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April 19, 2009

Shorties (Elliott Smith XO Book, Regina Spektor, and more)

Matt LeMay's 33 1/3 book on Elliott Smith's XO is now in stores.

Regina Spektor's 11-track Soviet Kitsch album is on sale at Amazon MP3 for $1.99.

The Asheville Citizen-Times interviews Mogwai's Barry Burns.

Mashable compares Twitter to a breakout indie band.

This week's Largehearted Boy contest gives away two Wilco DVDs: the new Ashes of American Flags & I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.

The Dallas Morning News interviews author Richard Price about writing the film adaptation of his novel, Lush Life.

"It's not so much tricky as just plain hard. A book encompasses everything. It encompasses interior life. There's a lot that goes on in the writing that can only go on in the writing. Plus as the writer, you get to play the part of narrative god.

"You've got none of that in a screenplay. You either figure out how to put it in the dialogue or how to physical-ize it, or you get rid of it."

The Philadelphia Inquirer reviews Yiyun Li's debut novel, The Vagrants.

There are two kinds of major first novels: those that come unbidden and strike the reading public like an anvil to the head, and those that come from writers of great promise, all full of the expectations and assumptions that come with having already set foot onstage with a short-story collection or memoir or nonfiction debut.

Yiyun Li's The Vagrants is one of the few books that belongs to both of these categories. It is a masterful work that will stick in the reading memory as did first novels like Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything Is Illuminated or Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides. But it also properly belongs to the kind of anticipated first novel that we've come to expect from short-story writers like Junot Díaz and Nathan Englander.

The Observer examines the trend of "pop's new wave: stylish girls fashioned from the 80's."

Singers such as Lady Gaga, Little Boots, Ladyhawke, Lissy Trullie and Elly Jackson from pop duo La Roux are rapidly accruing a fan base, not only through their songs but also through their distinctive fashion sense, saturated by 80s references and insouciant androgyny.

The Independent lists 20 things you didn't know about Bob Dylan.

NPR's Weekend Edition profiles Grove Press publisher Barney Rosset.

Two years after launching The Evergreen Review, Rosset stepped into the national headlines when he decided that Grove would publish Lawrence's novel Lady Chatterley's Lover, which other American publishers had shunned because of its frank sexuality. After the postal service impounded more than a hundred copies of the book, Rosset went to court claiming it was protected under the First Amendment. He won, but that was only part of his strategy. His real goal, Rosset says, was to publish another banned book: Henry Miller's 1934 autobiographical novel, Tropic of Cancer.

The Observer reviews the new Jeffrey Lewis album, 'Em Are I.

Hip-hop's Dana Dane talks to NPR's Weekend Edition about his debut novel, Numbers.

Daytrotter features in-studio mp3s from The Shys.

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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