February 8, 2017

Shorties (John Darnielle on His New Novel, An Interview with Allison Crutchfield, and more)

John Darnielle talked to VICE, Bookforum, Interview and Paste about his new novel Universal Harvester.

The Los Angeles Times reviewed the book.


The Media interviewed singer-songwriter Allison Crutchfield.


eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons
In Gratitude by Jenny Diski
Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton
Nashville Chrome by Rick Bass
Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small
A Replacement Life by Boris Fishman

eBooks on sale for $2.99 today:

The Master by Colm Toibin
Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume


Stream a new Thelma song.


NYCTaper shared a recent live performance by Dump.


All Things Considered interviewed Joyce Carol Oates about her new novel A Book of American Martyrs.


Stream a new Hurray for the Riff Raff song.


Ayelet Waldman talked to the Bangor Daily News about her new book A Really Good Day.


Stream a new Mark Lanegan song.


Salon interviewed authors Cara Hoffman, Tom McAllister, Sara Flannery Murphy, Jason Rekulak and Amanda Eyre Ward about their new books.


Stream a new Dirty Projectors song.


Flavorwire interviewed Elan Mastai about his debut novel All Our Wrong Todays.


Stream a new Black Angels song.


GQ previewed February's best new books.


FACT explored the cassette revival and the blank tape hoarders who are making it possible.


BuzzFeed interviewed the people behind Merriam-Webster's Donald Trump subtweets.


Paste profiled the band Austra.


The Guardian previewed Salman Rushdie's forthcoming novel, The Golden House.


Stream a new song by NE-HI.


Ali Smith talked books and reading with the New York Times.


Creative Loafing Tampa interviewed Richard Thompson.


Margaret Atwood discussed her novel The Handmaid's Tale with All Things Considered.


Paste interviewed singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop.


Culture Trip listed the best literary translators under 40.


BrooklynVegan is streaming Oslow's new album.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists
Essential and Interesting Year-End 2016 Music Lists

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
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)
weekly music release lists

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





February 7, 2017

Book Notes - Laird Hunt "The Evening Road"

The Evening Road

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, Lauren Groff, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Filled with strong characters and lyrical prose, Laird Hunt's The Evening Road is one of the year's finest novels.

Kirkus Reviews wrote of the book:

"Hunt's new book raises his own high bar further with an almost fablelike view of prejudice and cruelty some 60 years after emancipation... Hunt finds history or the big events useful framing devices, but he is more interested in how words can do justice to single players and life's fraught moments. Hunt brings to mind Flannery O'Connor's grotesques and Barry Hannah's bracingly inventive prose and cranks. He is strange, challenging, and a joy to read."


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



I listen to music whenever I write. I just can't do it any other way. These are some of the songs that were circling around me when I was working on The Evening Road or thinking about it afterward.

1) "Ilanga Langishiya" by Alberto Mwamosi and Gabriel Maopano Bila from Sounds Eastern and Southern

This was the song that lit the fire for me, many a time, when I would sit down to try to do some work on the novel. I'm thinking that no matter who the person and what the chore it would have a similar effect.

2) "Poor Old Lance" by Frank Fairfield from Out on the Open West

Someone got the idea that putting up those giant wind turbine things in the central and eastern Indiana fields would be a good idea. They are starting to be all over the place now. When I was driving the lanes and roads that I would write into The Evening Road I kept thinking about Don Quixote and wondering whether he would take his chances with one of them and just how he would go about doing it. Also, I listened, over and over again as I was driving, to "Poor Old Lance."

3) "Wang Wang Blues" by The Jungle Band — Early Ellington: The Complete Brunswick and Vocalion Recordings of Duke Ellington 1926-1931

There was a display up at the excellent public library in Marion, Indiana — which is the real-world antecedent for the fictional town of Marvel in The Evening Road — when I made one of my research visits, that spoke to the history of the African American residents of the area. The "Wang Wang Blues" was mentioned as being popular among young people in Marion and nearby Weaver (a small town that has since vanished) in the 1920s. I like Duke Ellington's version but they are all, almost a century out from the song's creation, pretty damn good.

4) "The Bells" by Xylouris White from Goats

My wife and I met up with Giorgos Xylouris, of the duo Xylouris White, at a baptism that happened down a long wooded lane on the terrace of a little white chapel overlooking the sea in Crete. The first thing Giorgos did when we saw him was show me a kazoo he had just made out of a stick and a piece of matted cobweb he had found under a rock. Not only did he show it to me, he had me lean in close and listen. If I had met him in time and heard him play that crazy little kazoo, I would have put it in the novel. It's there in spirit.

5) "He Is without His Guns" by Marisa Anderson from Into the Light

Take a careful listen here. This is someone who knows what she's doing. She knows it inside out.

6) "Chemirocha" by Kipsigis from Kenyan Songs and Strings 1950 & 1952

This beautiful, weird, wonderful song scared my 11-year-old daughter Eva when she first heard it. I play it all the time and listened to it repeatedly when I was working on the novel's many revisions. I expect one of these days soon Eva will put it on repeat too.

7) "Last Fair Deal Gone Down" by Robert Johnson from Harry Smith's Anthology of America Folk Music, Vol. 4 [Disc 1]

Let's make no mistake about the state of the world on that brutal night in 1930 in east central Indiana. And let's not forget. Robert Johnson's voice, singing about the Gulfport Island Road, is like a great, gravely bell.

8) "Dark Was the Night" by Blind Willie Johnson

The sun goes down and the world goes dark three times over the course of The Evening Road. This is the right song for each slow setting. This is the right song for any time. Out there on the road being human. And feeling alone.


