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September 11, 2014

Daily Downloads (Grouper, Eyelids, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Attic Wolves: Volume and Boldness EP [mp3]

Grammar: "New World" [mp3] from Grammar (out October 14th)

Eyelids: "Seagulls into Submission" [mp3]
Eyelids: "Psyche #1" [mp3]

Great Caesar: Scattered Air EP [mp3]

Grouper: "Call Across Rooms" [mp3] from Ruins (out October 13th)

Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge: Close to Picture EP [mp3]

Sammy Brue: Bootleg Sessions Vol. 1 EP [mp3]

Twin Oaks: The Frontloader Acoustic Session EP [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Little Black Egg Band: 2014-09-05, Raleigh [mp3]


search for more free and legal music downloads at Largehearted Boy


also at Largehearted Boy:

other daily free and legal mp3 downloads
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





September 10, 2014

Book Notes - Jess Row "Your Face in Mine"

Your Face in Mine

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, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Jess Row's debut novel Your Face in Mine one of the year's most provocative books, one that boldly explores themes of race and identity in America.

The New York Times wrote of the book:

"This book is adult in its weight and complexity, and formidable in its thoughtfulness... [Row] doesn't shy away from the hard intellectual and moral questions his story raises, or from grainy philosophical dialogue, but he submerges these things in a narrative that burns with a steady flame. You turn the pages without being aware you are turning them."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Jess Row's Book Notes music playlist for his debut novel Your Face in Mine:


Your Face in Mine is a novel built around certain pieces of music, so of course I have to start with them: Bob Marley, "Exodus," Public Enemy, "Fight the Power," and Miles Davis, Porgy and Bess (the entire album).

"Exodus" is the song that gives Martin Wilkinson—the character in the novel who starts out life as a white, Jewish kid in Baltimore and in his twenties is transformed, through surgery, into an African American man—the inspiration for his journey to blackness. Obviously it's a song about the Rasta Exodus, about movement, about yearning to return to Zion, to Africa, literally (depending on which Rastas you're talking to) to Ethiopia, the home of Haile Selassie. But the Exodus in the song is also an immanent, continuous, psychological process of freeing oneself from the values of Babylon and identifying with the values of a new homeland, which may exist purely in the mind. I think that's part of why Rastafarianism, which began as a very small, esoteric, new religion, has taken on worldwide appeal, even to many people not of African descent: it recasts the central event of the Hebrew Bible, one of the central narratives of Western civilization, as a mental revolution against Western civilization. If you listen to "Exodus," I think, you can't help but feel a sense of that whole symbolic order being undone in a joyful way.

"Fight the Power," of course, is the song that opens Do The Right Thing, which was a transformative moment for Kelly, the white narrator of the book, who saw Do The Right Thing at age thirteen, just like I did.

Porgy and Bess is one of Miles Davis's collaborations with the great composer, arranger, and pianist Gil Evans (another is the album Sketches of Spain). There's a great compilation album Columbia put out, The Best of Miles Davis and Gil Evans, which gives you a sense of the variety of music they produced together. Porgy and Bess itself is one of the richest and most complicated examples of American art about black people but written by a white man, and then layered on top of that you have the Davis-Evans collaboration, between a white arranger and perhaps the greatest black musician of the twentieth century, so you couldn't ask for a work that has a clearer transracial pedigree than Porgy and Bess. But I chose it for a particular moment in the novel because the music is extremely thoughtful and slow, and the orchestration is almost unbearably heavy, all these layers of horns on the low end. You can hear each of the instruments clearly, and the effect is that it just stops you in your tracks and forces you to listen. Gershwin's compositions are complicated enough, but Evans and Davis push them in the direction of European, post-WWII, new music. You hear the presence of all these different cultures and trajectories right there in the score.

Another song that is pivotal in the book is the Fugazi song "Styrofoam" from their first full album, Repeater, released in 1990. This takes place at the moment of the LA riots in 1992, which was a time when the line, "We are all bigots, filled with hatred," really came home to me. "Syrofoam" was the one song quoted in the novel that I need to get permission to republish, and I was very grateful, though not surprised, that Dischord Records (unlike most copyright holders) allowed me to do so for free.

The years that I spent writing Your Face in Mine were years in which I was discovering a lot of indie or underground hip hop—a scene I only followed very loosely before about 2008. When not writing (because I can't write listening to music with vocals) I listened constantly to: El-P, Danger Doom, the Roots, Sage Francis, Shabazz Palaces, Mos Def and Talib Kweli, Action Bronson, Killer Mike. And on and on. I was hugely affected by watching Dave Chappelle's Block Party, one of the most joyful and large-hearted concert movies ever made.

