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May 10, 2009

Shorties (Yoshihiro Tatsumi, Horse Feathers, and more)

The Los Angeles Times reviews Yoshihiro Tatsumi's massive graphic memoir, A Drifting Life (the most impressive comic I have read all year).

As much as the book is a personal take on the formative years of manga, it's also a peek into the artist's creative process and a history lesson that shows how a transitioning postwar culture shaped manga's form and content. Tatsumi's inclusion of Japanese societal touchstones, such as the U.S. testing in the 1950s of the hydrogen bomb in the Pacific and the rise of teenage singing sensation Hibari Misora, are merely artistic representations of cultural influence. On an even deeper level, Tatsumi's entire mode of storytelling was formed by politics, sports, literature and movies.

At NPR Music Horse Feathers plays a Tiny Desk Concert.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer profiles author Joan Didion.

"She is a very compelling writer; she has her own music, the rhythms, repetitions," Michener said. "Hers is a very despairing vision. I've known Joan for a long time. She's a mysterious person. It will be interesting to see how voluble she is in public. In private, she is so quiet as to be almost inaudible."

Decider Denver interviews Casey Spooner of Fischerspooner.

The Sacramento Bee examines the growing popularity of musicians playing house party shows.

The Raleigh News & Observer reviews Robert Goolrick's new novel, A Reliable Wife.

The writing is beautifully modulated. Its occasional excesses (the most startling is a description of Ralph's intense desire for Catherine: "He wanted to slice her open and lie inside the warm blood of her body.") seem purposeful, a conscious invocation of the Gothic romances to which this book will inevitably be compared.

On sale at Amazon MP3:

Merle Haggard's 12-track Mama Tried album for $1.99

The Vancouver Sun lists 8 books for Mother's Day.

Amanda Palmer talks to NPR's All Things Considered bout her Neutral Milk Hotel musical.

Allmusic contributors list their favorite albums and songs of 2000.

Daytrotter features in-studio mp3s from Leatherbag.

LAist interviews Ashley Jex of JAXART Records and Rock Insider.

Kevin Sampson talks to the Observer about the film adaptation of his novel, Awaydays.

In the Guardian, Elaine Showalter lists the best American female novelists writing today.

Follow me on Twitter for links that don't make the daily "Shorties" columns.

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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