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October 24, 2014

Shorties (Nick Hornby on His New Novel, Stream the New Grouper Album, and more)

Nick Hornby talked to the Telegraph about his new novel Funny Girl.


NPR Music is streaming the new Grouper album Ruins.


Bill Moyers interviewed author Marilynne Robinson.


The Washington City Paper reconsidered Fugazi's 13 Songs album 25 years after its release.


Bookworm interviewed author Jonathan Coe about his new novel Expo 58.


Stereogum interviewed Radiohead's Philip Selway about his new album Weatherhouse.


The Artery profiled author Eimear McBride and her debut novel A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing.


Stereogum interviewed members of Death Cab for Cutie about their forthcoming album,


Author William Giraldi calls for an end to Cormac McCarthy comparisons at The Daily Beast.


NASA has shared a collection of public domain spaceflight recordings.


Ms. staffers listed their favorite feminist books.


SPIN profiled the band YACHT.


Flavorwire listed the best documentaries of all time.


Drowned in Sound is streaming the new Twilight Sad album Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave.


Paste listed American authors' homes worth visiting.


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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October 24, 2014

Daily Downloads (Thurston Moore, The Show Ponies, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Bill Times a Billion: Bridges and Borders single [mp3]

Coves and Caves: "Heart Explodes" [mp3]

Mary Jennings: "Home" [mp3]

Matthew Ryan: "Boxers" [mp3] from Boxers

Shannon Hurley: Shannon Hurley Sampler EP [mp3]

The Show Ponies: NoiseTrade Sampler EP [mp3]

Steady Lean: Here's Something album [mp3]
Steady Lean: Stagnant Phase b​/​w Artificial Sky single [mp3]

Vincent Colbert: "Baseline" [mp3] from Stranger In My House


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Thurston Moore: 2014-10-21, Brooklyn [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

October 23, 2014

Book Notes - Bill Roorbach "The Remedy for Love"

The Remedy for Love

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.

Bill Roorbach's The Remedy for Love is a compelling novel that features two disparate, damaged characters thrown together in a Maine snowstorm.

Kirkus wrote of the book:

"Lyrical, reserved and sometimes unsettling—and those are the happier moments. Another expertly delivered portrait of the world from Roorbach (Life Among Giants, 2012, etc.), that poet of hopeless tangles."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Bill Roorbach's Book Notes music playlist for his novel The Remedy for Love:


There's not much music in The Remedy for Love. That's because the protagonists are trapped in a cabin during a record-setting snowstorm. Eric has lost his phone with its extensive playlists; Danielle has lost everything. And now these two strangers have to ride it out together… But of course we carry songs in our heads, and wouldn't it be nice to access them whole, some kind of brain-tunes chip. Instead, by association, no effort or implants involved, songs arrive by themselves, always tied to some memory, some whiff of fragrance, or snatch of talk. Danielle's got her mind on the beach. Eric thinks he's the positive one—but every song in his head spells doom. I'll alternate between the wintry mindset of Eric and Danielle's imaginary beach:

Eric:
Rolling Stones, "Winter." From that album with a photo of Mick under some kind of sheer cloth. Looks like a fancy lady's hat? That one? Goat's Head Soup. The album with "Angie" on it. And "Winter" shares that sound, though it might easily be thought of as filler, a great bluesy feel and Mick a little subdued, just how Eric feels.

Danielle:
The Killers, "Bones." It mentions the beach all right:

We took a back road, we're gonna look at the stars

We took a back road in my car

Down to the ocean, it's only water and sand

And in the ocean, we'll hold hands

But I don't really like you

Apologetically dressed and in the best put on a heartbeat line

Without an answer, the thunder speaks for the sky

And on the cold, wet dirt I cry

And on the cold, wet dirt I cry

Eric:
Neil Young and Crazy Horse, "Winterlong."

Eric is such an immense Neil Young fan, like the rest of us, maybe a little disgusted with Neil for taking off with Darryl Hannah, but he's more judgmental than Danielle, who thinks Neil looks like someone's mad grandfather but can do whatever he wants, so shut up…

Danielle:
Neil Young, "On the Beach."

Not exactly a pastoral. Such a dark song, with its foot-dragging beat, and Neil's great lonely guitar.

Eric:
Harry Nilsson "Snow." Danielle's got Eric in a dark mood himself. But he's always found this song so soothing, and Harry Nilsson so tragic and fascinating, all that fifth Beatle stuff. He never listened to the lyrics closely, but from now on he will, and darkly:

Snow fills the fields we used to know

And the little park where we would go

Sleeps far below in the snow.


Gone, it's all over and you're gone

But the memory lives on

Although on dreams lie buried in the snow.


Sometimes the wind blows through the trees

And I think I hear you calling me

But all I see is...


Snow everywhere I go

As the cold winter sun sinks low

I walk alone through the snow.

Danielle:
The Drifters, "Under the Boardwalk." She always loved the name Drifters, and just something about "Under the Boardwalk," especially for someone who grew up going to the Jersey Shore, really gets to her—but what gets to her is the love part, that this happy couple has snuck off on hot sand and away from everyone to where they can be themselves…

Eric:
Leonard Cohen, "Avalanche." Eric's confused, maybe always been, a little, about who he really might be. He's the one who's out there saving everyone from themselves, true enough, but in fact it's he who's needed rescue, never more than now… He needs to reverse the genders in this song he loves, having always assumed the wrong role in the story it contains…

Well I stepped into an avalanche, 
it covered up my soul; 
when I am not this hunchback that you see, 
I sleep beneath the golden hill. 
You who wish to conquer pain, 
you must learn, learn to serve me well. 
You strike my side by accident 
as you go down for your gold. 
The cripple here that you clothe and feed 
is neither starved nor cold; 
he does not ask for your company, 
not at the center, the center of the world.

