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January 28, 2015

Shorties (The Winner of the Costa Book Prize, The Best Riot Grrrl Songs, and more)

Helen MacDonald's memoir H Is for Hawk has won the 2914 Costa Book of the Year.


10 of the best Riot Grrrl songs.


38 online "best books of 2014" lists were added to the master aggregation at Largehearted Boy last week.


The Largehearted Boy list of essential and interesting "best of 2014" music lists.


Mutha interviewed author Wendy C. Ortiz.


The Rumpus interviewed author Robert Repino.


Thurston Moore interviewed Mark Stewart about the Pop Group reunion at The Quietus.


Authors are sharing their literary influences at the Believer.


PopMatters interviewed singer-songwriter Dan Wilson.


Marie Mutsuki Mockett talked to All Things Considered about her memoir Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye.


Singer-songwriter Jim White talked to Flagpole about his collaboration with Packway Handle Band.


BuzzFeed recommended novels about Muslim life.


Stereogum interviewed singer-songwriter Jessica Pratt.


The Washington Post profiled cartoonist Roz Chast.


Jeff Tweedy talked to the Irish Times about making music with his son.


Bustle listed actress Emma Watson's favorite books.


Desaparecidos is releasing a new album.


Critic and author Alan Cheuse discussed his favorite books with WUSF.


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


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

Essential and Interesting 2014 Year-End Music Lists
List of Online "Best of 2014" Book Lists

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
daily mp3 downloads
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
weekly music release lists
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (recommended new books)

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January 28, 2015

Daily Downloads (Colleen Green, Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, and more)

Every day, Daily Downloads offers 10 free and legal mp3 downloads.


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Cairo: Young Love EP [mp3]

Colleen Green: "TV" [mp3] from I Want to Grow Up (out February 24th)

Connor Zwetsch: What Comes After EP [mp3]

Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors: Collection EP [mp3]

Ellie Holcomb: Collection EP [mp3]

Guthrie Brown: Spirit of the Elk EP [mp3]

Kate Brady: Sailing Ships EP [mp3]

Kris Orlowski: Columbia City Theater Sessions EP [mp3]

Wildfront: "Sovereign" [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Spacin': 2014-12-14, Brooklyn [mp3]


search for more free and legal music downloads at Largehearted Boy


also at Largehearted Boy:

other daily free and legal mp3 downloads

Essential and Interesting 2014 Year-End Music Lists

covers collections
100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads

Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, books, and pop culture news and links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtrack)
weekly new album lists

Posted by david | permalink | post to del.icio.us

January 27, 2015

Book Notes - Sharma Shields "The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac"

The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Sharma Shields proves herself a masterful storyteller in her imaginative debut novel debut novel The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac.

Kirkus wrote of the book:

"Imagine a mash up of Moby-Dick and Kafka's Metamorphosis (with a hearty dash of Twin Peaks thrown in), and you'll begin to get an idea of what Shields's ambitious tale of disenchantment sets out to do."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In her own words, here is Sharma Shields's Book Notes music playlist for her debut novel The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac:


I decided to tackle this playlist by assigning a song to each of the novel's main characters. The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac spans seventy-some years of one man's life and focuses not just on Dr. Eli Roebuck, but also on the women (and Sasquatch) that his obsession affects. It's a novel about ambition and loss and guilt and family and, yes, Sasquatch, and the songs chosen here are frequently poignant and lovelorn, and a few of them are from Northwest bands, as the Northwest forests and towns loom large in the book. I gave Eli two songs because he goes through the biggest transformation from start to finish.

Young Eli Roebuck: "Where Did You Sleep Last Night (In The Pines)," Traditional, Covered by Nirvana

If I could choose one song to represent the entire book, this would be it. Young Eli could very well be singing this to his mother, who—in love with a half-man, half-Sasquatch named Mr. Krantz—disappears into the dark woods spanning Eastern Washington and the western Idaho panhandle.

I love how desperately WA State's own Kurt Cobain screams the last verse. It is pain-racked, the voice of pure despair. It is a gorgeous manifestation of how an abandoned child feels.

Greg Roebuck: "In My Hour of Darkness," Gram Parsons

Eli's father, Greg, is hard-working, loving father, although he is unsure of himself as a lone parent and a bit frozen-up by his wife's abrupt departure. He is featured in the chapter "The Bottomless Pit," in which a dark hole in the woods serves as a metaphor for his uncertainty in fatherhood and for his internalized anger with his missing wife. This Gram Parsons's song reflects that yawning darkness and Greg's search for hope and truth within it.

