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September 14, 2009

Shorties (Jim Carroll, The Hold Steady Effect, and more)

RIP, Jim Carroll.


Minnesota Reads reviews Jean Thompson's latest short story collection, Do Not Deny Me, and introduces a new critical term "The Hold Steady effect."

I’ve come to dub this “The Hold Steady Effect” which is clearly defined as: A phenomenon whereby nothing seems to blow you away quite like the first experience, and while it’s good and all it still makes you long for that first mind-blowing time.


American Songwriter is counting down the top 20 Beatles songs.


At the Guardian, former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr interviews Rough Trade Records founder Geoff Travis.

JM: What is the state of the independent scene – how have things changed?

GT: The state of independent music is actually extraordinarily healthy. I believe a lot of the greatest music is to be found on independent labels and the spirit and acumen of its operations are much better suited to the nurturing of art and music and mayhem and beauty. I have no perspective though – all I do is listen to loads of records and try to keep up with the programme. There is always amazing creativity and there are always extraordinary artists making music – as long as that continues, then nothing fundamentally changes. Of course there are huge business changes that I could write about, but why bore everyone? These debates are regularly reported in the business pages. I refer you to them.


Drowned in Sound interviews Spencer Krug about Sunset Rubdown.


The Guardian profiles indie music label Wichita Records.

"We've done everything from heavy metal to folk and all points in between," says Mark Bowen, who started the label nine years ago with Dick Green, formerly Alan McGee's business partner at Creation. "We always said we were more about quality than genres, and I think we've proved that. Simian Mobile Disco to Espers – that's fairly varied, isn't it?"


The New Yorker features a new short story by Sam Shepard, "The Land of the Living."


The Arizona Republic profiles The Meat Puppets.


American Songwriter interviews singer-songwriter Frank Turner.

In reading your bio, it mentions that you were part of a hardcore punk band at one time. With other successful bands like Ryan Adams, The Avett Bros., and Drive-By Truckers coming out of punk to succeed at more folk, country, Americana types of music, it is easy to see a trend. What is the appeal of folk music for someone coming out of punk?

I think the two things are not so directly connected. Five to ten years ago there was the whole post-rock thing kicking off, and it turned out that a lot of people involved in that scene were ex-punk scene kids as well. The thing about it, I think, is that if you’re into punk rock when you’re 14-15 years old, it’s different than being into indie rock, or, I don’t know, metal or stuff like that, because you come away with more than just a taste for music, you come away with more of an ethos. You come away with sort of a set of ideals. I think that it [punk], on the whole, makes people pretty highly motivated musically. There’s that idea of self-reliance, pushing yourself towards self-motivation that comes with punk rock.


The Los Angeles Times predicts that Dan Brown's followup novel to The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, will be a huge success.


The Observer reviews Nick Cave's new novel, The Death of Bunny Munro.

Having long since written Flannery O'Connor and William Faulkner out of his system, Cave's prose, like his songs, has become more taut and tender in the intervening years, less in thrall to its influences and to his own dark and brooding onstage persona. Recently, he has been reading Bellow and Updike as well as, intriguingly, Bret Easton Ellis, another writer who, like Cave, has often been castigated for his supposed misogyny. It shows.


Some bargains at Amazon MP3:

Jay-Z's 15-track The Blueprint 3 album for $3.99
Steve Earle's 15-track Transcendental Blues album for $1.99


Amazon.com lists the 100 greatest world music albums of all time.


WXPN's World Cafe offers a streaming live performance by singer-songwriter Neko Case.


My Awesome Mixtees offers limited edition music-themed t-shirts.


This week Five Chapters features a new short story by Robert Boswell.


Top Shelf Comix is holding a massive $3 sale.


Currently free at Amazon MP3: 1,290 MP3 downloads.


Edinburgh's Napier University will become the first in Britain to offer an M.F.A. in comics and graphic novels.


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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