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April 11, 2009

Shorties (Arthur Phillips, Craig Finn, and more)

The Boston Globe reviews Arthur Phillips' novel, The Song Is You.

For the first two-thirds of "The Song Is You," I kept thinking that if I had an iPod and a Y chromosome, I would understand and love this book, that I would glide over its pages instead of slogging through it with an ever-changing mix of appreciation, exasperation, and just plain perplexity. But by the end, I'd surrendered to its slow and sneaky pace, its oblique eroticism, its self-conscious but undeniable cleverness, and, yes, even become a grudging fan of its author, Arthur Phillips, a five-time "Jeopardy!" champion with three other critically acclaimed novels.

The New York Times excerpts the first chapter from the book, and Kate Christensen reviews the novel.

A less rigorous writer might have turned this story into a sentimental, overwritten swamp. But thanks to Phillips’s thwarting of our (and his characters’) expectations, and to his objective, amused intelligence about the deep ways music affects us, he dances like Fred Astaire over any alligators and mangrove roots lurking in turgid waters.

The San Francisco Chronicle also reviews the book.

"The Song Is You" takes on loneliness, alienation, middle age and what it means to feel passe and weighted down by your past - "older than baseball players (even knuckleballers)." Yet despite these sober concerns, Phillips' sparkling prose makes for a seriously fun read.

Read Phillips' Largehearted Boy Book Notes music playlist for the book.

The Sporting News' FirstCuts blog interviews Hold Steady frontman about baseball.

The Telegraph interviews poet Seamus Heaney.

NPR's All Things Considered interviews singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan.

Idolator reviews the Pearl Jam reissue of Ten and examines the current wave of "90's revisionism" in music journalism.

The San Francisco Bay Guardian's Pixel Vision blog profiles artist and cartoonist Erik Drooker.

Halloween, Alaska visits The Current studios for an interview and live performance.

Amazon MP3 has Ben Harper's 2003 14-track Diamonds on the Inside album on sale for $1.99.

In The Week, Jay McInerney lists his favorite story collections.

Mania lists the 20 greatest fantasy writers of all time.

Publishers Weekly reports that a collection of unpublished Kurt Vonnegut short stories will be published in November.

Billy Corgan blogs about the future of Smashing Pumpkins.

For many years I've been really unhappy with the stupidity of the music business (that's no secret!). But now I am free from corporate meddling. No contracts, no deadlines to meet, nothing but rainbows ha ha... My wish is that from this day forward this group will represent nothing but love and light.

nyctaper shares mp3s from Wavves' NYC performance last month.

Daytrotter features mo3s from Franz Nicolay's in-studio session, as well as tracks from singer-songwriter Mieka Pauley.

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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