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November 10, 2009

Shorties (Beck, The Swell Season, and more)

At the Details blog, Jeff Gordinier critiques Beck's cover of Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne."

We really like Leonard Cohen. And we like Beck, for that matter. Mostly. But this cover of "Suzanne" is an atrocity. It's worse than bad—it's such an insult to the legend of Leonard Cohen that we feel like introducing the aging Canadian ladies' man to a lawyer so that he can sue these lazy hipsters to get his dignity back. Listen to the Beck Record Club's version of "Suzanne" and you will encounter a perfect example of what might be called "smugism": singing in a self-consciously droopy and tuneless chorus that suggests nothing so much as a collective yawn, Beck and his bohemian buds give off the impression that they couldn't be bothered to crawl out of bed for this song, let alone put any genuine feeling into it. It's not a remake; it's a pose.

The A.V. Club interviews Glan Hansard of the Swell Season and the Frames.

Glide interviews Portugal. The Man's John Gourley.

The Retriever Weekly lists "must-have, life-defining" soundtracks.

New York Magazine lists five music bloggers who are digital tastemakers.

CNN profiles the music school founded by Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea.

The Design Collection's Observatory blog has notable designers redesign the covers of Vladimir Nabokov's books.

The Atlantic reviews Ayelet Waldman's most recent essay collection, Bad Mother.

NPR's Monitor Mix blog is soliciting photos of your music collection.

The Mountain Goats visit The Current studio for an interview and live performance.

The 100 best blogs for the literati.

AbeBooks examines what soldiers were reading in the trenches during World War I.

eMusic lists the best songs from recent television shows.

Fingertips ponders the future of music in an essay titled, "Farewell to the Casual Music Fan."

Lucky Dog Audio Post creates a music playlist from the pages of Nicholson Baker's new novel, The Anthologist.

Follow me on Twitter for links that don't make the daily "Shorties" columns.

also at Largehearted Boy:

online "best of 2009" book lists
online "best of 2009" music lists
best of the decade (2000-2009) online music lists

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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