Laird Hunt and The Evening Road links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry

Kirkus Reviews review
Publishers Weekly 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 Neverhome
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Ray of the Star


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists

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

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)
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

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

Book Notes - Heather O'Neill "The Lonely Hearts Hotel"

The Lonely Hearts Hotel

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, Lauren Groff, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Heather O'Neill's new novel The Lonely Hearts Hotel depicts beauty among overwhelming sadness.

Kirkus Reviews wrote of the book:

"[Walks] the hypnotic line between tragedy and fairy tale...O'Neill's prose is crisp and strange, arresting in its frankness; much like the novel itself, her writing is both gleefully playful and devastatingly sad. Big and lush and extremely satisfying; a rare treat."


In her own words, here is Heather O'Neill's Book Notes music playlist for her novel The Lonely Hearts Hotel:



Imogen Heap "I'm a Lonely Little Petunia in an Onion Patch"

When I was a little girl, my dad used to sing me this song. My whole childhood I thought that he had written and composed it himself. It seemed too bizarre and absurd to exist in the real world. And then I heard Imogen Heap singing it. And I was so confused. For the tiniest split second, I pondered, How did she know my dad? Then I realized that all the strange wonderful things you learned in childhood are out in the world waiting for you.

The original song was composed in 1946, when my dad would have been 19 years old. It stayed in his head for life. My dad was born in the late twenties and grew up during The Depression. A lot of my ideas about the first half of the twentieth century come from his stories about being a child. And this song, of course, will always remind me of him. And it also sums up the character of Pierrot: a sweetheart in a rough world.

Chilly Gonzales "Gogol"

I love this lovely tune. It is named after Gogol, a writer whose surreal stories I have adored. It is whimsical and sweet. And reminds me of lullabies I never heard. It reminds me of theme songs from television shows from the 1970s that never existed on earth, but perhaps in heaven. I was listening to Gonzales's piano tunes while I was conceiving some of my character Pierrot's compositions.

Nina Simone "I Got Life"

Once I was feeling so down that I didn't understand how I could feel better. And then I heard this song. In it, Simone celebrates having nothing and how that can be a wonderful thing. I was happy to have nothing going on, so that the only thing I could rejoice in was my own personhood. And that made me feel alive. The book takes place during The Depression, so many of the characters really have nothing at all. That's when they are able to fall most deeply in love.

Ruth B. "Two Poor Kids"

My editor sent me this song while we were working on the book. She said that it reminded her of the two main characters, Rose and Pierrot. It reminded me of my relationship with my teenage boyfriend. It's about the power of young love. There is something so raw and shallow about young love. How quick we are to give our hearts away. How epic of first love stories are. Sometimes you can find memories in songs you have never heard before.

Regina Spektor "Samson"

This is a similar type of love story to the one in Ruth B.'s song. I like her inclusion of biblical references which also exist in The Lonely Hearts Hotel. I love Spektor's voice so much. It makes me feel pure and perfect. She's one of my all time faves.

Tom Waits "In the Neighbourhood"

Tom Waits is sort of a clown with his odd statements and his inability to accept any situation as mundane. He can't go through an interview without saying something absurd and unexpected. My character Pierrot was also born a clown. That was an idea I explore in the book: that people are born clowns without knowing it. It effects even the way they crack an egg. Everything they do is a metaphor.

And I like the rag tag feel of Waits's music. It calls to mind the way that Pierrot and Rose piece together their circus act, with hobos and misfit chorus girls. And it seems amateurish but it is really masterly. Its rough edges are what make it disarming.

And in some ways it seems as though every Tom Waits song is a dirge.

CocoRosie "Lemonade"

I like how the members of this duo have high pitched squeaky voices. Their voices sort of remind me of young female singers from the 1920s. The ones who sang in black and white films and on scratchy old timey records. I like that they are like so modern and so old fashioned. They sound at once like little babies and old women. And they wear pantomime make up in photoshoots. They are also interested in the art of sad clowns: the childlike innocence and honesty of sadness.

Bob Dylan "Dirge"

I listened to a lot of Bob Dylan when I was in my twenties. I liked how he had Shakespeare characters showing up rowdy in bars. There's a line in this song that says, "All around the old hotel." But when I was listening, I thought he said "At The Romeo Hotel." I wrote a short story about gangsters who lived in The Romeo Hotel and got their heads blown off, which was the first seed for this novel. You end up with ideas for novels when you are quite young. And then it takes you years to write them.

(I loved the idea of living in a hotel which I also got from Parisian writers. It seemed so free. I idealized the most ridiculous stuff when I was young.)

Marianne Faithfull "Kurt Weill's Pirate Jenny"

This was a song written for Bertolt Brecht's play "The Threepenny Opera." I always like the way theatrical sets often looked like a dollhouse or a building whose wall has been blown off. I use a lot of theatrical staging techniques in the book. There are trap doors. You can see into different rooms at the same time. I was very interested in Brecht productions when I was at McGill University. I liked how you saw the stage lights hanging down and the set demanded to be noticed. Brecht tries to keep us from romanticizing the context and loosing ourselves in fantasy. But we suspend our reality at the slightest hint of make believe. Like when children turn their bed into a pirate ship and cling to the deck as they sail across treacherous seas. All theatre walks on that thin tightrope between the real and fantasy.

And I like this song because it's about a very violent woman. And Marianne Faithfull's rendition is throaty and mournful and gorgeous and gritty. One of the themes in my novel is the repressed anger of young women.

Edith Piaf "L'accordéoniste"

I'm choosing an Edith Piaf song because of her autobiography. Growing up, I loved the idea that the worse the biography of an artist, the greater the work they produced would be. I don't believe that now. But it made me happy and confident through my own dysfunctional childhood. I truly thought all the horrific things that happened to me were episodes in a fascinating tale. I put a little bit of Edith Piaf into my character Rose, who comes from an impoverished childhood and rises to great heights. And I like street performers who play the accordion. When they open their instrument, it's like they are opening the pages of a great Tolstoy novel.

