Twitter Facebook Tumblr Pinterest Instagram

« older | Main Largehearted Boy Page | newer »

February 7, 2010

Shorties (George Orwell, Gil Scott-Heron, and more)

The Philadelphia Inquirer looks back on the literary career of George Orwell, 60 years after his death.

NPR's All Things Considered profiles poet and singer-songwriter Gil Scott-Heron.

In the Los Angeles Times, Dani Shapiro examines the pressures on young writers to be successful.

The Calgary Herald remembers singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt.

The Chicago Tribune lists its three favorite football books.

Magnetic Fields frontman Stephin Merritt talks to the Toronto Sun about his new album, Realism.

"(As for this one), I have a lot of British Isles folk, and actually, I was trying to make sure I was including other parts of the world. There's a lot of kalimba; you can't necessarily tell because there are a lot of things on the record. But I put a lot of kalimba on the record thinking African folk music is where the entire town comes out to play the kalimba, and I love that stuff."

The Times Online profiles The Drums.

It’s a cliché, I know,” says their front man, Jonathan Pierce, on the top floor of the two-storey flat that he shares with the rest of the Drums (and sundry friends and animals) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, “but the person who said everything I ever wanted to say is Morrissey. What a poet. He literally changed my life, swept me away.” The greatest single of the past 30 years, according to Pierce, is the Smiths’ This Charming Man; the most perfect song, Morrissey and Marr’s There Is a Light That Never Goes Out. On his bedroom wall hangs his proudest acquisition, a sleeve of the Smiths’ debut single, Hand in Glove, given to them by the Smiths’ drummer, Mike Joyce, that bears the message: “To the Drums from the Drums” (this was how Morrissey insisted Joyce be described on the original sleeve

The Los Angeles Times reviews DC Pierson's debut novel, The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To.

As Ann Beattie did in "Chilly Scenes of Winter," Pierson captures the effortlessness of daily life without the sluggish pace. Where Beattie worked with the conversational ennui of the 1970s, Pierson draws upon the ungraceful, un-literary language of contemporary boys who wield ordinary powers of observation: "A movie about frat boys trying to see boobs is playing on ' Comedy Central,' " Darren notices.

The San Francisco Chronicle profiles legendary musician Van Dyke Parks.

Parks, 67, has always specialized in individuality. Born in Mississippi and educated in prep schools, Parks has a genteel manner, authentic erudition and magnolia blossoms on his tongue. He is a rock 'n' roll version of Mark Twain, often wearing white. Parks, one of the great behind-the-scenes figures in the Southern California music scene since he quit playing folk music in pop's Paleolithic era, is also making his San Francisco performing debut next week at the Swedish American Hall on a brief joint tour with Clare and the Reasons, a band led by Clare Muldaur, daughter of an old friend, musician Geoff Muldaur, his first real tour since he played keyboards with Ry Cooder more than 25 years ago.

The Boston Globe reviews Jami Attenberg's new novel, The Melting Season.

“Everyone’s a little damaged, honey.” No truer words are spoken in the small world of “The Melting Season,” a quirky soap opera that proves surprisingly endearing.

Book Army lists the best book blogs.

Publishers Weekly gathers comics publishers' responses to Apple's iPad announcement.

The Book Show is a wonderful Australian podcast about authors and their work.

The Toronto Star reviews Joe Sacco's new nonfiction graphic novel, Footnotes in Gaza.

Deftly darting back and forth from the past to the present – perfectly highlighting how little has changed in this war-torn region in the intervening half-century – Sacco uses gripping, often heart-wrenching first-hand accounts of witnesses to the bloody events and of those still struggling to survive as perpetual refugees.

IGN lists the 10 most memorable Super Bowl halftime shows.

Win a $100 Threadless gift certificate 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:

Atomic Books Comics Preview (highlights of the week's comics & graphic novel releases)
daily mp3 downloads
Largehearted Word (highlights of the week's book releases)
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from this week's CD releases)
weekly music & DVD release lists

submit to reddit