span."

The Guardian lists its top 10 fictional coffee scenes.

PopMatters examines the interaction between cartoonist, language, and reader in Jessica Abel's La Perdida.

Read Abel's Largehearted Boy music playlist for the graphic novel.

BBC News examines the internet's (and specifically blogs') role in promoting music.

Gibson Guitars celebrates the 20th anniversary of Neil Young's "Rockin' in the Free World."

Soon after Freedom’s release countless multi-band bills in rock clubs across America began culminating with the members of every group taking the stage to chop out visceral versions of “Rockin’ in the Free World.” And while the grunge movement faded long ago, the song’s popularity among musicians has not. “Rockin’ in the Free World” has crept across genres to country, Americana, and pop, and still gets played on stage by a wide variety of artists.

The A.V. Club interviews Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers.

AVC: This is such an interesting time in the country right now, with incredible economic hardship and yet a strong sense of optimism. Has that informed your songwriting?

PH: I think it’s reflecting it a lot. It’s weird, because I never really even thought about it until after the fact, but so many of our records are set in almost a specific time period that’s not necessarily today. Rock Opera is essentially set in the ’70s, and The Dirty South is essentially set in the ’80s. I like the idea of making a little more of a contemporary record. It’s a very interesting time to write about. If I had written about “right now” two years ago, it would just been all “goddamn Bush this” and “goddamn Bush that.” It is a strange time, because things are really, really rough, but there is that optimism.

Erika Wennerstrom of Heartless Bastards takes BlackBook's pop quiz.

"Saved by the Bell: The Grad School Years" courtesy of McSweeney's Internet Tendency

Relive your SXSW 2009 experience with live music video and audio streams at NPR.

Daytrotter's Thursday session features in-studio mp3s from Philadelphia's Drink Up Buttercup.

Follow me on Twitter for links that don't make the daily "shorties" posts.

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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