Nino Rota "La Strada Theme"

My dad's friend worked at the repertory cinema near our building. I was able to go in for free. I watched so many films. I went to La Strada because I saw it was about a clown, so I thought it might kind of be a children's film. At that age, I liked the idea of travelling around in a circus van performing.

I loved the main character, the clown Gelsomina. She was so naïve and openhearted. I liked that tune she played on the trumpet so much as she walks around in her black cape. It was mournful but beautiful. It sounded like loneliness. I was always so lonely as a child. It seemed like my theme song. I remember sitting in the bathtub later in the night after viewing the film and humming it. If she played it while walking past my window, I would climb out the fire escape and follow after her, as though she were the Pied Piper.

I wanted the tune to be played at my wedding. Although given the content of the movie, I now realize it would be wholly inappropriate. The whole domestic abuse and rape she suffered went over my head because I was so young watching. It kind of sounds a bit like the Godfather theme. They are both violent in such different ways. Much of my novel toys with violence in an odd playful way.

Fellini was a huge influence on me. I was never the same after this movie. I played the trumpet in high school and I learned to play that tune. I think that there's a certain time in spring when the wind plays that tune.

The White Stripes "Saint James Infirmary Blues"

This song plays in the novel at one point. I first heard the cover by The White Stripes when my daughter played it at a talent show. She was dressed in a nurse's costume and hoola hooping. It was so weird, it made me truly happy.

This song is like a compact, travel version of my novel. I love the humour of blues songs, and this one is about being at the hospital. It's part of life. We're in and out of hospitals. And everyone we love will be in and out of hospitals. Even this aspect of life is full of wonder and celebration and worthy of a song.


Heather O'Neill and The Lonely Hearts Hotel links:

the author's Wikipedia entry
video trailer for the book

Kirkus Reviews review
Quill & Quire review

Montreal Gazette profile of the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists

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

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)
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

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

Shorties (Food in Haruki Murakami's Writing, The Story Behind "This Land Is Your Land," and more)

The Awl examined Haruki Murakami's use of food in his writing.


NPR Music shared the story behind Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land."


eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons
In Gratitude by Jenny Diski
Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton
Nashville Chrome by Rick Bass
Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small
A Replacement Life by Boris Fishman

eBooks on sale for $2.99 today:

The Master by Colm Toibin
Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume


Stream a new Sloppy Heads song.


Morning Edition interviewed John Darnielle about his new novel Universal Harvester.

Darnielle also talked to Boston Magazine about the book.


BrooklynVegan is streaming Noveller's new album A Pink Sunset for No One.


On reading Steinbeck as an antidote to the Trump presidency.


Stream a new song from You'll Never Get to Heaven.


VICE shared an excerpt from Zachary Mason's novel Void Star.


Stream a new Califone song.


Poet Joanna Valente interviewed herself at The Nervous Breakdown.


Nicki Bluhm shared a new protest song.


Literary Hub interviewed Katie Kitamura about her new novel A Separation.


Flavorwire previewed February's best music releases.


Signature recommended books about the environment.


Stream a new song by the Obsessives.


The Atlantic interviewed author John Rechy.


Stream a new song by A Deer A Horse.


Paul Auster talked to All Things Considered about his novel 4 3 2 1.


NPR Music is streaming Sinkane's new album Life & Livin' It.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn interviewed author Constance Ann Fitzgerald.


Stream a new Jens Lekman song.


Hazlitt interviewed author Alana Massey.


The Creative Independent interviewed Katie Alice Greer of Priests.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists
Essential and Interesting Year-End 2016 Music Lists

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
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)
weekly music release lists

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

February 6, 2017

Book Notes - Kelcey Parker Ervick "The Bitter Life of Bozena Nemcova"

The Bitter Life of Bozena Nemcova

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, Lauren Groff, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Kelcey Parker Ervick's The Bitter Life of Bozena Nemcova is an innovative and unique insight into the Czech author's life told through postcards, snippets of interviews and essays, and collage.

Danielle Dutton wrote of the book:

"Kelcey Parker Ervick's The Bitter Life of Božena Němcová is a singular compendium—a handbook, a digest, an offering, a constellation in orbit around the strange bright star of nineteenth-century Czech writer Němcová. Via a series of carefully curated letters, excerpts, images, and documents, Němcová is brought to life in curious gasps. But the book is also a vivid and gripping portrait of another artist, Kelcey Parker Ervick, who, in searching for the other finds something of herself."


In his own words, here is Kelcey Parker Ervick's Book Notes music playlist for her book The Bitter Life of Bozena Nemcova:


One of my favorite activities when I travel to Prague is going to concerts, often by myself, and finding someone to sell me a cheap ticket. I write about two of the concerts in the book: Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen.

Božena Němcová loved music and dancing. She was a Czech fairy tale writer, and the first part of the book is a collage of her life, which had all sorts of reasons to be bitter, but which was also an amazing triumph of resistance to the literary and patriarchal status quo. She published the first Czech novel in 1855. Her writing celebrated Czech culture and traditions even as it exposed the small-mindedness of townspeople and their beliefs about women and work and marriage. Němcová understood these problems first-hand, having been forced into an unhappy marriage at a young age and struggling financially throughout her life.

The second part of the book is a series of postcards, written from me to her, about my language study failures, my love of Franz Kafka and Bohumil Hrabal, my divorce, and about falling in love. I recently had coffee with a Polish woman who read the book and said that in my story I become like one of Němcová's fairy tale heroines as I fall in love, in search of a happy ending. Maybe so.


