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November 14, 2009

Shorties (Songs About Books, Amis Reviews Nabokov, and more)

The Washington City Paper lists five songs about books.

In the Guardian, Martin Amis reviews Vladimir Nabokov's posthumous novel, The Original of Laura (in bookstores on Tuesday).

The Baltimore City Paper interviews Deastro's Randy Chabot.

CP: References to cartoons definitely come up a lot in descriptions of your music. Is it that much of an actual influence?

RC: I mean, I love cartoons, I watch them all the time, I thought about studying animation. They're not a direct influence, though I own everything that the guy who did the music for Looney Tunes did. But I'm getting less cartoony as I get older.

In the New York Times, Mary Gaitskill reviews Rawi Hage's new novel, Cockroach.

CreativeCloud lists the 10 most (in)famous music headlines ever printed.

The Guardian reviews Tao Lin's latest book, Shoplifting from American Apparel.

Lin's writing is reminiscent of early Douglas Coupland, or early Bret Easton Ellis, but there is also something going on here that is more profoundly peculiar, even Beckettian. The text is woven around large chronological and informational lacunae, which issue near the end in one revelation about a character's travails that is the more troubling for Lin's principled refusal to let it disturb the text's placid veneer.

The Washington Post questions the entertainment value of concerts where bands play one album, track-by-track.

This trend isn't just exhausted, it feels like a cruel perversion of a concert's real-time magic. Live music might be the last bastion of unpredictability in today's hypercurated mediascape: a fleeting opportunity to experience something unfiltered, spontaneous and really real. Instead, we're paying to see our greatest living, breathing, sweating, bleeding rock stars behave like iPods. And with no "shuffle" function!

The Globe and Mail profiles author Cory Doctorow.

As one of the world's most successful bloggers, a writer who freely gives away his work as well as selling it – and not least, a genuine expert in the suddenly fraught world of international copyright – this Toronto-born phenom knows as much about wrecking traditional publishing as anyone alive.

The Cover Story Blog shares "amateur covers of the music you love."

CHARTattack profiles singer-songwriter Alela Diane.

The top 5 U2 literary moments.

At The Book Bench, author Ariel Levy offers a feminist reading list. Jezebel's readers respond with their own personal choices for the list.

NPR's Monitor Mix interviews Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore about music in the 2000s.

On sale at Amazon MP3: R.E.M.'s 11-track Document album for $2.99.

NPR's Monitor Mix wonders if rock music is going soft.

I gave Museyon Guides some travel tips (music and otherwise) for my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama.

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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