Mr. Krantz: "Song for Zula," Phosphorescent

This ambient, full-throated song, self-produced by Matthew Houck, is a perfect fit for a man who is half-Sasquatch, as Houck's gorgeous, emotional lyrics suggest:

O and all you folks, you come to see
You just stand there in the glass looking at me
But my heart is wild. And my bones are steam
And I could kill you with my bare hands if I was free

I frequently had this entire album, Muchacho, on repeat while I was writing and editing. I've been getting back into listening to music while I write, and this feels like such a literary album to me. It may have influenced some of the tone of the novel, or maybe I just enjoy the album so much because it reflects a tone I frequently seek in my work: dark, brooding, emotional.

Gladys: "Too Many Birds," Bill Callahan

In the chapter, "The Funnel, The Hourglass, The Window," Gladys Roebuck, Eli's first wife, her mind beginning to unravel, stands with her husband in their yard and watches starlings grouping in the sky. She is sure they are spelling the word "Doom" overhead. Manifold birds haunt her in the novel, including a chicken-legged woman who sells her an enchanted cap.

This beautiful song by Bill Callahan's felt like a great fit for Gladys:

Too many birds in one tree
Too many birds in one tree
And the sky is full of black and screaming leaves
The sky is full of black and screaming…

I sorrow for Gladys in the book. At first it seems like she's there for comic relief, or merely to be intensely unlikeable, but she's a tragic character, at odds with the world, grappling with her own depression and mental illness. She is not a bad person, only mistaken.

Amelia: "Oblivion," Grimes

Amelia is Eli and Gladys's daughter, caught between her mother's mental illness and her father's indifference. She distances herself even further from them and in her pubescence veers toward self-destruction. In "Oblivion," Grimes sings, "When you're running by yourself, it's hard to find someone to hold your hand." Amelia runs away from home only to discover how terrifying the world at large can be.

Amelia is, I think, my favorite character in the book: she's tough, she's unsentimental, she's borderline mean-spirited toward those she loves (a defense mechanism, no doubt). Her Achilles heel is the approval she wants from her parents, which is a long-time coming in the novel.

Marion: "Ghost Writing," Neko Case

Marion is Amelia's older, sleazy boyfriend, who loves to seduce young girls and who finds himself greatly annoyed by Amelia's coldness toward him. After abandoning Amelia on the side of a dangerous highway near Grand Coulee Dam, Marion crashes his car into Lake Roosevelt, leaving him face to face with the ghost of himself. In "Ghost Writing," Neko Case sings, "Your ghost is a lightshow at night / On the Grand Coulee Dam," and the haunting, creepy tone of the music fits beautifully with Marion's terror, confusion, and sense of loss at a life poorly lived.

Ginger: "Late Night, Maudlin Street" by Morrissey

Eli leaves Gladys (and, in a way, Amelia, too) and marries a younger woman named Vanessa, who immediately gives birth to Ginger. Ginger, compared to Amelia, is a fragile, guilt-riddled, and over-sensitive young woman.

This song by Morrissey is one of my favorites of all time, because it captures so perfectly nostalgia and growing pains, the strange way we can miss a home and a time despite its ugliness. It's an appropriate song for Ginger, who seems unable to forgive herself for her own transgressions, and who longs to make everyone around her happy, even while she is so miserable.

Agnes: "Love Will Tear Us Apart," Joy Division

Agnes, Eli's mom, abandoned motherhood (and the very world as she knew it) to flee with Mr. Krantz into the forest. It's a life that suits her: She is a misanthrope, a private person more comfortable in the disinterested wilderness. Nonetheless, she winds up being abandoned, too, first by Mr. Krantz, and then by her son when she attempts (however weakly) to rekindle their relationship.

Agnes doesn't believe in the transformative power of love. I think she sees it as a force both driving and destructive, as Joy Division's classic song attests.

Vanessa: "Grieving Kind," The Moondoggies

The Moondoggies is one of my favorite Northwest bands of late, and this song represents Vanessa's heavy grief at the end of the book. It's a slow, sad song, and I'm a sucker for sadness/slowness in music. As John Goodman says in David Byrne's True Stories: "I like sad songs. They make me want to lie on the floor."

The thing about Vanessa is: she used to be a broader, bigger character in the book, but I cut a few of her chapters to make the book a bit tighter. She is now one of its lesser characters. Her bewildered grief, then, is what really separates her from the others.