"Crazy Mary," Pearl Jam

One of Božena Němcová's most famous characters is "crazy" Viktorka, a beautiful young girl who ran off with a soldier only to return to her village alone and pregnant. Later, one of the villagers sees her throw her newborn baby into the water, and for the rest of the book Viktorka wanders the woods and sings late-night lullabies at the water's edge. Němcová's portrayal of her is sympathetic and generous. Pearl Jam's song is about a similar crazy lady, and in the gorgeous crescendo, the song's speaker imagines Mary "rising up above it all." There's also the strange coincidence that both Viktorka and Mary (if I understand the lyrics right) die in a lightning storm.

Another reason for this song choice: I've been pretty obsessed with Pearl Jam since the early nineties. I write in the book about arriving in Prague for my first day of Czech language school and seeing a picture of Pearl Jam on the (now defunct) Prague Post. They were playing in concert that night. Jet-lagged and far too old for such things, I screamed and cheered throughout the whole concert. They played, as they often do, a long and awesome jam of "Crazy Mary."

"Toxika," The Plastic People of the Universe

Božena Němcová didn't have any relationships that weren't toxic, is one way to think of this song. The other is the way that The Plastic People of the Universe, a dissident Czech punk band, shaped the twentieth century revolution with their music the way Němcová shaped the 19th century revolution with writing. Inspired by Frank Zappa and the Velvet Underground, the band formed shortly after the Prague Spring of 1968 came to an abrupt end with the arrival of Soviet tanks. The Plastic People were deemed a threat by Communist authorities and regularly detained, questioned, and arrested (like Němcová), inspiring Václav Havel and others to compose the protest document, Charter 77.

"Cloudy Shoes," Damien Jurado

In the early months of the new relationship that I write about, Damien Jurado played a "living room show" in my town of South Bend, Indiana. The living room in question was in an old high school converted into apartments, and we were sitting on a couch in the former deep end of the pool just a few feet from Damien Jurado.

I lead an overseas study class to Prague and Berlin, and the next summer, in 2014, Jurado had a show the week we were in Prague at Klub 007, a small underground venue that's been around since The Plastic People of the Universe formed. My colleague, a German historian, came with me to the show, and at one point she said, "I can see why you would like this." Which was a way of saying she didn't like it at all. She thought the lyrics were too weird and nonsensical, but she could see that they were a collage of sorts. After the concert, I got to talk to Jurado and told him of the South Bend concert, and he totally remembered playing in the deep end of a pool. I still have a video recording of him playing this song.

"Pulchritude," Thee More Shallows

This is the song on the book's trailer. It's also the main song for a weird German film called "The Strange Little Cat," which has very little plot, and which my partner and I watched one night. When it came time to make the book trailer, I wanted to commission someone to compose a song like this one, with the haunting strings and repetitions, so I Googled the song for reference. When the commission fell through, I decided to email the record company of the actual song. And they wrote back! And I asked to use the song, and they said yes!



"One Sunday Morning," Wilco

This song. For hours and hours as I revised and proofed this manuscript, my partner, the new love who shows up in the book, taught himself to play this song on guitar. The tone of this song is exactly how I want this book to feel.

"Born in the USA," Bruce Springsteen

You've never heard "Born in the USA" until you've heard it played by Bruce in a foreign country and sung passionately by a crowd of people who were NOT born in the USA.


Kelcey Parker Ervick and The Bitter Life of Bozena Nemcova links:

excerpt from the book (PDF link)
video trailer for the book

TNBBC's The Next Best Book Blog post by the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists

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

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)
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

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

Shorties (Chris Ware on Krazy Kat, John Darnielle Interviewed about His New Novel, and more)

Chris Ware on George Herriman's Krazy Kat comics at the New York Review of Books.


Mother Jones interviewed John Darnielle about his new novel Universal Harvester.

Darnielle talked books with the Globe and Mail.


eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons
In Gratitude by Jenny Diski
Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton
Nashville Chrome by Rick Bass
Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small
A Replacement Life by Boris Fishman

eBooks on sale for $2.99 today:

The Master by Colm Toibin
Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume


Tift Merritt visited World Cafe for an interview and live performance.


Lenny interviewed author Ottessa Moshfegh.


Stream a new Jenny Lewis song.


Read a new short story by Viet Thanh Nguyen.


Stream a new Bowerbirds song.


The Rumpus interviewed author Naomi Jackson.


Rolling Stone reconsidered Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album 40 years after its release.


The New Yorker interviewed Curtis Sittenfeld about her story in this week's issue.


Okkervil River covered Roky Erickson's "You Don't Love Me Yet."


Signature recommended books to understand the refugee experience.


NYCTaper shared a recent Cloud Nothings live performance.


Salon interviewed poet Rita Dove.


Run the Jewels played a Tiny Desk Concert.


The New Yorker profiled Anthony Bourdain.


Salon reconsidered David Bowie's Earthling album 20 years after its release.


Weekend Edition interviewed Sarah Manguso about her new book 300 Arguments.


PopMatters interviewed Elbow's Craig Potter.


Chef René Redzepi discussed his favorite books with the New York Times.


R.I.P. music journalist and author Marc Spitz.


Actor John Cleese discussed his favorite books at The Week.


Paste interviewed singer-songwriter Maria Taylor.


Weekend Edition interviewed Daphne Merkin about her new memoir This Close to Happy.


Paste listed musicians influenced by the works of William S. Burroughs.


Powell's recommended books that give context to the Black Lives Matter movement.


CLRVYNT profiled the band Mannequin Pussy.


Author Jade Chang talked food with Grub Street.