While writing I spent almost all of my time listening to jazz, mostly piano and guitar trios. Jim Hall, who died earlier this year, is perhaps my favorite of all jazz guitarists, and his albums were on constant rotation: Jim Hall Live!, It's Nice To Be With You, Intermodulation, Intercontinental, plus his duo albums with Ron Carter, his many albums with Paul Desmond, and his recordings from the years that he played with Sonny Rollins, particularly The Bridge. As always, I also spend much of my time listening to Keith Jarrett. Jarrett's playing embraces the whole range of improvisational music and American music; it can be non-linear and jagged or gospel-like and joyful, and yet somehow you always know it's him. (Even without the kazoo-like noises he makes, which drive some people crazy). He's also a player who embodies the racial ambiguity, and anxiety, of jazz history, which was much on my mind as I wrote Your Face in Mine, though it doesn't enter into the novel directly. After reading Jeffrey Renard Allen's new novel Song of the Shank, I've been wishing I could write a novel about one of the great lost figures in jazz history—Albert Ayler, for example.

Someday.


Jess Row and Your Face in Mine links:

the author's website

Los Angeles Times review
Miami Herald review
Minneapolis Star Tribune review
New York Times review
New York Times review
Publishers Weekly review
San Francisco Chronicle review
St. Louis Post-Dispatch review

BookPage interview with the author
New York Times profile of the author
Weekend Edition interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (2012 - ) (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

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
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
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

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

Book Notes - Christos Tsiolkas "Barracuda"

Barracuda

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, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Christos Tsiolkas's Barracuda is a profound and marvelously dark novel.

Library Journal wrote of the book:

"This disturbing yet satisfying story by Commonwealth Prize winner Tsiolkas (The Slap) examines themes of class consciousness, family conflict, loyalty, and friendship. The often harsh, sometimes brutal novel about the fine line between love and hate, pain and pleasure, is infused with language so beautiful that it takes one's breath away."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Christos Tsiolkas's Book Notes music playlist for his novel Barracuda:


The joy of music has always been in my life. My mother recalls that as a young infant I would find my way into the recess of their brand new three-in-one stereo and curl myself up next to the turntable so I would be closer to the music. The music I first heard as a child were the Greek laika (popular) songs that both my parents loved to sing. And, of course, there was Elvis Presley, the one non-Greek singer whose music found its way into our home.

Later, as a young kid, I was also seduced by the pleasure of disco, how it was impossible to simply sit still and listen to the music, that one's body had to become part of the listening experience. A few years later, as an adolescent, punk rock and the dissonant electronic proto-minimalism of New Wave expressed all that confused, rage and questioning that I was unable to put in words. But I never lost my love for dance music. I was fortunate in my early twenties to move into a shared household with a young woman from New Jersey who had fled Reagan's America. She introduced me to hip-hop (and I have never looked back) and also made me really listen to Bruce Springsteen (haven't looked back from him either).

The early eighties were a good time for a music freak to come to adulthood in Melbourne, Australia. Punk and post-punk flourished in the inner-city pubs, and great community radio stations started up, neither private nor state-controlled, funded entirely by subscription, that played every type of music imaginable. Volunteer DJs would spin a dream soundtrack that would move from Nina Simone to The Slits to Patti Smith to New Order to Curtis Mayfield to Grandmaster Flash to Ike & Tina Turner to Miles Davis and back to Nina Simone, often in the same hour. I still love radio, and in Melbourne I have a regular Tuesday night gig on 3RRR, a community radio station, where along with two friends, I get the chance to play music and discuss music for two wonderful, indulgent, pure hours. That gig is an oasis of peace in my week.

I can't live without music but when I am writing I find it distracting to listen to singing. Possibly because as a writer one of my tools is language, I prefer not to have lyrics interfere with my own work. And anyway, I have an enormous store of verse-chorus-verse in my memory that I can draw on whenever I need. I came late to jazz and to classical music but increasingly those two genres form the soundtrack to the actual physical labour of writing: they typing and the scrawl of words on a blank page. When writing my new novel, Barracuda, I was rediscovering the great jazz album, "A Night in Tunisia", by Art Blakey and the Messengers. I had also just read Alex Ross's wonderful, literate, and fun introduction to 20th century classical music, The Rest is Noise, and his writing introduced me to the melancholic sweeping romanticism of Sibelius. I hope some of the diligent exuberance of Art Blakely found its way in the descriptions of swimming in Barracuda (of how you have to really work to soar so effortlessly); and I hope that if there is a sad tenderness in the book, it came from being immersed in the soundscapes of the great Finish composer.

