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August 27, 2009

Shorties (Dominick Dunne, Elvis Costello, and more)

The Guardian's book blog and the Los Angeles Times remember author Dominick Dunne.

At Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz, Allen Toussaint and Elvis Costello share a live performance and interview.

Gapers Block looks back on the 1990's music scene of Chicago.

The Georgia Straight profiles singer-songwriter Dan Mangan, calling him "the next big indie king." interviews Nick Hornby about his new novel, Juliet, Naked.

Time reviews the 6-CD box set, Woodstock - 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur's Farm.

Boomers do this regularly, of course — make up stuff about how great they are. They're also eager consumers of goods that jog the memory of their greatness. This explains the current avalanche of hagiographic Woodstock products — DVDs, oral histories, "40th Anniversary Flashback Edition" paper dolls — which is not the most apt way to recall a moment supposedly unbound from commercialism. (The promoters tried to charge $24 for a three-day ticket, but the booths and turnstiles were never set up.) But picking one's way through the mess is worthwhile, if only to find Woodstock — 40 Years On: Back to Yasgur's Farm (Rhino Entertainment Co.), a six-disc collection of 77 tracks, many of which were thought lost, that strips out the mythology and reconstructs Woodstock as it was intended: a musical event.

Time also lists Woodstock's top 10 moments.

On sale at Amazon MP3: White Rabbits' 10-track It's Frightening album for $1.99.

Impose interviews J. Namdev Hardisty, author of the new book DIY Album Art.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune notes the growing alliance between bookstores and restaurants for author events.

NPR Music lists 5 "inebriating anthems."

Johnny Cash's life to be the subject of a graphic memoir (in black and white, of course).

NPR's Monkey See blog reviews one of my favorite graphic novels of the year, Fred Chao's Johnny Hiro.

And the feeling that pervades Johnny Hiro is one of sincere, unaffected affection. It's the kind of book you'd be tempted to call sweet, if it weren't so clear-eyed and thoughtful. Call it winning, then. And pick it up.

Drowned in Sound lists the must-see acts at this year's Reading and Leeds festivals.

The Guardian's books blog lists the 10 best books about the Berlin Wall.

Win the book Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small plus three Superchunk and Portastatic albums 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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