Eli Roebuck at the end of the novel: "Love Travels Faster," Halo Benders

In the last chapter of the novel, Eli is given an opportunity to reach out to someone and communicate his sincere love to her, but it proves, as always, an arduous, maybe even impossible, task. So I'm bringing in this cheerful ringer from the Halo Benders, the spectacular side project of Built to Spill's Doug Martsch and Beat Happening's Calvin Johnson. This is my attempt at wishing Eli godspeed on his journey: May he communicate the love he feels swiftly and successfully. Best wishes, Eli!


Sharma Shields and The Sasquatch Hunter's Almanac links:

the author's website

Booklist review
Kirkus review
LitReactor review
National Review review

Inlander profile of the author
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Favorite Monster
Seattle Magazine interview with the author
The Spokesman-Review profile of the author
Writer. with Kids interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

List of Online "Best of 2014" Book Lists
Essential and Interesting 2014 Year-End Music Lists

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists
Word Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)

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This Week's Interesting Music Releases - January 27, 2015

Jessica Pratt

Jessica Pratt's On Your Own Love Again is easily my favorite new release this week.

Alasdair Roberts' self-titled release, The Dodos' Individ, The Lone Bellow's Then Came the Morning, and Punch Brothers' The Phosphorescent Blues are other albums I can also recommend.

Also available is the fascinating The Rough Guide To Psychedelic India.

Reissues include vinyl editions of two Guided By Voices albums, Bee Thousand and King Shit and the Golden Boys.

What new releases are you picking up this week? What can you recommend? Have I left anything noteworthy off the list?


This week's interesting music releases:

Alasdair Roberts: Alasdair Roberts
Ascension: The Dead Of The World
Bettye LaVette: Worthy
The Bros. Landreth: Let It Lie
Charlie Wilson: Forever Charlie
Corey Dargel: OK It's Not OK
Danny Kroha: Angels Watching Over Me
Dengue Fever: The Deepest Lake
The Dodos: Individ
Doomtree: All Hands
Drew Holcomb & Neighbors: Medicine
Fifth Harmony: Reflection
Funeral For A Friend: Chapter and Verse
George Ezra: Wanted On Voyage
Gov't Mule: Sco-Mule
Guided By Voices: Bee Thousand (reissue) [vinyl]
Guided By Voices: King Shit and the Golden Boys (reissue) [vinyl]
Hey Rosetta!: Second Sight
Howlin Rain: Mansion Songs
Jamie Cullum: Interlude
Jan St. Werner: Miscontinuum Album
Jessica Pratt: On Your Own Love Again
Jim White Vs. Packway Handle Band: Take It Like a Man
The Lone Bellow: Then Came the Morning
Menace Beach: Ratworld
Milo Greene: Control
Napalm Death: Apex Predator - Easy Meat
Natalie Prass: Natalie Prass
Ne-Yo: Non-Fiction
Papa Roach: F.E.A.R.
Periphery: Juggernaut: Alpha
Periphery: Juggernaut: Omega
Pond: Man It Feels Like Space Again
Punch Brothers: The Phosphorescent Blues
Rush: Fly By Night (reissue) [vinyl]
Twerps: Range Anxiety
Various Artists: The Rough Guide To Psychedelic India
Venom: From The Very Depths
Voices: London
Young Ejecta: The Planet


also at Largehearted Boy:

weekly music release lists

Essential and Interesting "Best of 2014" Music Lists

100 online sources for free and legal music downloads
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)

Posted by david | permalink | post to del.icio.us

Shorties (Masha Gessen on Translating Dostoyevsky, The Best Fleetwood Mac Books, and more)

Masha Gessen discussed translating Dostoyevsky with Slate.


Paste listed the best books about Fleetwood Mac.


38 online "best books of 2014" lists were added to the master aggregation at Largehearted Boy last week.


The Largehearted Boy list of essential and interesting "best of 2014" music lists.


Blake Butler interviewed author Sarah Gerard at Vice.


The Quietus interviewed Darren Hayman of the band Hefner.


Chelsea Hodson and Juliet Escoria interviewed each other at Emily Books.


Deceptive Cadence reconsidered composer Steve Reich's first piece, It's Gonna Rain, released 50 years ago.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn interviewed author Jesse Ball.


PopMatters previewed 2015's progressive rock releases.