The main character in Barracuda is Danny Kelly, a working-class kid with an astonishing talent as a swimmer. He will dream of Olympic gold and that dream with break him. Understanding that failure, remaking himself, is hopefully what makes him a good man. From the outset I knew I wanted his parents to be lovers of music, rockabilly aficionados who love early rock and roll, who adore rhythm and blues. Danny's house is filled with music. Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind" is their song, and it was such a pleasure to find a place for it in the book. It is a song I have listened to a thousand times and I hope it will be a song I am listening to at my end. I have countless version of James' singing that song, various bootlegs and live versions, but it is the Chess original that is still my favourite. I can't work out its magic, how it is both controlled and abandoned, how it is vulnerable and defiant, all at the same time. I love too that it seems so effortless, that it makes me swoon every time it is on. It is the best vocal performance ever recorded and I'll swear to that right to my end.

Danny gets a scholarship to a rich private school and in that new world he feels a despised interloper. I was searching for a moment that would encapsulate how much of an outsider he feels. In the early nineties I was living in Perth, Western Australia, the most isolated city on earth. The day we heard of Kurt Cobain's suicide, the whole city seemed to have found its way into the city centre. There was a busker singing "Smells Like Teen Spirit" acapella. A circle formed around him: there were white kids, Aboriginal kids, two old drunk men, there was a group of musicians loading their gear after a gig. Perth was a city divided by ugly racism and class distinctions but on this night we all sung along with the busker at the top of our lungs. The Nirvana song forms part of a pivotal moment early in the book where the young Danny can't admit to his love for the band to his school-friends: he doesn't trust them, can't understand their codes and behaviour, and so feels he will betray something if he reveals the extent of his love for Nirvana. That band is one connection he has to the working-class world he knows he has now left behind. In a sense I was reversing that precious and rare moment of unity that I experienced in Perth the night that Cobain died. It seemed right that in not allowing Danny to feel connection in that moment I could convey something of the depth of this young boy's alienation.

Barracuda is not really about whether Danny Kelly does or does not become an Olympic swimming champion. Right from the beginning of the book we know that he never succeeds. In the course of his being broken by that failure, Danny commits a violent and ugly act. The book is about how he finds a way to genuinely make atonement for such ugliness. The chapter of his undoing all takes place over the night of the opening ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, a night I remember vividly: it felt as if the whole country was participating in one big party. That year, A Guy Called Gerald had released an intoxicating and chilling house track, "Fever (Or a Flame)." Like the best of house music it is constructed through a few simple elements – a gently propulsive and repetitive bass track, a recurrent snatch of vocal, a snaking and elusive melody that you never can quite catch hold of, it always feels like it is just out of reach. The force of the track begins in the stomach, invades one's body and as you dance to it you feel like you are chasing it, that the music is always one step ahead of you. It seemed the absolute right track to soundtrack Danny's nightmarish descent on that night. I still love the danger of that track.

Danny is a character who is scared and suspicious of words; my work was in trying to give expression to a character that is inarticulate. This is why music forms an important subterranean layer to the novel, and why it was crucial that his parents love music. The emotions expressed through a shared love of music can sometimes articulate all those things that we find impossible to put in words. In the book, Danny and his mother undertake a road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide. Part of the conversation between them is written through the music they listen to. On that trip they hear that Nina Simone has passed away. The love that is strong and unshakeable in Danny's family can't save him from the nightmare he makes of his life: that is part of the challenge and difficulty of love, that even having it there are always those moments we must face on our own. But the love is nevertheless real and sustaining. Their shared sadness in Nina Simone passing away is part of that love.

The joy of music will always be a part of my life.


Christos Tsiolkas and Barracuda links:

the author's Wikipedia entry
excerpt from the book

Financial Times review
Guardian review
Kirkus review
The Monthly review
Sydney Morning Herald review
Telegraph review
Toronto Star review

Guardian profile of the author
Independent profile of the author
Time Out Sydney interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (2012 - ) (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

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
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
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

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

WORD Bookstores Books of the Week - September 10, 2014

In the Largehearted Word series, the staff of Brooklyn's WORD bookstore highlights several new books released this week.

WORD Bookstores are independent neighborhood bookstores in Greenpoint, Brooklyn and Jersey City, New Jersey. Our primary goal is to be whatever our communities needs us to be, which currently means carrying everything from fiction to nonfiction to absurdly cute cards and stationery. In addition, we're fiends for a good event, from the classic author reading and Q&A to potlucks and a basketball league (and anything set in a bar). If a weekly dose of WORD here isn't enough for you, follow us on Twitter: @wordbookstores.


