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December 12, 2012

Shorties (Anthony Burgess's Early Music Ambitions, The Continuing Influence of Prince's Music, and more)

Open Letters Monthly examines author Anthony Burgess's early music ambitions.

Burgess wanted to go to school for music, but was denied admittance on the grounds that he hadn’t passed a physics requirement. Chapfallen, he went for English instead, and music became a smaller part of his creative life. He was writing plays, poems and short stories, co-editing the University of Manchester’s magazine, and pursuing the social triumphs appropriate to a young undergraduate. Songs, not symphonies, filled out his blank staves now, soundscapes more suited to the conviviality of university life and the medical unit where he would soon be posted during World War Two. Burgess tried to get them published but there were no takers – another early musical disappointment, and there would be many more. (via)


The Guardian interviews members of Hot Chip about the continuing influence of Prince's music.


38 year-end music lists were added yesterday to the master aggregation yesterday, including song of the year lists from Said the Gramophone, MTV, and Gorilla vs. Bear.


21 lists were added yesterday to the master aggregation of year-end online "best books of 2012" lists, including Brain Pickings' best history books, Tobias Carroll's favorite new books, and Kirkus Reviews' best teen books.


The Largehearted Boy books of the year (more lists to come):

my favorite graphic novels of 2012
my favorite nonfiction books of 2012
my favorite novels of 2012
my favorite short story collections of 2012


The Los Angeles Times interviews new Los Angeles poet laureate Eloise Klein Healy.

About that "big salary" — $10,000 a year for two years, from the Cultural Affairs Department budget. Some people will say that the city's in terrible shape, this is what they're spending money on?

The city's in terrible shape with its literary reputation too. People in New York support the business end of literary culture — presses and literary magazines. That's a problem [in L.A.]. The mayor's saying we're the kind of city who should have something like this. That's what the job's about. It's not about who's the best poet. It's about, can somebody speak to literary culture?


DOA interviews Pete Wiggs of Saint Etienne.


amNewYork interviews Jami Attenberg about her novel The Middlesteins.


PopMatters interviews the members of Savoir Adore about crowdfunding their new album.


The Guardian interviews author Ian Rankin.

What's the biggest myth about being a novelist?

That we're introspective, sensitive souls and have arcane knowledge. I used to think that: whenever I heard that someone had taken 10 years to write a novel, I'd think it must be a big, serious book. Now I think, "No – it took you one year to write, and nine years to sit around eating Kit Kats."


RIP, legendary sitarist Ravi Shankar.


At NPR Books, author Wendy Welch recommends three books about rural living.


On sale for $5 this week at Amazon MP3: Big Boi's new album Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors.


Morning Edition interviews Oprah Winfrey about the new incarnation of her book club.


Pop Candy profiles the band Dungeonesse, which features Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak.

Who is Dungeonesse and just what is their venture? From the initial sounds of the first single, Drive You Crazy, maybe this musical duo doesn't seem different from the latest shiny face off the pop production line. But listen a bit longer. Ehrens has been a part of many successful Baltimore bands (most recently White Life), and his partner in this venture? It's none other than Jenn Wasner. Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak — Wye Oak of 2011's top album Civilian — Civilian of excellent heavy, brooding rock songs. If there is modern pop music to believe in, Dungeonesse will be the songwriting pair creating it.


GeekDad lists its top 10 science fiction novels of all time.


J.R. Angelella discusses his Book Notes music playlist essay for his novel Zombie.


Amazon MP3 is adding five holiday songs to its free mp3 downloads every day through the end of the year.


Win my favorite book of 2012, Chris Ware's comics collection Building Stories, and a $100 Threadless gift certificate in this week's Largehearted Boy contest.


Amazon MP3 offers 100 albums on sale for $5 each.
Amazon MP3 offers 100 digital holiday albums on sale for $5 each.
Amazon MP3 offers over 1,600 albums on sale for $3.99.
Amazon MP3 offers over 500 albums for sale for $2.99.
Amazon MP3 has 22 classic R&B and soul albums on sale for $2.99 each.
Amazon MP3 offers over 400 jazz albums on sale for $1.78.
Amazon MP3 offers over 33,000 free and legal mp3s.


Follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, and Stumbleupon for links (updated throughout the day) that don't make the daily "Shorties" columns.


also at Largehearted Boy:

previous Shorties posts (daily news and links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)

The list of online "best of 2012" book lists
The list of online "best of 2012" music lists

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics & graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
daily mp3 downloads
Largehearted Word (the week's best new books)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
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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