Cartoonist Gene Luen Yang talked religion with Nia King.



Graphic Novel Reporter recommended comics published this winter.


Drowned in Sound ranked the Cribs' singles.


Flavorwire listed the greatest literary moments on television.


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


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

Essential and Interesting 2014 Year-End Music Lists
List of Online "Best of 2014" Book Lists

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
daily mp3 downloads
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
weekly music release lists
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (recommended new books)

Posted by david | permalink | post to del.icio.us

Daily Downloads (Annalibera, The Marks Cartel, and more)

Every day, Daily Downloads offers 10 free and legal mp3 downloads.


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

75 Dollar Bill: Live on WFMU [mp3]

Abby Merkel: "Chin Up" [mp3]

Annalibera: "Black Cat White Cat" [mp3] from Nevermind I Love You (out March 24th)

Fat Spirit: Live on WFMU [mp3]
Fat Spirit: Super King album [mp3]

The Marks Cartel: "Where Do I Go" [mp3]

Slospeak: Slospeak in the Sky with Diamonds EP [mp3]

Valise: "Dialogue" [mp3] from Young Bloomer (out February 24th)

Various Artists: My Little Empire: New Empires album [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Kenosha Kid: 2015-01-19, Athens [mp3]


search for more free and legal music downloads at Largehearted Boy


also at Largehearted Boy:

other daily free and legal mp3 downloads

Essential and Interesting 2014 Year-End Music Lists

covers collections
100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads

Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, books, and pop culture news and links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtrack)
weekly new album lists

Posted by david | permalink | post to del.icio.us

January 26, 2015

Book Notes - Michael Crummey "Sweetland"

Sweetland

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Michael Crummey's Sweetland is a quietly powerful novel where the past and present collide to create an exceptional character-driven book.

Kirkus Reviews wrote of the book:

"The elimination of an entire community, and what it represents, is deeply felt. Through its crusty protagonist, Crummey's shrewd, absorbing novel tells us how rich a life can be, even when experienced in the narrowest of physical confines."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Michael Crummey's Book Notes music playlist for his novel Sweetland:


There are still pockets of my home province of Newfoundland that exist somewhere on the margins of the 21st century. Tiny island communities accessible only by sea, improbable outports that have clung to rock for a couple of centuries, beyond the reach of most of what "modern life" has to offer. With the total collapse of the cod fishery twenty years ago, though, these places are starting to fade from the world. Some residents are taking a government package to resettle en masse to more central locations, a package that is offered with the condition that everyone has to sign on and leave.

Sweetland is set on the south coast of Newfoundland, in a community of geriatrics and misfits that is slowly fading from the world. Everyone is ready to take the government package, but for one pig-headed holdout. Moses Sweetland won't be moved, whatever his friends and neighbours throw at him. And in the second half of the novel, Sweetland finds himself on his island with only the dead for company. No one knows he's there. And things don't go particularly well for him. The line between the real world and the otherworldly, between life and death, starts to blur and eventually disappears altogether.

Sound like fun?

Well, I had a good time, for what it's worth.

I fell in love with Moses as I wrote the book. I admired him. He was my avatar on a quest to make peace with the apocalyptic loneliness everyone of us can expect to face at some point in our lives. Resettlement is the setup for the novel. But beneath the surface it's a book about mortality, about what how we face our mortality says about us. I hope when my time comes I find some scrap of Sweetland's will, of his dogged insistence on the importance of a life, however marginal and unseen it might be.


Paul Buchanan - "I Remember You"

Former lead singer of indie-darling Scottish band The Blue Nile, Buchanan released his first solo album, Mid Air, in 2012. I went through a serious Blue Nile phase about a decade ago, and Mid Air brought it all back to me. Unlike the synth-soaked near-pop songs of the band though, Buchanan's solo work is a late-night whisper. "Spare" doesn't come close to describing the arrangements. A lonely piano and Buchanan's haunted vocals carry almost the entire record. It's like a soundtrack for a man living alone on an island in the north Atlantic. Melancholy. Exhilarating.


Rush - "La Villa Strangiato"

Thanks to the wonders of Youtube, I went on a long Rush jag while I was writing Sweetland.

I don't know, man. It just kinda happened.

I was a Rush fan in my teens, starting with Moving Pictures and the double-live album Exit, Stage Left. But it had been decades since I'd listened to anything from them when I began streaming records I hadn't bothered with as a kid, Hemispheres and Caress of Steel and 2112. I spent countless unjustifiable hours among the bombast and weird time signatures and faux-profound lyrics.