Women in Clothes

Women in Clothes
edited by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton

This compendium of stories, photos, illustrations, surveys, and so much more celebrates, examines, and illuminates women and their relationship to clothes -- a simple-seeming premise that comprises a vast, complex, and moving wealth of histories and voices.


Station Eleven

Station Eleven
by Emily St. John Mandel

A post-apocalyptic saga of love, art, and survival, this novel establishes Emily St. John Mandel as mainstay of contemporary storytelling.


Dataclysm

Dataclysm
by Christian Rudder

Subtitled Who We Are (When We Think No One's Looking), this ranging social analysis by OKCupid co-founder Christian Rudder uses exhaustive data and creative perspectives to evince what makes us unique through what we have in common.


A Little Lumpen Novelita

A Little Lumpen Novelita
by Roberto Bolano

One of the Chilean masters final works, this brief story delivers the full heft of Bolano's mystical noir.


WORD Brooklyn links:

WORD website
WORD Tumblr
WORD on Twitter
WORD's Facebook page
WORD's Flickr photos


also at Largehearted Boy:

other Word Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics & graphic novel highlights)
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
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)

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

Shorties (An Excerpt from John Darnielle's New Novel, The New U2 Album Free at iTunes, and more)

io9 shared an excerpt from John Darnielle's new novel Wolf in White Van.


The new U2 album is available for free to iTunes customers.


The Nervous Breakdown shared an excerpt from Dylan Landis's novel Rainey Royal.


John Cheever's daughter toured the author's home at the New Yorker.


Steve Albini broke down the new Shellac album track-by-track at Exclaim.


Author Christine Sneed discussed book dedications at the Chicago Tribune.


The Oxford American interviewed singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson.


Stephen Burt read all 93 33 1/3 books on seminal albums for Slate, then listed the best.


Glass Animals visited The Current studio for an interview and live performance.


The Atlantic interviewed Stephen King about teaching writing.


The Record reviewed the newly remastered mono recordings of the Beatles.


The Times-Picayune previewed fall and winter music books.


Noisey is streaming the new Generationals album, Alix.


Flavorwire recommended experimental novels.


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)

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 (Garrison Starr, Charlie Faye, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Charlie Faye: Americana-Soul Mix EP [mp3]

Clockwork Radio: "Sitting Bull" [mp3]

Garrison Starr: The Forgotten Street EP [mp3]

Klint: Nothing Left of Us album [mp3]

Heman Sheman: several tracks [mp3]

Lubec: "Almost Vince" [mp3] from The Thrall (out September 21st)

Mothlight: Calico album [mp3]

Son of Dov: Gone to Seed EP [mp3]

Wes Kirkpatrick: Short Dream EP [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Yvette: 2014-09-04, Raleigh [mp3]


search for more free and legal music downloads at Largehearted Boy


also at Largehearted Boy:

other daily free and legal mp3 downloads
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

September 9, 2014

Book Notes - Laird Hunt "Neverhome"

Neverhome

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, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Laird Hunt's Neverhome dazzles with the authentic voice of its protagonist, a young woman masquerading as a man as she fights in the Civil War in a novel assuredly told and brimming with humanity.

Library Journal wrote of the book:

"Hunt brings an especially bittersweet and lyrical tone to this forgotten part of Civil War history and gives to several hundred women who did indeed make the momentous decision to fight....An amazing book."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Laird Hunt's Book Notes music playlist for his novel Neverhome:


The following are songs I listened to regularly, repeatedly during the years I spent writing Neverhome. Each song, which came to serve as gateways to the gone world I sought to evoke, is illuminated by a brief description of one of the many (more than 400) extraordinary women who disguised themselves as men and went to fight in the American Civil War. Neverhome's protagonist, Constance "Ash" Thompson, was not based on any one of these actual women, but inspired by them all. I like to imagine them marching through their fierce, chosen trajectories with the song I have set alongside their name. Thanks to DeAnne Blanton and Lauren M. Cook for their invaluable study They Fought Like Demons from which some of this information was gleaned.

1. "Happiness" by Jonsi and Alex (from the album Riceboy Sleeps)
Sarah Rosetta Wakeman aka Lyons Wakeman. Fought for the New York 153rd. Sent her family letters and money during her service. Was a good soldier by her own account. Saw terrible things. They all saw terrible things. Tough as nails. Died of disease in a Washington D.C. hospital and never made it home.

