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August 16, 2009

Shorties (Richard Thompson, Stephen King, and more)

The Boston Globe interviews Richard Thompson about his new 4-CD box set, Walking on a Wire.

Q. So how does it feel to have a second, career-spanning box set?

A. It’s like being buried twice, I suppose. The thing about the new one is it’s covering different ground. This is more of an overview or introduction, whereas the previous box set was really obscurities and rarities.


Stephen King talks to the Boston Herald about the genesis of his Little League short story, "Head Down."

“It started as just the usual thing, watching your son play Little League baseball,” said King, who served as the team’s scorekeeper and loaded up his Suburban with players on road trips. He took notes along the way. “I thought there might be a story here if something happens.”


Steve Martin talks to the Toronto Star about his banjo playing career.

"A couple of years later (famed banjo master) Tony Trischka asked me to play on one of his sessions, and I figured there must be 500 pickers better than me," Martin continued. "I said I'd do it if I could bring something original to the table, a piece I'd written called 'The Crow.' That's really how this whole thing began."


The Times Online previews fall's pop music releases.


The Washington Post interviews Dave Eggers about his new book, Zeitoun.

"Zeitoun" is the story of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a Syrian American Muslim living in New Orleans who was incarcerated with no due process in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. But the majority of folks affected by Katrina were African American. Why did you choose this story?

Before Katrina, there were 10,000 Muslims in New Orleans, so it's not so rare. Coverage of Katrina has rightfully focused on the effect of negligence and inaction and the latent effects of systemic neglect and racism that gave rise to what happened to the largely black population of New Orleans, [but] I hope that there are dozens more [books] that represent the city and its mosaic.


RIP, musician and producer Jim Dickinson.


The Guardian notes the importance of the soundtrack to the film (500) Days of Summer.

Music frames their story - Summer overhears the Smiths' mournful lyrics on Tom's iPod ("And if a double-decker bus/ Crashes into us/ To die by your side/ Is such a heavenly way to die") and the seed for their sticky romance is sown. The film is a cinematic mixtape of the contemporary lo-fi pop which, since the triumph of Juno (the films share a producer), has come to signal Sundance success.


The Denver Post's music critic explains why he is a superfan of the Avett Brothers.

On first listen, I was hooked to the Avett Brothers' surreal combination of folk instrumentation, power-pop choruses and punk aesthetics. On second listen, I was already singing along, unconsciously memorizing the words. On third listen, I was e-mailing all of my friends MP3s, urging them to run and buy this record — now. On the fourth listen, I was ordering their entire back catalog.


The Times Online notes the music collaboration between Ben Folds and Nick Hornby.


The Wall Street Journal lists the best books on drinking and alcohol.


LA Weekly lists the ten best Los Angeles albums of 2009 (so far).


The Buffalo News reviews Laurie Sandell's graphic novel, The Impostor’s Daughter: A True Memoir.

Though more and more memoirists are turning to comics as a trendy new medium for their art, the style of “The Impostor’s Daughter” never once feels forced. It makes perfect sense that Sandell’s story, in which she rails against the outrageous web of lies that her father has constructed, would hide nothing.


Win three Spy vs. Spy comics compilations 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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