Jesus, they suck. Jesus, they're fantastic.

Much like life.


Stan Rogers - "Barrett's Privateers"

In 1995 my father and I took the coastal boat down the Labrador as far as Nain, to revisit the places where he had grown up fishing with my grandfather in the 1940s. He brought the crappy little radio/cassette player he carried everywhere. There were no radio signals to be found on the coast of Labrador, but there was a tape in the machine with Leonard Cohen's Greatest Hits on one side and Stan Roger's classic folk album Fogerty's Cove on the other. It was a fifteen day journey. We listened to those two albums a lot. And those songs still bring the trip—and my father—back to me.

After finishing this novel, it struck me that what Sweetland endures in the second half of the book has a lot of parallels to what someone suffering through a terminal illness goes through. And it occurred to me then, as well, that I had pillaged my father's life for details and incidents to insert into Sweetland's history.

Sweetland is a completely different man than my father, of course. But, without being conscious of it, I was obviously writing through the experience of watching Dad die of cancer twelve years ago. And that may explain, to some extent, why I admire Moses as much as I do.


Amelia Curran - "Years"

Listen, there aren't a lot of easy "feel good" moments in this book. I get that. It's funny at times; hell, I think it's hilarious in spots. But pretty fecking dark overall. For Sweetland himself, it's post-apocalypse. He loses just about everything but his will to endure. And still I never for a moment considered I was writing a "depressing" book. Most readers I've encountered come away from it feeling, not uplifted exactly, but subtly encouraged. Braced somehow.

I went to a shit-hole, smoky St. John's bar one Christmas about fifteen years ago to see...well, I can't remember who the headliner was now. But between sets, she invited a friend who was home for the holidays to sing a few songs on a borrowed guitar. That friend was Amelia Curran. She's five albums in now and every record is a gem. I spent a lot of time listening to her 2011 release, Spectators, while I was writing this book. "Years" is my favourite track. The unexpectedly uplifting chorus kills me every time. "We're nowhere near sunset, and baby we've got years yet. Baby, we've got years."


The Weakerthans - "Psalm for the Elks Lodge Last Call"

Does anyone write better idiosyncratic, nostalgia-soaked, incisive, heartbreaking lyrics than John K Samson? Well, probably. It's a big world out there. But for my money, the Weakerthan's front man is the best at what he does. Which is offering up catchy, off-the-wall but sincere odes to the small and everyday, to the marginal and underrepresented. Prairie curlers, depression-era tuberculosis patients, aging Elks Lodge members. Fleeting, insignificant, beautiful lives.

"Let the toast to absent members push through the ceiling/ before we say goodnight."

Amen, John K. Amen.


Michael Crummey and Sweetland links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry

Globe and Mail review
Kirkus review
Macleans.ca review
Minneapolis Star Tribune review
National Post review
Publishers Weekly review

Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Galore
Quill and Quire profile of the author
Toronto Star profile of the author
Winnipeg Free Press interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

List of Online "Best of 2014" Book Lists
Essential and Interesting 2014 Year-End Music Lists

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
guest book reviews
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists
Word Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)

Posted by david | permalink | post to del.icio.us

Book Notes - Allison Adelle Hedge Coke "Streaming"

Streaming

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke's new collection Streaming is a veritable symphony, her poems embracing musicality and dissonance like the best of modern composers.

Summerset Review wrote of the book:

"Her poems beg to be read aloud, a jumble of hard sounds that wind their way into an effortless melody. . . Streaming is truly an accomplishment."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In her own words, here is Allison Adelle Hedge Coke's Book Notes music playlist for her poetry collection Streaming:


Prelude

The first poem, a prelude elegy, should be read a cappella.


I – Navigation

"Someday We’ll Be Together," Laura Ortman (2011)

Loss melts into an echo bearing collisions of bends in temporal planes bringing what is long ago and faraway nearby, instantaneously. Ortman is genius. Killer, killer violinist, and plays all of the tracks and instruments on most of her solo recordings. This piece is mesmerizing. Kicks into the feel of Streaming and carries me right through it.

"Touch Me," Kelvyn Bell

This song turns on a sensual sound to humanness. It blends enigmatic with ease, releases and surrenders supple grace. There is a forgiving generosity in this sound. The world needs us to be gentle as much as it needs us to be strong self-supporting of ourselves, taking only what we need and feeding the spirit with level selflessness.