2. "The Luxury of Dirt" by Aix Em Klemm (from the album Aix Em Klemm)
Loreta Velasquez aka Lt. Harry T Buford. Born in Havana to a wealthy family that settled in Louisiana. Recruited more than 200 men and went to war in disguise as an officer. Fought at the first Bull Run, Ball’s Bluff and Shiloh among other engagements. Served as a spy for the Confederacy. Did the same for the Union. Survived the war and wrote a memoir, The Woman in Battle, upon which many an aspersion regarding authenticity was subsequently cast.

3. "Captain, Captain" by Crooked Still (from the album Still Crooked)
Fanny (sometimes Fannie) Wilson, alias unknown. Joined the 24th New Jersey with her friend Nellie Graves. Following their sweethearts.. Both women were taken ill and sent to the military hospital in Cairo, Illinois where their gender was discovered (such discoveries often took place in hospitals). Recovered, they parted ways and Wilson took a job as a ballerina. She grew tired of that and joined the 3rd Illinois Cavalry. Upon her discovery there she was branded a spy but an oath of loyalty to the Union got her off the hook and she was sent north. Whether she went off on horse or foot is unknown.

4. "The Birth and Death of the Day" by Explosions in the Sky (from the album All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone)
Maria Lewis, alias unknown. African American. Disguised herself and rode for 18 months with the 8th New York Cavalry. Thus adding the considerable burden of having to pass as white to the burden of discovery as a woman. Hear the song and you can just about see her, galloping of an early morning, carbine raised, hooves pounding, bugles sounding… Just about.

5. "Those Who Didn’t Run" by Colin Stetson (from the album Those Who Didn’t Run)
Melverina Elverina Peppercorn, alias unknown. Fought out of Tennessee for the Confederacy. Joined with her twin brother, Alexander the Great "Lexie" Peppercorn. Tall, strong and could spit tobacco 10 feet. Laid down her arms and disguise when Lexie was wounded after their one significant battle. Went to the hospital with him to be his nurse. The two hoped to reenlist after his recovery but the war was coming to its close. Hard not to wonder a little who it was of those beautifully named siblings who wanted to fight. Then try to fight again. No way to know but my money’s on Melverina.

6. "Leyfdu Ljosinu" by Hildur Gudnadottir (from the album Leyfdu Ljosinu)
Jenny Hodgers, aka Albert Cashier. Irish immigrant who served with the Illinois 95th. Served with distinction, survived the war, took an army pension and never went back to being Jenny again. Not even, one imagines with reason, when discovered to be a woman late in life he was forced by hospital authorities to wear a dress.

7. "Sorrow, Sorrow" by Lorna Hunt (can be found at https://soundcloud.com/lhuntx/sorrow-sorrow)
Emily, full name unknown, alias unknown. Served in a Michigan regiment. Mortally wounded at the battle of Lookout Mountain. As she was dying, gender discovered, dictated to her colonel the following letter home: "Forgive your dying daughter. I have but a few moments to live. My native soil drinks my blood. I expected to deliver my country, but the Fates would not have it so. I am content to die. Pray, pa, forgive me. Tell ma to kiss my daguerreotype." Then she was gone.


Laird Hunt and Neverhome links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry
video trailer for the book

Kansas City Star review
Kirkus review
Library Journal review

Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for The Exquisite
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Kind One
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Ray of the Star
Publishers Weekly profile of the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (2012 - ) (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

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
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
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

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

This Week's Interesting Music Releases - September 9, 2014

Interpol

Interpol's El Pintor is the week's standout release.

Hiss Golden Messenger's Lateness of Dancers, Justin Townes Earle's Single Mothers, and Karen O's Crush Songs are also new albums I can recommend.

Reissues include mono vinyl editions of ten Beatles albums.

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:

Banks: Goddess
The Beatles: A Hard Day's Night (Mono Edition) (reissue) [vinyl]
The Beatles: Beatles for Sale (Mono Edition) (reissue) [vinyl]
The Beatles: Help! (Mono Edition) (reissue) [vinyl]
The Beatles: In Mono (14-disc box set) (reissue) [vinyl]
The Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour (Mono Edition) (reissue) [vinyl]
The Beatles: Mono Masters (reissue) [vinyl]
The Beatles: Please Please Me (Mono Edition) (reissue) [vinyl]
The Beatles: Revolver (Mono Edition) (reissue) [vinyl]
The Beatles: Rubber Soul (Mono Edition) (reissue) [vinyl]
The Beatles: Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Mono Edition) (reissue) [vinyl]
The Beatles: The Beatles (The White Album) (Mono Edition) (reissue) [vinyl]
The Beatles: With the Beatles (Mono Edition) (reissue) [vinyl]
Busdriver: Perfect Hair
Death From Above: The Physical World
Hiss Golden Messenger: Lateness of Dancers
Interpol: El Pintor
Jesse Marchant: Jesse Marchant
Justin Townes Earle: Single Mothers
Karen O: Crush Songs
Lemonade: Minus Tide
Menace Beach: Tennis Court
Sloan: Commonwealth
The Stroke Band: Green and Yellow
Tennis: Ritual In Repeat
The Ukiah Drag: In the Reapers Quarters
Tiny Moving Parts: Pleasant Living
Tricky: Adrian Thaws
Various Artists: Soul Jazz Records presents: No Seattle - Forgotten Sounds Of The North-West Grunge Era 1986-97
Various Artists: Take Me to the River (soundtrack)


also at Largehearted Boy:

weekly music release 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)