The Dears' Murray A. Lightburn shared a track-by-track guide to the band's new album Times Infinity Volume One at Drowned in Sound.


BookPage and Morning Edition interviewed author Min Jin Lee.


Stream a previously unreleased Gillian Welch song.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists
Essential and Interesting Year-End 2016 Music Lists

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
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)
weekly music release lists

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February 5, 2017

Atomic Books Comics Preview - February 5, 2017

In the weekly Atomic Books Comics Preview, Benn Ray highlights notable new comics, graphic novels, and books.

Benn Ray is the owner of Atomic Books, an independent bookstore in Baltimore. He also runs the Mutant Funnies Tumblr.

Atomic Books has been named one of BuzzFeed's Great American Bookstores, as well as one of Flavorwire's 10 greatest comic and graphic novel stores in America.


100 Manga Artists

100 Manga Artists
edited by Julius Wiedemann

The perfect reference book for manga fans in need of expanding their horizons beyond the typical "anime of the moment" adaptation. This book is loaded with artists to explore.


Junji Ito's Dissolving Classroom

Junji Ito's Dissolving Classroom
by Junji Ito

It's a new collection of horror stories by the Japanese master Ito! Here a teen gets revenge on the world. What teen hasn't fantasized about that? Well, hopefully, most don't have fantasies like these.


Kid Eternity Book 1

Kid Eternity Book 1
by Ann Nocenti / Sean Phillips

One of the lesser-remembered series during Vertigo's Sandman, Swamp Thing, Hellblazer>, Invisibles hey-day gets a much-overdue reconsideration in this new edition.


Sherrywood Forest

Sherrywood Forest
by Kevin Sherry

Popular children's book author Kevin Sherry, for nearly a year, had a weekly comic strip in our local alt-weekly, the Baltimore City Paper (before things started going south financially for the paper). This collects the complete strip with an additional 4 page story of what happened when Kevin went on tour with Dan Deacon, the Flaming Lips and Miley Cyrus. Hilarious stuff.


Questions, concerns, comments or gripes – e-mail benn@atomicbooks.com. If there’s a comic I should know about, send it my way at Atomic, c/o Atomic Books 3620 Falls Rd., Baltimore, MD 21211.


Atomic Books & Benn Ray links:


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

other Atomic Books Comics Preview lists (weekly new comics & graphic novel highlights)

Online "Best of 2015" Book Lists

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
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)
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)

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

February 3, 2017

Book Notes - Lydia Peelle "The Midnight Cool"

The Midnight Cool

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, Lauren Groff, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Lydia Peelle's compelling debut novel The Midnight Cool is keenly observed and beautifully written.

Booklist wrote of the book:

"A richly textured first novel…The skillfully crafted characters are rendered with acute psychological insight into the moral dilemmas that shape one's humanity and sense of right and wrong. The propulsive narrative, fueled by poetic prose, is made more powerful by the heart-wrenching, quietly heroic lives eked out in the margins of history."


In her own words, here is Lydia Peelle's Book Notes music playlist for her debut novel The Midnight Cool:



"Daisy Bell" – written by Harry Dacre, 1894

Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do ....

First off: it's just a downright catchy song. In its time it spawned dozens of parodies, many of which are quite subversive and funny, and in The Midnight Cool two characters keep up a running inside joke about it that spans two lifetimes. Bu this song also has such a complex and fascinating place in our culture. In 1961, it was the first song to be sung by a computer. In 2001: a Space Odyssey, you might remember Hal singing it as he shuts down. This cyborg association, the tension and interplay of the animal/machine synthesis is as fascinating to me as a World War I era army mule with a machine gun on his back.

""Working for the Man" – recorded by Roy Orbison 1962

I am on tour in support of The Midnight Cool doing a show we call "the Midnight Cool Revue." It's got live music, recorded music, an antique cylinder player, and a kickass mule slide show. The genesis of this project was the desire to share with the audience, in the spirit of the variety show of the era, a window into the world of the novel, the world of 1916-1917. I have realized as we tour around that the show also ends up being a window into the processes of my imagination that went into writing this story.

"Working for the Man," a totally rocking number that the Big O recorded with the Nashville A team, is the theme song of my mule slide show, but I came to it in a really roundabout way. When I first sat down to make the presentation, my impulse was to set the slides – old images of people and mules working in farm fields, mines, the trenches of war – to the obvious: old timey blues or banjo tunes. But as a mule-loving friend pointed out, from the mule's point of view, a banjo soundtrack was pretty irrelevant (I think she said, what the heck do the mules care about banjos?) The problematic imposition of voice on our non-human neighbors is a preoccupation of hers, as it is for me, so after that conversation I was inspired to the slides to an arbitrary soundtrack, and had a lot of fun playing around with mules and 90's Hip Hop, mules and the Ramones, mules and DJ Cool.... but the day I set the slides to "Working for the Man," I knew I had hit on it. Of course, this song, because of its lyrics, is not at all arbitrary, but actually quite a calculated imposition. But watching the images while listening to it began to move me in profound, completely unexpected ways. And I excused the song for its somewhat misogynistic message because I actually found necessary subversions happening in my mind because of it. Listening to this song while looking at a picture of a ten-year-old boy and a mule working in a coal mine, the categorical and hierarchical thinking I am so accustomed to begins to strip away. If "the man" is the force of oppression and coercion and exploitation at work in the world, who is "the man" here? Is it the boy tugging the mule's lead? Is it the boy's boss? Is it the mining company employing that boy in child labor? Is it the capitalist system that rewards this? And when it comes to the pictures of the mules and men on the battlefield, just who is "the man" they are all working – and dying – for there?