II – Breaking Cover

"Kawdan’s Song," Laura Ortman (2007)
Not quite ready to leave Laura yet. In fact we need her to wake us up again. Make us see the tangle we surround ourselves in. Strange beauty on either side, we narrow our focus and lift ourselves into planes we need reach to dignify the human race. To be humane in the often inhumane world. Kawdan’s Song is a quick compelling open to this section.

"3 Days and 3 Nights," Otis Taylor (2001)

Taylor takes us into struggling infancy in a mournful and frenzy filled passing of time with nothing (nothing) on hand to feed a little girl, slipping away, and nothing breaking the chance of dying. Chilling. Dostoyevsky might have written this. Too many people live this, die with this. The world is ripe with trouble, truly. This section lifts the drape.

"Too Cold Outside for Angels to Fly," Ed Sheeran (2013)

Takes the everyday experience passerbys mostly don’t choose to see, then seduces those strangers into the life slipping away, here, next to you, right next to you. So many people cold, hungry, lost, using, used, out of everything a regular Joe might never get close enough to know. This one tears and yet speaks love in the subtle attention. Go out and hand someone a sandwich. Take your blanket with you and give it away. Do it.


May Suite

"Everybody’s Got to Change Sometime," Taj Mahal with Jessee Ed Davis (1968)

Getting ready for twisters makes me hunker down into memory of Jesse Ed, an Oklahoman, back in the day, when Taj stood up for the knack of change and readied us for it. When you climb into the bathtub, pull the mattress over; most of the stations blow down except for oldies anyway. If you are lucky, it will be one that gets your mind moving.

"The Beautiful Creatures," Bruce Cockburn, Live audio at Quasimodo Germany (2007)

What’s happening in the Anthropogenic. Truly. This song delivers the absolute despair in losing thousands and thousands of living species mostly due to resourcing and greed, but also, historically and contemporarily, to what some people call sport. There’s no bringing them back and we lost half, literally half of the world’s wildlife species in the past forty years alone. Cockburn is about as real as you can go.

"Fracking," Tanya Tagaq (2014)

Below Guthrie we have earthquakes all the time. Yes, they are from fracking. No, they didn’t exist until recently. Pulling up brine from dinosaur days, water that hasn’t seen light of day or oxygen in eons. Polluting it, beyond evaporation reclaim. Then pumping it back into the earth in a different place. Shaking all of us up, for what, for black gold, worth nothing but money. Tagaq turns tempo into matching force, increases our at-stake interest, churns inside the belly of our mother, implicating the frackers and hollows core. Want more? There are four albums already. Grab some.

"Twisting\' the Night Away," Sam Cooke (1962)

Near Ellison’s Deep Deuce neighborhood, the sky opens up, drops thunder, the earth rises to meet it and tornadoes run the path in the crosshairs of the Gulf and the Rockies, making madness and misery, taking lives and giving grief. Those who survive, down in the Red Dirt flyway, Oklahoma, path of the windway – everyone dances sometime.


III – Where We Have Been

"Down in the Gowanus Canal," Juan & the Pines - Julian Talamantez Brolaski
 (2011)

Mournful patch of lonesome in the Gowanus. The history of this dirge is maddening.

"Barstow," Harry Partch (1941) (1968)


Partch lifts the poetry from graffiti and tosses it into a spoken word ramble through Barstow trestles and underpasses tagging the face of The Great Depression. This is some of the first spoken word recorded in the US and brings the sultry into survivance while hoboing it alongside the line between living and dying, this is life, unhitched.


"Down the Dirt Road Blues," Charley Patton (1929)


Pushing it back a bit, Patton intensifies the sounds of my father singing to me when I was a kid. Dad picked other people’s cotton for a penny a pound. His dad’s back was shot, so Dad, his mother, and siblings headed down those rows, nestled between dirt roads, working sun up to sun down. He always appreciated Patton. Still does today at nearly 93. 
In the film we are making together about Native resiliency in climate change, in the Dust Bowl, Dad gives into the memories of knowing that edge of life I’ve seen as well. Patton rings.