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Shorties (An Interview with Karen O, The Man Booker Prize Shortlist, and more)

The Quietus interviewed Karen O.


The 2014 Man Booker Prize shortlist has been named.


Ryan Adams visited World Cafe for a live performance and interview.


Electric Literature interviewed author Jeff VanderMeer.


The Republican interviewed Jeff Tweedy of Wilco.


Flavorwire interviewed Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits, and Leanne Shapton about their new book Women in Clothes.


Consequence of Sound previewed fall's music releases.


Forbes listed the top-earning authors.


Drowned in Sound interviewed members of the band The Wytches.


Maureen Corrigan looked at the history of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel The Great Gatsby.


Morning Edition interviewed Robert Plant.


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)

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 (Branches, The Radio Dept., and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Branches: "Darlin'" [mp3]
Branches: NoiseTrade Sampler EP [mp3]
Branches: Songs for Christmas EP [mp3]

Emaline Delapaix: "Hibernate" [mp3]

Joshua Worden: "Boundless" [mp3] from Into Fog (out September 16th)

Mastodon: "Atlanta" [mp3]

The Radio Dept.: "Death to Fascism" [mp3]

Shattuck: Pretty Girls EP [mp3]

A Shoreline Dream: "King of Your Castles" [mp3] from The Silent Sunrise


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

The War on Drugs: 2014-09-04, Raleigh [mp3]


search for more free and legal music downloads at Largehearted Boy


also at Largehearted Boy:

other daily free and legal mp3 downloads
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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September 8, 2014

Book Notes - Lisa Howorth "Flying Shoes"

Flying Shoes

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, Myla Goldberg, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Lisa Howorth's Flying Shoes is an impresseive character-driven debut novel.

The Washington Post wrote of the book:

"Flying Shoes offers a well-done portrait of a girl who survived a horrific tragedy and emerged in middle age with her empathy, sense of generosity and ability to forgive intact."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In her own words, here is Lisa Howorth's Book Notes music playlist for her novel Flying Shoes:


Flying Shoes is a novel set in 1996 in a university town modeled on Oxford, Mississippi, where I live. The main character, Mary Byrd Thornton, a somewhat bored, distracted and insecure wife and mom, is confronted by the reemergence of the unsolved case of her young brother's murder on Mother's Day thirty years ago. Selfishly, she drags her feet on returning to her Richmond home to meet with authorities and her family, and revisiting the tragedy. The case remains in the background through much of the novel, and what's revealed is Mary Byrd's world, her relationships with her children, husband, maid, and a host of edgy friends—some "inappropriate"--and the moral confusion in her head, perhaps having something to do with her guilt about her brother's death and damaged family life. Readers should not expect the novel to be a true crime or mystery, or for there to be neat, Hollywood resolutions or moralizing. There's a lot of humor in this book, as there must be in anything I write, and most of what I read. I'm more interested in how characters get through challenges in life, rather than how they are brought down by them. And there's a shit-ton of music in Flying Shoes—something else I can't seem to do without. The title itself I ripped-off from the great Townes van Zandt song, but not without the blessing of his son, J.T.

"Gin and Juice," Snoop Doggy Dog
Unnamed Dog music is played in the distance by some white frat guys in a hot tub where they are "hollering and floating around…like beer-sodden dumplings in a testosterone stew," which has to be this song, no doubt. The phenomenon of otherwise conservative white southern kids loving Rap intrigues Mary Byrd, as does the use of the N-word, which she fears her pre-teen children will now thing it is OK to use.

"Surfin' USA" the Beach Boys, "Poison Ivy," the Coasters, and early 60s dance songs like "Monster Mash," the "Monkey," and the "Swim," evoke a more innocent time, and when dancing first became partnerless, and even little kids could listen to it.

"In My Room," the Beach Boys
Who'd forget their first big make-out songs? The main character recalls the loveliness of 7th grade basement parties.

"It's Over,", Roy Orbison
The perfect song to inspire a dog to sing along.

