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June 11, 2009

Shorties (Bonnaroo, Brian Evenson, and more)

Paste offers a guide to the 2009 Bonnaroo festival, which starts today.

At Apostrophe Cast, Brian Evenson reads the story "Younger" from his new short fiction collection, Fugue State.

The Georgia Straight profiles singer-songwriter Julie Doiron.

The Hartford Advocate reports that the city is dedicating its "Wallace Stevens Walk" today.

The markers trace the 2.4-mile walk the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet took each workday from his home on Westerly Terrace in the West End to his office at the Hartford Accident and Indemnity Co., where he was a vice president from 1934 to 1955. The Friends and Enemies of Wallace Stevens, launched by Dan Schnaidt of Glastonbury, worked for a decade on funding and establishing the memorial. Architect John Orofino and stone cutter John Zito chose Connecticut granite for the markers.

The Globe and Mail examines Todd Snider's song about baseball pitcher Dock Ellis pitching a no-hitter while on LSD, "America's Favorite Pastime."

America's Favorite Pastime isn't the first song about Ellis's nutty no-no (San Francisco indie-rocker Barbara Manning, with her baseball-referencing band S.F. Seals, wrote one, as did singer-songwriter Chuck Brodsky), but Snider's ball-diamond ditty is more than just a recap. The chorus – “You can't judge a book” – has to do with the snap evaluations people make on the drug-taking youth of the world. “I never understood that,” says Snider, not always clean and sober himself, “so I'm sticking up for all those 20-year-olds who get [messed] up at festivals.”

The New Statesman profiles Island Records, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

The Georgia Straight profiles Jay Reatard.

It took the release of 2006’s Blood Visions, however, to finally catapult the relatively unknown garage rocker into the limelight, prompting punk aficionados and even electro-loving hipsters to embrace the southern renegade as their own.

Gapers Block points out video from Alina Simone & Aleksandar Hemon's recent performance and reading, respectively, at an NYC Barnes and Noble event.

The Independent Weekly examines the use of limited editions to entice music buyers.

Other labels have simply favored limited-edition physical releases, in which only a few hundred copies of an album are produced, making those that purchase it feel like a bigger part of the conversation. John Darnielle, the Durham songwriter known as The Mountain Goats, sells through such finite batches of vinyl as quickly as he can manufacture and distribute them.

Petra Haden's cover of the Bellamys' "Let Your Love Flow (used in a Toyota commercial) is available for free download on MySpace.

This Rate Your Music list collects band name origins.

On sale at Amazon MP3 for $1.99: A Camp's 12-track Colonia album (featuring The Cardigans' Nina Persson)

Drowned in Sound previews the Warp20 box set celebrating Warp records' 20th anniversary.

CBC Radio's Book Club is soliciting your help in putting together a list of the top graphic novels.

Time Out Chicago interviews one of my favorite comics artists, Seth.

JM: It seems like all of your books are really character- driven, you like to write about these single characters.

Seth: Yeah, actually I have a hard time even considering plot, to tell you the truth. It’s like I don’t think in those terms. Automatically, when I think of a story, like if I was to start planning another book, it starts immediately with I start thinking of somebody’s life and more that sweep of their life rather than a particular incident in it. I really think it all just relates to the simple fact that both my parents were very…they talked to me an awful lot about their lives. And they were both much older than me. They both were born like in the ’20s. so I grew up listening to these old stories all the time. And they were both storyteller types. And I think that kind of impressed itself in the back of my mind. I don’t think I realized this till about maybe 10 years ago, but I think that’s kind of why every story I do is sort of an old person relating their life, it’s my idea of what a story is.

The Denver Westword interviews Built to Spill frontman Doug Martsch.

The Baltimore City Paper interviews Eric Copeland of Black Dice.

The Washington Post offers alternative book storage ideas.

Dzanc Books is launching an online literary journal, The Collagist.

All Scandinavian lists the top 10 albums of 2009 (so far).

Ain't It Cool News interviews novelist/screenwriter Rudy Wurlitzer.

Muzzle of Bees interviews Son Volt's Jay Farrar.

Nigel Beale lists summer U.S. and U.K. literary festivals.

Help me clean out some room on my bookshelves and CD cases with this week's Largehearted Boy contest, where I am giving away 25 books and 25 CDs.

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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