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July 7, 2009

Shorties (David Foster Wallace, Rhett Miller, and more)

A couple of David Foster Wallace links:

Playboy reprints his first published fictional story (from a 1988 issue of the magazine).

Author Daniel Stillman reappraises Wallace's work and literary legacy.

Paste interviews singer-songwriter Rhett Miller.

Paste: You write songs about people like David Foster Wallace, and you make references to authors like Kafka in “Our Love,” and Don DeLillo in “World Inside The World.” Do you have literary ambitions as well as musical ones?

Miller: I do. I've got a short story that's out in a new book right now. I'm putting that on the back burner because I figured out that I have tendency to be unfocused. I'm scatterbrained. I'll say, “Well, I've got this going now, let's do something else,” and I really have to focus on the music for right now. In a couple of years, two to five years, I would like to really take a year off and do what Joe Pernice of the Pernice Brothers is doing right now and go just write a fucking novel. Just sit down and do it. Stop talking about writing. The tough thing is is that people pay me to do music, so that's nice. I have two kids, and they insist on eating every fucking day. And I've written so many songs that it comes very naturally to me, whereas when I sit down to write, the demons in my head that say, “You're not good enough,” and all those things that everyone I know who writes or creates has to shout down, they get really loud when I try to write fiction. And it's tough. I do have literary aspirations. I'm just going to put them off for a little while.

The 2009 Bonnaroo show downloads page has been updated with sets by Neko Case, Todd Snider, Lovell Sisters, and of Montreal.

Pitchfork offers a guide to summer's upcoming music releases.

American Songwriter interviews singer-songwriter Sara Watkins.

of Montreal frontman Kevin Barnes discusses Woody Allen films with The Quietus.

IGN interviews Frank Black.

McSweeney's is holding a summer garage sale, with many books only $5.

Scientific American explains the physiological and psychological reasons why music moves us.

The Guardian profiles Borders UK's new dating site for book lovers.

With bookish tweeness, Borders is calling its service "Happily Ever After" – which betrays a certain naivety about just how nasty book lovers can get when challenged by someone who professes to love a book more than they do. That's why book groups are festering middens of resentment and petty point-scoring.

PopMatters pitches its 20 questions to singer-songwriter Eleni Mandell.

The Mainichi Daily News reviews Haruki Murakami's new novel, 1Q84.

The book can also be read as a powerful protest against the trampling of free will, represented in the book by domestic violence and cult groups, or as a visceral story of family, of two characters with different personal histories, family environments, and raw portrayals of parent-child antagonism. It is also a love story, as a boy and girl find a connection with each other in their teens and, though separated for some 20 years, continue to foster their love. Finally, "1Q84" is proof that Murakami's sense for good prose is alive and strong.

Save Ohio Libraries is attempting to stop massive state budget cuts for libraries.

Music for Kids Who Can't Read Good lists its favorite albums of 2009 (so far).

Newsarama interviews Shane White about his new zombie graphic novel, Things Undone.

Good Comics for Kids lists comics that celebrate cultural diversity.

The Observer lists the 50 best summer reads ever.

The Comics Reporter interviews cartoonist Carol Tyler.

The Guardian reports that Jack White's record label has started a subscription service.

At NPR Music, Julie Doiron plays a "tiny desk concert."

Birmingham Box Set lists its favorite albums of 2009 so far.

Help me clean out my house and win 100 random CDs in this week's Largehearted Boy contest.

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

also at Largehearted Boy:

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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