"Cherry Pie," Warrant
A favorite in the South in the 90s, in this case a beat-off soundtrack for a farm boy riding a cultivator. There's a 1958 doo-wop song with the same title by Marvin and Johnny that's worth checking out—also double entendre-y.

"Limbo,"Chubby Checker
"How low can you go?" is a frequent refrain in the head of the morally confused Mary Byrd.

"Skinny Legs and All," Joe Tex
An incongruous song to be heard in the midst of tragedy in the home of Evagreen Bon, an older African American character. Incongruous is often good.

"Fire of Love," Gun Club
Homage to the late Jeffrey Pierce. Jack Ernest, an "asshole's asshole," takes the cut "Jack on Fire" as his anthem.

"The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down," The Band
What needs to be said? A semi driver and unreconstructed southerner has taught his parrot, Virge, to sing the refrain when asked "What were all the people singing, Virge?"

"Bobby McGee," Deadman's Curve," "Leader of the Pack," "Dynaflow Blues," "Eastbound and Down," "Lost Highway," "Cadillac Boogie," "Rocket 88," and "Ramblin' Man." The tracks on a mix tape of rig-rock made by the aforementioned truck driver. Played on a haul from Mississippi to Richmond.

"Cement Mixer Blues," by me, in the manner of the late great Greenville, Mississippi bluesman, T-Model Ford.

"Drive My Car," the Beatles
Mary Byrd recalls her dead little brother's favorite song, also on the rig-rock tape.

"Dixie," Black Oak Arkansas
A song so loaded with implications it can no longer be played in the South. We want to hate it, but in our secret heart of hearts it can still raise the hair on our arms. I know; creepy, and maybe wrong. The insane BOA interpretation is so particularly cheesy and melodramatic I had to have it. Poor White Thrash.

"Tom Dooley," "Coplas," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," the Kingston Trio. Two traditional songs, one evoking the dreamy folk era, the other the playfulness of the Trio, and one the lovely anti-war anthem , lyricized by Pete Seeger from a Russian folk song, that we (and Russians)might be paying more attention to right now: "When will they ever learn?" I know, their shirts were terrible.

"Ferry Cross the Mersey" Gerry and the Pacemakers
A peace offering to the adolescent Mary Byrd from her stepfather, even though he thought all the British Invasion bands were "a bunch of nellies."

"Unchained Melody," Righteous Brothers, "Tracks of My Tears," Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
Yeah, more nostalgia, but what 1960s teenaged girl (and no doubt many guys) didn't lounge around, basted with iodine and baby oil, sunbathing and mooning over these two songs?

"Memo from Turner," Rolling Stones
One of my all-time faves, for a long time only available in the US on the extraordinary soundtrack to "Performance," the wonderful ly dark, druggy Nicholas Roeg film of 1970. (Also the music for Ray Liotta's coke binge in Scorsese's "Goodfellas.") The "Performance" soundtrack also features Ry Cooder on slide, Randy Newman on piano, Buffy Sainte-Marie on mouth-bow, and the Last Poets, whose track "Wake Up Niggers" was a seminal influence on Rap, and a cross between that and the intellectual, free-form poetry of the Beats and 60s coffee-house poetry. To use a few lines of MEMO in my novel I had to cough up 1K of my own money, but worth it to set the tone for the pussy-struck Jack Ernest's ice storm roadtrip in pursuit of Mary Byrd.

LA VOZ DE DIOS, Julio Elias. Cheesy keyboard, bells and organ, mediocre vocals from a singer who might be the Guatemalan equivalent of Christian musician Stephen Curtis Chapman. I spied this CD at the trailer of an immigrant worker here in Oxford.

"Amazing Grace," the Reverend Al Green
Is there a funeral that does not feature this song? Forget the bagpipes—I've heard Green sing this at his church in Memphis, where he preaches every Sunday, and it's enough to make a believer out of a hard-core atheist. Well, almost. Knowing that the song was written by a reformed slave ship captain in 1799 adds some irony. Green's version is played on a jam box at the funeral of Jack Ernest, where the fundamentalist preacher points out what a wretch Ernest was. Wretches, all of us.

"Young Woman's Blues," Bessie Smith
It isn't specified which of Bessie's songs was played, but it must have been this one, recorded about 1926, in which The Empress laments failed relationships and being a young woman pegged as trash because she's wild and likes a good time. At the end of the song, she perks up, declaring fuck it—"I'm gone drink good moonshine, and rub these browns down." (Although until I checked the lyrics, I always thought she sang "run," not "rub.") Played at a late-night party during the ice storm.