Working down these hierarchical layers helps remind me of something startling -- that sometimes I myself am "the man!" When it comes to systems of hierarchy and oppression and exploitation, we are all complicit. I believe once we can admit that, once we can all fess up and own it, that's when the true dialog about change can open up.

"Mule Skinner Blues" – written by Jimmie Rodgers, 1930, recorded by Dolly Parton, 1970

My book's got so many mules in it, I got to have this one on here. But it's got to be Dolly Parton's version, because I think it's the best, and because she is one of my heroes. The power in her voice! Crack that whip, Dolly!

"Country Blues" – Dock Boggs, circa 1929

"Last time I seen my woman good people she had a wineglass in her hand/she was drinking down her troubles with a lowdown sorry man"

Dock's thin, quavering, totally terrifying voice sometimes is in my head for days. And his banjo playing is like a horse cart with busted springs knocking over the thank you ma'ams in a dried-out dirt road. I wish these sounds could issue forth from me. I can play the banjo the way a robin pecks worms out of the ground, but I sure can't sing like Dock.

Trompe Le Monde – the Pixies album, 1991

Writing a book set one hundred years in the past, I had to take a leap of faith on the communalities and perennial nature of the human heart. My heroine, Catherine, is an eighteen-year-old girl in a provincial southern town who wants more than it can give her – in fact, more than the world is willing to give her, as a woman of her time. She kicks against this in every small way that she can. Of all my characters, she was slowest to form, and I really struggled to know her. Then, a few years ago, I spent New Year's Eve alone in my living room listening to Trompe Le Monde very very loud and thinking about her. And once I understood that she was the sort of girl who would love the Pixies – and in particular, this album -- if the Pixies had been around in 1916 -- she just came alive.

"Darktown Strutters Ball" – first recorded by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, 1917

"I'll be down to get you in a taxi honey/you better be ready about half past eight/Now dearie don't be late/I want to be there when the band starts playing"

Hang onto your hats – this one really swings. There is a long, long list of great who have recorded this awesome song: Al Jolson, Jimmy Dorsey, Chuck Webb, Louis Prima, my hero Pete Seeger, to name a few. Les Paul and Mary Ford rock it. As does Alberta Hunter. Hoagy Carmichael's version might be my favorite, but it's hard to choose. This song was huge in its day. All the kids were boppin' to it, and their parents were yelling down the stairs to turn it down, for goodness sake.

In every draft of The Midnight Cool, this song wove through the story, playing parts sometimes large, sometimes small. In the final version of the book, my character Billy plays a cylinder recording of it for a crazy horse he's trying to calm down, and it works. Incidentally, he does this in the fall of 1916, several months before it was actually released, so I have just discovered my own anachronism. Cool!

"Over There"

Johnny, get your gun.

Can't think about the first World War without this song. Did your grandparents sing it? Mine did.

"Death Letter Blues" – Son House

Oh, heartbreak. Oh, death. Haunting, haunted, crazed. My friend Critter can't listen to Son House at night because he gives him such terrible nightmares.

Looking back I see I have three blues songs on this list. I guess at its heart The Midnight Cool is a book about love in times of war, and not getting what you want. You could say it's a dirge, but I'd like to think its got enough hope between the bars to be a blues.

"Letter to Shreveport" - Kevin Gordon, 2015

In my opinion Kevin Gordon's songwriting is some of the most evocative and hauntingly moving work in Nashville today. In the last year of writing this book, I listened often to his searingly beautiful album, Long Gone Time - especially this track - for the mood, the images and rhythm: simply put, for inspiration.

"Nobody Told Me" – John Lennon 1984

It's pretty weird to write a novel, and live in another world. And it's pretty weird when that world is another century. But what was weirdest is how the other world, the "real" one, rolls on and on while you're working. Nobody told me there'd me days like these! To write this book there came a point I had to tune out current events, in order to fully immerse in my time and place. But then once in a while a friend would relate the latest news and be sure they must be joking. Pot's legal in Colorado? Gay people can finally get married? Donald Trump's running for president?

Most peculiar, mama.


Lydia Peelle and The Midnight Cool links:

the author's website
excerpt from the book

BookPage review
Bookreporter review
Kirkus Reviews review
New York Times review
Publishers Weekly review

Largehearted Boy Book Notes playlist by the author for Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing
Leo Weekly profile of the author
Tennessean profile of the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists

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

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)
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

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

This Week's Interesting Music Releases - February 3, 2017

Moon Duo

Moon Duo's Occult Architecture Vol. 1, Porcelain Raft's Microclimate, and Surfer Blood's Snowdonia are all albums I can recommend this week.

Vinyl reissues include the Cowboy Junkies' The Trinity Session and two Roxy Music albums, Avalon and For Your Pleasure.

What new music are you looking forward to or enjoying this week?


This week's interesting music releases:


