Twitter Facebook Tumblr Pinterest Instagram

« older | Main Largehearted Boy Page | newer »

May 6, 2010

Shorties (Josh Ritter, Daniel Clowes, and more)

The New York Times profiles singer-songwriter Josh Ritter, whose new album So Runs the World Away is out this week.

For a decade now, Mr. Ritter has been running steadily, guitar in hand. His songs, built from simple, folky patterns into sharp vignettes or sprawling Whitmanesque meditations, have won over many critics, as well as what might be called the soft-rock establishment: NPR, Starbucks and noncommercial radio stations. Sales of his albums have been modest. But by courting fans for the long haul at a time when short-lived blog attention is often the yardstick for success, he has become a model for the way artists sustain careers in the wide middle zone between stardom and obscurity.

Gothamist interviews Daniel Clowes about his new graphic novel, Wilson.

The Washington Post reviews Miguel Syjuco's debut novel, Ilustrado.

Miguel Syjuco's wildly entertaining "Ilustrado" was the recipient of the 2008 Man Asia Literary Prize. Such awards, as readers know, all too often go to earnest, high-minded, politically correct and rather dull books. In this case, I picture the judges, weary from perusing massive laser-printed works of heart-sinking merit, suddenly rejoicing at the discovery of a manuscript as engaging as this one, absolutely assured in its tone, literary sophistication and satirical humor.

The Georgia Straight profiles singer-songwriter Owen Pallett.

Now there’s a thought—a musical rendition of Lovecraft’s fabled book of spells. In Pallett’s hands such a thing could easily become a cult hit, if not a Broadway smash. Given the 30-year-old’s penchant for fantasy literature, it’s not entirely far-fetched, but for now we’ll have to content ourselves with Heartland, which is spellbinding enough, with its combination of poetic lyrics, intricate string and horn arrangements, and angelic, Brian Wilson–inspired vocal harmonies. And, intriguingly, the record is marked by the near-total absence of anything resembling conventional rock or soul syncopation.

Via Chicago offers a music playlist for indie runners.

The Guardian Music Blog examines the effect marriage has on band members.

Legalweek interviews Scott Turow about his new novel, Innocent.

Reverb interviews Janeane Garafalo about music.

Paste asks comics creators to discuss their first comic books.

Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers discusses the band's new album, The Big To-Do, with the Colorado Springs Independent and

The National's Matt Berninger talks to the BBC about the band's new album, High Violet (out May 11th).

io9 posts the essential posthuman science fiction reading list.

Surfing on Steam lists the best albums from the first quarter of 2010.

The Des Moines Register profiles Pavement's Bob Nastanovich.

For the past three seasons, Bob Nastanovich of Des Moines was one of the track's most visible and active racing workers. He charted races for Equibase, meaning he was the person who estimated the distance between horses at each quarter-mile. He wrote for the Daily Racing Form, made picks for one of Prairie Meadows' tip sheets, and worked in the racing office.

But Nastanovich will miss this season as he returns to a previous career. He left Des Moines Sunday for a world reunion tour with the alternative rock group Pavement.

Jacket Copy examines the strategy of free e-books (the current top 10 selling Kindle titles on Amazon are all free).

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