"Levee Camp Blues," Mississippi Fred McDowell (1968)

When I was a kid, I was hooked on Papa John Creach in Hot Tuna, Brownie McGhee, Leo Kottke, Traffic, Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Rufus/Chaka Khan, Led Zepplin, Santana, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Johnny and Edgar Winter, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Son House, Sun Ra Arkestra, Tina Turner, the Band, Mississippi John Hurt, Dobie Gray, Redbone, Jimmy Hendrix, so many great great players, singers. This singer/player deeply resonated with me, brought me to write some of my earliest attempts at poetry, lyric. Coming of age picking tobacco and digging sweet potatoes, sleeping near the fields in the car, cracking windows at dawn – Mississippi Fred McDowell singing Levee Camp Blues rung absolutely true.

"Music is the Healing Force of the Universe," Albert Ayler w/ Mary Maria, from Nuits de La Fondation Maeght (1971)


Killer track. This is one of several Ayler dropped into the field and hundreds followed. Same with Mary Maria, here setting the pace for every era. This is still experimental work, standing beyond any sense of time. Deliberately commanding the audience to heal through the sound presented. Testimony, hard fact truth-telling, inviting renewal, healing.

"
A Oh Love of Life!," Albert Ayler - Tenor Saxophone, Soprano, Musette, Vocals, Allen Blairman – Drums, Steve Tintweiss - Double Bass, Mary Maria - Vocal, Soprano Saxophone(1969)


This track takes a schism and renders it whole again. Each departure is fresh, surprising, rich and wicked with love. Reminds me of tumbling things back into order after they’ve been flipped around countless times. Rekindling something measured from disparate threads unraveled until the music makes them whole. Something to spin the world back into place. Mary Maria’s vocals are haunting!



IV – Where it Ends


"It’s Such a Splendid Day and I Have to Go," Charlie Rauh (2014)


Dedicated to Hans and Sophie Scholl, a brother and sister in Munich during WW2 that founded an intellectual resistance group known as The White Rose. Both were arrested after being caught distributing anti nazi flyers at the university they attended and executed days later. Title taken from Sophie Scholl's final words at the age of 22. Lines up with the literal holocaust in New York, Sullivan Clinton Campaign in “Reduction.”


"Mix," Arthur Blythe, Abdul Wadud, Bobby Battle, Bob Stewart Kelvyn Bell. (July 18, 1981 at the Casino De Montreux in Montreux, Switzerland)


In the Marfa fires, life split its dry husk clean open and all the world seemed to float out. The simmer rose in heat waves making everything reflect back on itself. Memory kicked in and some thousand times fire singed all came sliding up the porch licking at your toes until all you could do was give into it and be with it, float back through all the fires you know and hope you live. Listening to this set, where improvisational sound edges back into itself, brought me some impulse; something I call ampliset. When you feel it, move with it, cull sound with it, life, well, you know what happens; a long range poem, epic.



Coda


"Reception," Charlie Rauh (written, 2013, to be released in 2015)


Written about a best friend’s murder, these two masterpiece seem to reawaken the listener, like a soft rain on old growth, on memory, in recanting the life, love, loss. Returning with ease of peace. Beautiful. 


Buddy Miles comes to mind, now that I’ve written this. Pete DePoe, Billy Preston, Frank Waln, Young Jibwe, but I think you should wrap up this listening with a bit of “Amayi” from Paula Nelson (https://soundcloud.com/tsvdatsila), Cherokee, NC. After that, download the album that actually comes with Streaming, by Rd Klā, that’s Kelvyn Bell, Laura Ortman, and me. Available free (as download) with purchase of the book, or you can sample here: rdkla.com. Half of these people (in playlist above) are noted in the acknowledgments page of this book already, or in books that preceded it. Amazing players – genius. They give me reason.


Allison Adelle Hedge Coke and Streaming links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry
the author's blog
excerpt from the book ("Heroes")
excerpt from the book

Eckleburg interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (2015 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2012 - 2014) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

List of Online "Best of 2014" Book Lists
Essential and Interesting 2014 Year-End Music Lists

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists
Word Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)

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Shorties (A List of Essential Literary Biographies, Stream the New Mount Eerie Album, and more)

Flavorwire listed essential literary biographies.


NPR Music is streaming the new Mount Eerie album, Sauna.


38 online "best books of 2014" lists were added to the master aggregation at Largehearted Boy last week.


The Largehearted Boy list of essential and interesting "best of 2014" music lists.


Stream the Austin City Limits episode featuring Ryan Adams and Jenny Lewis.


Electric Literature recommended literary podcasts.


PopMatters interviewed Robert Forster of the musical duo the Go-Betweens.


Joseph Riipi interviewed author Laird Hunt at Hobart.