Anvil: 5 Original Albums in 1 Box (5-CD box set)
Avalanches: Since I Left You (reissue) [vinyl]
Ben Lee: Freedom, Love And The Recuperation Of The Human Mind [vinyl]
Big Sean: I Decided
Big Wreck: Grace Street
Black Sabbath: The Ultimate Collection
Bruce Springsteen: Sweden Broadcast 1988
Catie Curtis: Why We're Here
CeCe Winans: Let Them Fall in Love
Dragonette: Royal Blues [vinyl]
Cowboy Junkies: The Trinity Session (reissue) [vinyl]
Elbow: Little Fictions
Eluvium: Copia (reissue) [vinyl]
Eluvium: Talk Amongst the Trees (reissue) [vinyl]
Fenech-Soler: ZILLA
Grateful Dead: Dick's Picks Vol. 33 -- Oakland Coliseum Stadium, Oakland, CA 10/9 & 10/10/76 (4-CD box set)
Grateful Dead: Dick's Pick Vol. 34 - Rochester, NY 11/5/77 (3-CD box set)
Homeshake: Fresh Air
Joseph Arthur: Junkyard Hearts
Judas Priest: Turbo 30 (30th anniversary edition) (remastered)
LeAnn Rimes: Remnants
Lesley Gore: Love Me By Name The Complete A&M Recordings Expanded Edition
Lower Than Atlantis: Safe In Sound
Max Richter: On the Nature of Daylight - Music From the Film [vinyl]
The Menzingers: After The Party
Moon Duo: Occult Architecture Vol. 1
Peter Gabriel: Big Blue Ball (reissue)
Pink Martini: Je Dis Oui! [vinyl]
Porcelain Raft: Microclimate
Ramin Djawadi: Westworld: Season 1 Music from the HBO Series
Rose Cousins: Natural Conclusion
Rose Elinor Dougall: Stellular
Roxy Music: Avalon (reissue) [vinyl]
Roxy Music: For Your Pleasure (reissue) [vinyl]
Sampha: Process
Soen: Lykaia
Stereophonics: Just Enough Education To Perform (reissue) [vinyl]
Stereophonics: Language. Sex. Violence. Other? (reissue) [vinyl]
Stereophonics: Word Gets Around (reissue) [vinyl]
Stereophonics: You Gotta Go There To Come Back (reissue) [vinyl]
Steve Miller Band: The Joker (reissue) [vinyl]
Surfer Blood: Snowdonia
Syd: Fin
Train: a girl a bottle a boat [vinyl]
Various Artists: T2 Trainspotting (reissue)
Wyclef Jean: J'OUVERT


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

Essential and Interesting "Best of 2016" Music Lists

weekly music release lists

100 online sources for free and legal music downloads
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
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 (Timely Books about Refugees and Migrants, A New Elliott Smith Podcast, and more)

The Chicago Tribune recommended timely books about migrant and refugee experiences.


Say Yes is a new weekly podcast about Elliott Smith.


eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons
In Gratitude by Jenny Diski
Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton
Nashville Chrome by Rick Bass
Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small
A Replacement Life by Boris Fishman

eBooks on sale for $2.99 today:

The Master by Colm Toibin
Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume


Electric Literature interviewed author Eimear McBride.


Watch the trailer for David Byrne's film Contemporary Color.


Literary Hub recommended essays about football in American culture.


Noisey reconsidered Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album on its 40th anniversary.


Signature recommended books set in South Africa.


Stream a new Bill Fay song.


The Rumpus interviewed author Melissa Yancy.


Stream the 1987 Nick Cave documentary Stranger In A Strange Land.


Josh Barkan offered tips about short story writing at Signature.


Stream a new Tara Jane O'Neil song.


Cat Marnell talked to Rolling Stone about her memoir How to Murder Your Life.


Hype Machine is streaming Hand Habits' new album Wildly Idle.


Bustle recommended literary newsletters.


The Boston Globe profiled the Drive-By Truckers.


The New York Times remembered author Harry Matthews.


SPIN profiled the band Priests.


George Orwell's novel 1984 is coming to Broadway.


Drowned in Sound profiled the band Elbow.


Electric Literature interviewed author Kevin Wilson about his new novel Perfect Little World.


Stream a new Grails song.


Entertainment Weekly recommended books by authors of Muslim descent.


Stream a new Kayleb Duckett song.


Literary Hub, Men's Journal, Book Riot, and Flavorwire recommended February's must-read books.


Drowned in Sound reconsidered Interpol's Turn on the Bright Lights album.


Cosmonauts Avenue interviewed author Amelia Gray.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists
Essential and Interesting Year-End 2016 Music Lists

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
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)
weekly music release lists

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

February 2, 2017

Book Notes - Mary Miller "Always Happy Hour"

Always Happy Hour

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, Lauren Groff, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Mary Miller's Always Happy Hour is one of the year's finest short story collections, one filled with characters so realistically portrayed they seem personally familiar.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"Stellar…Miller's collection feels so true because it never glosses over the desperate or unflattering portrayals of its narrators, but neither does it exploit their faults. These stories acutely explore boyfriends, exes, poor choices, and the sad fallout of so many doomed relationships."


In her own words, here is Mary Miller's Book Notes music playlist for her short story collection Always Happy Hour:



There are sixteen stories in Always Happy Hour: swimming pools and Caribbean cruises and dreams of California, stifling heat and too much time. It's the South. It was 65 degrees today in January. I'm going to skip a few.


"Instructions": "My Love Is Real," Divine Fits

This is a cruel song to put on a mix for your girlfriend—the "My love is real/Until it stops" refrain can really mess with a lady's head. The actual ex-boyfriend based on the fictional boyfriend in this story (this could get confusing) once included this song on a mix he made for me, buried three-fourths of the way through. This is an apt song for every story in the collection.

"The House on Main Street": "People Who Died," Jim Carroll Band

When the narrator calls up her ex-husband one morning, he says, "Guess who died?" She mentions an elderly neighbor, but it turns out that woman is already dead. There's quite a bit of trouble in this story, people who need to change their lives ASAP. This song is versatile; it's good to listen to when angry or exercising or getting ready for a night out.

"Proper Order": "Don't Stand So Close to Me," The Police

I love it when Sting sings, "This girl is half his age!" There's some teacher lovin' in this one. And just in case you're interested, here are 10 more songs about wanting to sleep with your teacher: http://www.vh1.com/news/53032/10-songs-about-teacher-crushes/

"Big Bad Love": "Concrete and Barbed Wire," Lucinda Williams

Lucinda Williams seems the perfect fit for a story set in a home for abused and neglected children. Also, there's a bad dog in the story and "Down in Opelousas, dogs are at the gate/And they're mean, Lord, they're mean."

