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November 20, 2009

Shorties (Best Debut Novels of the Decade, David Rawlings, and more)

Paste lists the best debut novels of the decade.

Paste interviews David Rawlings about his debut solo album, A Friend of a Friend.

Paste: You cover some songs on this record—including a medley of “Method Acting” by Bright Eyes and “Cortez the Killer” by Neil Young. How did that come to be?

Rawlings: A couple years ago, at the end of ’07, Conor [Oberst] called me and asked me if I would come play guitar with Bright Eyes because Mike Mogis was producing a record and it was running on, and they had dates booked and Mike couldn’t do it. I was very excited to go play electric guitar for two or three weeks on his tour. He was playing stuff from all his records, and a couple things form Fevers and Mirrors, including “Method Acting.” I loved the song, and we played it every night. I guess it sunk in, because about six months after that tour. I was sitting playing guitar and I started singing that song. which I didn’t know I had learned. Then I thought about covering it, and I monkeyed with the lyrics a little because I felt like it was important that it stay as autobiographical and as personal seeming as it does when Conor does it—I love that there’s no skin between the singer and the audience.

The Escapist lists the literary inspirations of the game Dungeons & Dragons.

The Boston Globe profiles singer-songwriter Devendra Banhart.

The Guardian explores the current trend of rock stars writing movie scores.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O composed the music for Spike Jonze's forthcoming adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis have composed the score for the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's novel The Road, while Badly Drawn Boy (Damon Gough) has written the soundtrack to Caroline Aherne's new full-length feature The Fattest Man in Britain, which airs on ITV over Christmas. Even Jarvis Cocker made a humble offering to Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr Fox.

The Guardian lists websites to stream and/or download live music sessions.

Monolith Festival director Josh Baker talks to the Denver Westword about the Colorado music festival's dire financial position.

The London Evening Standard examines the greening of the music industry.

The Boston Herald recommends '80s underground rock bands.

The Tallahassee Democrat profiles singer-songwriter Neko Case.

The Irish Independent interviews singer-songwriter Mick Flannery about his experiences living in Brooklyn.

On sale at Amazon MP3: John Lennon's 10-track Imagine album for $2.99.

The Irish Times profiles Colum McCann, who just won the National Book Award for his novel, Let the Great World Spin.

io9 interviews author Michael Chabon about literary genres.

Justin Taylor needs pictures of your literary tattoos for his book.

Foss Forward lists under-appreciated bands.

io9 lists the greatest swashbuckling heroes form 100+ years of science fiction books.

John Darnielle talks to the Nashville Scene about the new Mountain Goats album, The Life of the World to Come.

Darnielle has used Bible verses to title songs before, and the idea intrigued him. "There's just something portentous about having a title that refers to this big book that is central to so much culture and so much literature, and has spawned so many big ideas," he says. "To refer to Bible text opens a bunch of internal doors."

The best book blogs for history buffs.

The Louisville Courier-Journal lists its favorite albums produced by Steve Albini, and also interviews him.

DailyFinance examines why superhero comics are recession-proof.

The Guardian books blog lists some of its favorite science fiction story titles.

The Graphic Novel Reporter interviews Fables creator Bill Willingham.

Cory Chisel visits The Current studios for an interview and live performance.

Monitor Mix lists four musical mistakes of this decade.

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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