"Tangled Up in Blue," Bob Dylan
Ernest, still in pursuit of Mary Byrd, takes off, dementedly deciding that if he finds and kills the killer of her younger brother he will have "helped her out of a jam" which he hopes might make her his lover out of gratitude. One of Dylan's greatest songs.

"Ashokan farewell," composed by fiddler Jay Ungar in 1982, I was surprised to learn—it sounds so much like a traditional Scottish lament. Also a popular funeral song, ubiquitous after the 1990 airing of Ken Burns' series, "The Civil War," in which it was the hugely effective but somewhat overused theme song. Hauntingly sad and beautiful.

Playlist of Ernest's favorite songs, which somehow were allowed to be played at his funeral:

"To Live Is To Fly," Townes van Zandt, "No Expectations," Rolling Stones, "Tom Ames' Prayer," written by Steve Earle, but this would be the version sung by Robert Earl Keen and beloved by southern boys, "Cardiac Suture," a great garage-y song by the iconic Oxford band, The Neckbones, "Free Again #2," Alex Chilton, "Lawyers, Guns, and Money," Warren Zevon, "Hurt," Nine Inch Nails (unfortunately Ernest didn't live long enough to hear the miraculous Johnny Cash cover that Rick Rubin coerced Cash into recording), "Drunk Moon Falling," Jim Mize ( a lovely, gravelly, brand new song that I wanted to have so badly I anachronistically used it. Hey—it's fiction), SIMPLE MAN, Skynyrd, a fave of good ole boys, "When I Come Around," Green Day, "Sarabande," Handel, this version is by the Chieftains and is the theme song for Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon." All the above are suggestive of Ernest's umm, wacky weltanschauung—his over-the-top bravado and romantic love of women, guns, freedom, taking chances, substance abuse, and himself. Carpe diem.

"Leaning on the Everlasting Arms," sung by funeral choir
The old hymn, chillingly sung by Robert Mitchum and, at one point, with Liillian Gish in The Night of the Hunter, which btw, James Agee adapted from the novel by Davis Grubb. Yikes—deeply creepy.

"Jail Bait," Andre Williams
Teever Barr, a homeless African-American Vietnam vet, catches this 1955 song he loves on WEVL out of Memphis, and taunts Mary Byrd, asking if she knows the other, more salacious song by Williams, which he can't bring himself to mention. Neither can I.

"Engine Joe," Slobberbone
No specific track is given, but a tape of the Texas alt-country band is playing in the truck when L.B., a local fireman, picks up his friend Teever, injured and stranded by the ice storm. Teever, not a fan of white-boy music, hates it, and says "Sound more like Clobberbone to me." One of only one or two characters in the novel whom I did not make up, L.B. is the late, great Oxford writer, Larry Brown, who was a devoted Slobberbone fan, and his friendship with the band was mutual. I'm pretty sure L.B. was listening to this song, because Brent Best says that Larry once told him that he was teaching himself "a broke-ass version" of the song. The song was released in 1997, but let's just say the band gave L.B. an earlier demo. This one's for Larry: RIP, L.B. baby, in that great Cool Pad in the sky.


Lisa Howorth and Flying Shoes links:

Chicago Tribune review
Kirkus review
New Yorker review
Washington Post review
Washingtonian review

Deep South interview with the author
Memphis Flyer profile of the author
New York Times profile of the author
Publishers Weekly profile of the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (2012 - ) (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

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
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
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

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Shorties (Marin Amis and Ian McEwan in Conversation, Sheila E.'s New Memoir, and more)

The Telegraph interviewed authors Martin Amis and Ian McEwan.


Sheila E. talked to All Things Considered about her new memoir The Beat of My Own Drum.

Read an excerpt from the book.


Foreign Policy interviewed author Teju Cole.


Ryan Adams talked to All Things Considered about his new self-titled album.


The Rumpus interviewed author Scott Cheshire.


Chicagoist reviewed John Darnielle's novel Wolf in White Van.


Author Richard House listed his favorite books at The Week.


NPR Music is streaming Lia Ices' new album Ices.


Paste previewed fall's music releases.


All Things Considered interviewed Laila Lalami about her new novel The Moor's Account.

"The novel is the only form in which I would have been able to explore what it really felt like to be taken from your home and to have grown up in freedom and then to suddenly become a slave and have to travel across the ocean, what it felt like to encounter another culture, what it felt like in the flesh to go through these experiences. In some ways, I think it's the closest that we come to the truth — is in the form of fiction."

Read an excerpt from the book.


NPR Music is streaming the new My Brightest Diamond album, This Is My Hand.


The Rumpus interviewed author Tod Goldberg.


The Christian Science Monitor previewed September's best books.


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)

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

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