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October 5, 2009

Shorties (Jane Goodall, David Byrne, and more)

The Boston Phoenix interviews Jane Goodall about her new book, Hope for Animals and Their World.

In the book, you introduce us to Old Blue, the last-remaining female South Pacific black robin who “saved” her species. The researcher who studied and rescued her has an approach that seems to reflect your own philosophy, which has been controversial in scientific circles in that it anthropomorphizes animals.

That’s my favorite story ─ that set me off on this whole track! I met Don Merton a long time ago. And that story is soooo amazing. And that man is such a lovely man. You know, he loves those little black robins. And he’s not ashamed of saying he loves them. It’s not so much anthropomorphizing, but it’s that one should be totally objective and you shouldn’t have any empathy with your subjects, and you shouldn’t give them names, and they can’t have personalities, and they ought to be numbered, and they don’t have feelings. But, of the amazing people that I’ve talked to in writing this book, I haven’t found any who actually felt that. Sometimes they felt they ought to put that front out in order to get funding. But down underneath, they care passionately about their animals. And a lot of them will actually admit it. If they’ve retired ─ they’re very happy to admit it then!


NPR's Weekend Edition reviews and excerpts from David Byrne's new book, Bicycle Diaries.


The New Yorker features a new short story by Tessa Hadley, "The Godchildren."


PopMatters explores the past, present, and future of ska.


The Barnes & Noble Review interviews Jeanette Walls about her new book, Half Broke Horses.


Paste lists five Neutral Milk Hotel covers worth hearing.


PopMatters reviews the new Mountain Goats album, The Life of the World to Come.

Certainly there’s more open love and affection to be found here than on We Shall All Be Healed, but one of the reasons Darnielle is the best American songwriter currently working is that he refuses to settle for the easy emotional beats in whatever story he’s telling. He uncovers the same desperation, doubt, and grace in Biblical narratives that he did in a squalid, shut-in house of meth addicts, because people in Darnielle’s songs, whether loving or hateful or outright psychotic, are always first and foremost human.

Express Night Out also reviews the album.


The October issue of Bookslut is online, and contains interviews with Dan Chaon, Shaun Tan, and much more.


The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review talks to Michael Chabon about his new essay collection, Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father and Son.


PopMatters pitches its 20 questions to singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt.


The Financial Times profiles the reunited Spandau Ballet, and examines the current trend of band reunion tours.


Fashion designer Bella Freud talks music with the Observer.

Such precocity runs in the family. Bella, one of the many children of a man who is routinely labelled Britain's greatest living painter, and the great granddaughter of Sigmund, the founder of psychoanalysis, was aware of rock'n'roll before she attended school. At the age of four, she says, then living in Morocco with her mother and younger sister Esther, who chronicled their bohemian childhood in her novel Hideous Kinky, she "liked the way the Beatles and the Rolling Stones looked". At 11, she developed her first crush - on Leonard Cohen, who was then 38.


Drowned in Sound and The Music Magazine interview James Chapman of Maps.


The A.V. Club lists 42 great songs that last longer than 10 minutes.


Five Chapters kicks off its third anniversary celebration this week with a new serialized story by Joyce Carole Oates.


The Quietus ponders a new definition for post-punk.


Sleevage lists the top 10 gender bending album covers of all time.


Win a copy of Nick Hornby's new novel, Juliet, Naked, 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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