"Dirty": "Folsom Prison Blues," Johnny Cash

The boyfriend in "Dirty" sings this song, doing his best to sound exactly like Johnny Cash, which irritates the narrator. These are some of my favorite song lyrics ever: "But I shot a man in Reno/Just to watch him die." It's like "Stagger Lee" or "Hey Joe" in that putting cold-blooded murder to music makes it okay, kind of awesome, even.

"He Says I am a Little Oven": "Southern Cross," Crosby, Stills & Nash

Because cruising and boats and "that woman girl." My narrators don't think of themselves as women: "I'm a girl. I'll always be a girl."

"Where All of the Beautiful People Go": "The Swimming Song," Loudon Wainwright III

A little upbeat for the story but such great lyrics: "This summer I swam in the ocean/And I swam in a swimming pool/Salt my wounds, chlorine my eyes/I'm a self-destructive fool, a self-destructive fool."

"Love Apples": "California," U2

I need to "search in document" and see how many times the word "California" appears in this manuscript. Every time someone dreams of a better life, a new life, it is California.

"Hamilton Pool": "Stars," Angel Olsen

No particular reason but fitting

"Always Happy Hour": "Ashamed," Deer Tick

I love this song: "I am the boy your mother wanted you to meet/But I am broken and torn with heels at my feet." I don't think my mother ever wanted me to meet Richie, though. And the refrain destroys me every time: "And oh, what a crying shame, a crying shame/What we became."

"Little Bear": "Life Like This," Kurt Vile

The husband, Kevin, is a Kurt Vile fan. He once saw him in concert and the narrator was supposed to go, too, but she was anxious and depressed that day and knew it would be super crowded and loud so she stayed at home and watched TV on the couch. She regrets it.

"First Class": "Pedestrian At Best," Courtney Barnett

I like how Barnett's just talking/yelling the lyrics: "Put me on a pedestal and I'll only disappoint you/Tell me I'm exceptional, I promise to exploit you/Give me all your money, and I'll make some origami, honey/I think you're a joke, but I don't find you very funny." Money issues in this one.

"Charts": "Almost Was Good Enough," Magnolia Electric Co.

This is a dark song. The story isn't as dark as the song, I don't think, but the narrator here feels more paralyzed than most. She has an eating disorder on top of some alcohol abuse issues and doesn't seem to have many friends or a life, really. She has a house purchased with divorce money, a cat, and her mother's voice over the phone asking, "Do you need me to come out there?" No, no, no. That will only make shit worse.

"The 37": "Maggie May," Rod Stewart

I love it when Rod sings, "MAGGIE! I WISH I'D NEVER SEEN YOUR FACE." I've thought this about so many people but I don't really mean it. There's not a single face I regret.


Mary Miller and Always Happy Hour links:

Houston Chronicle review
Kirkus review
New York Times review
Publishers Weekly review

The DM Online interview with the author
Electric Literature interview with the author
Jackson Clarion-Ledger interview with the author
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for her short story collection Big World
Largehearted Boy Book Notes playlist by the author for The Last Days of California


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists

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

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)
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

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

Shorties (Arundhati Roy on Her New Novel, New Music from Magnetic Fields, and more)

Arundhati Roy talked to the New York Times about her new novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.


Stream a new Magnetic Fields song.


eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons
In Gratitude by Jenny Diski
Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton
Nashville Chrome by Rick Bass
Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small
A Replacement Life by Boris Fishman

eBooks on sale for $2.99 today:

The Master by Colm Toibin
Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume


Stream a new Father John Misty song.


Words Without Borders features excerpts from graphic novels in translation this month.


Stream a new Bleached song.


Creative New York interviewed author Valeria Luiselli.


Stream a new Tennis song.


Book Riot previewed February's best graphic novels.


Stream a new Fazerdaze song.


Read an excerpt from literally show me a healthy person by Darcie Wilder.


NYCTaper shared a recent performance by Meg Baird.


Signature recommended essential books on the history of LGBT rights in America.


Beach Slang covered the Jesus & Mary Chain's "Sometimes Always."


Entropy interviewed poet Maggie Smith.


Stream a new Robyn Hitchcock song.


Literary Hub shared an excerpt from Mike Scalise's memoir The Brand New Catastrophe.


NPR Music is streaming Chuck Prophet's new album Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins.


OUPblog recommended blasphemous books from the 1920s.


Musicians affected by the Trump travel ban talked to Pitchfork.


The new literary journal SUBLEVEL has launched, and features an essay by Hilton Als.


amNY interviewed Will Sheff of Okkervil River.


Bookworm interviewed poet Ron Padgett.


Wire's Colin Newman discussed the music that has influenced him at Pitchfork.


Bustle recommended February's best nonfiction books.


NPR Music is streaming Jesca Hoop's new album Memories Are Now.


The Guardian recommended recently published books to read during Black History Month.


Publishers Weekly profiled singer-songwriter and author John Darnielle.

Darnielle on rum and baking at the Wall Street Journal.


Fanzine interviewed author April Ayers Lawson.


NPR Music is streaming Teen Daze's new album Themes For Dying Earth.


Read an excerpt from Scott McClanahan's new novel The Sarah Book.


Stream a new Toro Y Moi song.


Hazlitt features new nonfiction by Sarah Gerard.


NPR Music is streaming Tinariwen's new album Elwan.


Esquire, Harper's Bazaar and Vol. 1 Brooklyn previewed 2017's best new books.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

List of Online "Best Books of 2016" Lists
Essential and Interesting Year-End 2016 Music Lists

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
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)
weekly music release lists

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

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