NPR Music is streaming Title Fights new album Hyperview.


Nina Bunjevac talked to Weekend Edition about her new graphic novel Fatherland: A Family History.


FACT previewed Australian musical artists to watch in 2015.


Seth Grahame-Smith discussed his favorite books about literal and metaphorical monsters with The Week.


NPR Music is streaming filmmaker John Carpenter's new album Lost Themes.


Booksellers previewed 2015 comics at Paste.


Weekend Edition profiled the band Dengue Fever.


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


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

Essential and Interesting 2014 Year-End Music Lists
List of Online "Best of 2014" Book Lists

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
daily mp3 downloads
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
weekly music release lists
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (recommended new books)

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Daily Downloads (Darren Hayman, Ryan Pryor, and more)

Every day, Daily Downloads offers 10 free and legal mp3 downloads.


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Air Review: "Winter Song" [mp3]

Brittney Joell: Tick Tock EP [mp3]

The Collection: Ars Moriendi album [mp3]

Darren Hayman: Chants for Socialists album [mp3]

The Duke of Norfolk: "Ae Fond Kiss" [mp3]

Ryan Pryor: "January Snow" [mp3]

Slowski: "Curiosity" [mp3]

The Speedbumps: Cabin EP [mp3]

Various Artists: 25 (Atomnation compilation album) [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Rhyton: 2014-12-10, Brooklyn [mp3]


search for more free and legal music downloads at Largehearted Boy


also at Largehearted Boy:

other daily free and legal mp3 downloads

Essential and Interesting 2014 Year-End Music Lists

covers collections
100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads

Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, books, and pop culture news and links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtrack)
weekly new album lists

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January 25, 2015

Largehearted Boy Weekly Wrap-Up - January 25, 2015

A list of the past week's Largehearted Boy features:


Book Notes: (authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates to their book)

Deepti Kapoor for her novel A Bad Character
Emma Hooper for her novel Etta and Otto and Russell and James
Mark Wisniewski for his novel Watch Me Go
Michael Christie for his novel If I Fall, If I Die
Robert Repino for his novel Mort(e)


Lists

Online "Best Books of 2014" Lists
2014 Online Year-end Music Lists
Largehearted Boy Favorite Comics of 2014
Largehearted Boy Favorite Food and Drink Books of 2014
Largehearted Boy Favorite Nonfiction of 2014
Largehearted Boy Favorite Novels of 2014
Largehearted Boy Favorite Short Story Collections of 2014


Weekly New Book Recommendations:

Atomic Books Comics Preview (recommended new comics and graphic novels)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (recommended new books)


New Music Recommendations:

The Week's Interesting Music Releases


And of course, the daily music and news posts:

Daily Downloads (10 free and legal mp3 downloads every day, plus links to free live recordings online)
Shorties (news & links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)


also at Largehearted Boy:

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines
Atomic Books Comics Preview
Book Notes
Contests / Giveaways
Cover Song Collections
Daily Downloads
Lists
weekly music release lists
musician/author Interviews
Note Books
Soundtracked
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week

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January 24, 2015

Daily Downloads (The Week's Best Free and Legal Music Including Jessica Pratt, Alasdair Roberts, Dr. Dog, and more)

Every day, Daily Downloads offers 10 free and legal mp3 downloads.


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Alasdair Roberts: "Artless One" [mp3] from Alasdair Roberts (out January 27th)

Cobra and Vulture: Grasslands album [mp3]

Dr. Dog: NoiseTrade Eastside Manor Sessions EP [mp3]

Jessica Pratt: "Back, Baby" [mp3] from On Your Own Love Again

Justin Townes Earle: NoiseTrade Eastside Manor Session EP [mp3]

Various Artists: Folkroom Presents: Anthology Three album [mp3]

Various Artists: Hangout Music Fest Mixtape 2015 album [mp3]

Various Artists: New Weird Australia: Passages, Volume One album [mp3]
Various Artists: New Weird Australia: Passages, Volume Two album [mp3]
Various Artists: New Weird Australia: Passages, Volume Three album [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Oneida: 2015-01-10, Brooklyn [mp3]


search for more free and legal music downloads at Largehearted Boy


also at Largehearted Boy:

other daily free and legal mp3 downloads

Essential and Interesting 2014 Year-End Music Lists

covers collections
100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads

Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, books, and pop culture news and links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtrack)
weekly new album lists

Posted by david | permalink | post to del.icio.us

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