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September 16, 2009

Shorties (Free Albums, Jim Carroll, and more)

Free label samplers at Amazon MP3:

the 12-track Anti Sampler Fall 2009 album, including tracks by Neko Case and The Swell Season
the 9-track Ryko: Flash Of Light Sampler album, including tracks by Gary Louris, Will Hoge, and more


The Guardian's music blog remembers Jim Carroll's musical and literary sides.

By the time Catholic Boy was released it was 1980 and he was 30, already an established poet within the world of lower Manhattan. It had been Patti Smith who suggested he get a band together, presumably imagining he could do what she had done: combine the primitive sound of punk rock with prose-like lyrics.


The Herald profiles Scottish crime fiction.

Scotland’s success in crime writing has been greeted with enthusiasm around the world. “You get treated much more seriously as a writer in the US than you do here,” said Mina. In the south of England, where some crime authors still struggle to shake off the tweedy tones of an Agatha Christie afternoon tea party, the boom is affectionately known as “the McMafia”.


The Guardian reports that Radiohead drummer Phil Selway is recording a solo album.


Reuters reports that the Beatles are at the top of the US charts with their newly remastered albums, box sets, and Rock Band video game, but Musicradar points out that UK sales aren't nearly as dramatic.


The Huffington Post offers an excerpt from Nick Hornby's new novel, Juliet, Naked.


The Washington Post glowingly reviews Joyce Carol Oates' new novel, Little Bird of Heaven.

This is a powerful novel. Oates's feel for the rhythms of hardscrabble life and its sour mix of alcoholism, suicide, drug abuse, adultery and murder is as keen as ever. In Sparta she has created a fictional universe to stand beside Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha County or Cheever's Shady Hill. Her descriptions of the geography of urban decay -- the rusted bridges, tangled back alleys and trash-strewn lots -- are as vivid as any naturalist's portrayal of more felicitous scenes. Her unsentimental language makes a high-lonesome kind of poetry out of otherwise sordid and unremarkable circumstance.


The Guardian's books blog compares two classic American novels, Breakfast at Tiffany's and The Great Gatsby.

he closing sentence of one classic of American literature and the opening sentence of another, both reflecting upon the inevitable pull of the past. Sarah Churchwell's recent article on Breakfast at Tiffany's drew comparisons between these two works' shared themes of "escape and reinvention". But while I agree with this, I'm going to venture one step further and suggest that Breakfast at Tiffany's can be read as an actual re-write of The Great Gatsby. As well as these common themes there are a number of structural similarities that suggest Capote used Fitzgerald's novel as a model for his novella.


The Charleston City Paper lists essential songs for any cover band.


PopMatters interviews Emily Haines of Metric.


Bookride lists books that are backpacker classics.


The Guardian lists the top 10 Agatha Christie mysteries.


Drowned in Sound interviews Lovvers frontman Shaun Hencher.


The A.V. Club interviews Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.


NPR reviews and excerpts David Small's excellent graphic novel, Stitches.

Throughout, Small's art — by turns expressively abstract and clinically realistic — ensures that Stitches lands on the reader with satisfying emotional weight. The book contains several long, wordless passages in which Small's visual storytelling comes to the fore — facial expressions, body language and page layouts tell us more than long stretches of exposition ever could.

Read Small's Largehearted Boy Book Notes music playlist for the book.


Megafaun visits The Current studios for an interview and live performance.

Paste also profiles the band.


The Berklee Music Network is a social network for professional collaboration and networking for musicians.


Novel-T creates literature-inspired t-shirts.


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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