Danielle:
Joni Mitchell: "Help Me." Danielle's secret, guilty pleasure, hip-hop girl with the tough-guy loves who've pushed her around and pushed her away, the rap girl with a mouth full of Yo's, is this song, one of her favorites in the big pile of Joni Mitchell records her late mom adored. As a kid, Danielle, mourning, poured over the lyrics, studied every note, sang along in private, armed herself with Joni for a world so much less gentle than she'd thought.

And funny, gentle Eric loves Joni Mitchell's love songs, too, every one, so bittersweet at best. It'll take a long while before Eric and Danielle figure this out… But sharing a guilty pleasure is high compatibility.


Bill Roorbach and The Remedy for Love links:

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

Booklist review
Kirkus review
Newsday review

CarolineLeavittville interview with the author
everyday eBook essay by the author
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Life Among Giants
Omnivoracious interview with the author
Portland Press Herald interview with the author
Portland Sun 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

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Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week - October 23, 2014

In the weekly Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week, the Montreal bookstore recommends several new works of fiction, art books, periodicals, and comics.

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly is one of Montreal's premiere independent bookstores.


Syllabus: Notes From an Accidental Professor

Syllabus: Notes From an Accidental Professor
by Lynda Barry

We are thrilled that the inimitable Lynda Barry's latest D+Q offering has arrived! Barry teaches "a method of writing that focuses on the relationship between the hand, the brain, and spontaneous images, both written and visual." (D&Q) Syllabus uses the Dear Professor Old Skull's course plans from several of her classes at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and expands upon them with her teaching insights, collages, and assignments. Those familiar with Lynda Barry will recognize her dynamically dense and colourful style, yellow lined paper, and the presence of the legendary Near Sighted Monkey. Sections of Syllabus that take the focus off the class and onto Barry's experiences and insights on teaching are honest and deeply entrancing. Also worth mentioning: the production on Syllabus is understated and perfect. Its single signature binding and comp book aesthetic is an exact fit with the content.


Moomin: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition

Moomin: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition
by Tove Jansson

It's a big week for drool-worthy D+Q releases, between Syllabus and this brand new, deluxe omnibus of the complete Tove Jansson Moomin comic strips hitting the shelves! You'll have to pardon us for gushing, but the production values here are off the charts: from the gorgeous, bold colors on the slipcase, to the embossed Moomin (looking ever-so meloncholy) on the book's cover, everything is pitch-perfect. As the title implies, all of the original strips are here, from the high-risk adventure of Moomin and the Brigands to the witty romance of Fuddler's Courtship and everything in between. Add to this 28 pages of Jansson's original sketches, a poster, a beautifully written introduction by D+Q's Creative Director Tom Devlin, and write-ups from Dylan Horrocks, James Kochalka, Megan Kelso, and Tom Hart. What better way to celebrate Tove Jansson's centennial than with this glorious collection?


A Load of Hooey

A Load of Hooey
by Bob Odenkirk

McSweeney's tends to set the comedy-bar pretty high, so when they release a book of humourous essays, we get ready to bust a gut. Bob Odenkirk's reputation as one of the funniest comedy writers working today is well-earned, with work on SNL and Mr. Show being some resumé highlights. This collection of wry, absurd stories and bits would certainly lend itself well to the sketch-comedy medium. but is equally well-delivered in print. A Load of Hooey is sure to elicit some chuckles and tickle some funny bones.

The Miraculous

The Miraculous
by Raphael Rubinstein

Have you ever been curious about the circumstances surrounding the creation of an iconic work of contemporary art? The always spot-on contemporary arts journal Paper Monument has just published its first single-authored book, penned by New York-based poet and art critic Raphael Rubinstein, addressing just that very thing. Each of the fifty vignettes hones in on the context of one piece, but only reveals the artist's name at the end of the book. The ensuing micro-narratives are poignant, poetic depictions of some of the most important avant-garde artists of the last five decades including Joseph Beuys, Yoko Ono, Marina Abramovic, Lee Lozano, Tseng Kwong Chi, Cindy Sherman, David Hammons, and R.H. Quaytman, just to name a few.


The Woman Who Borrowed Memories

The Woman Who Borrowed Memories
by Tove Jansson

Rejoice, fans of Tove Jansson! In addition to the aforementioned Moomin: The Deluxe Anniversary Edition, there is another hot off the presses Jansson work for your perusal out this week. The Woman Who Borrowed Memories is a selection of short stories previously only available in Swedish. Jansson's signature style is instantly recognizable here, with many stories touching on the relationship between creativity and nature, and the Nordic setting so familiar to her work in other mediums. Jansson's prose gives life to her razor-sharp observations of human life, and her singularly keen voice lends itself perfectly to the short story form. Hats off to the folks at New York Review Books for making this collection accessible to a broader audience.


Librairie Drawn & Quarterly links:

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly's blog
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Facebook page
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Tumblr
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly on Twitter


also at Largehearted Boy:

other Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week

52 Books, 52 Weeks
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly new comics and graphic novel highlights)
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
guest book reviews
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)

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Shorties (An Interview with Marilynne Robinson, The Best Paris Bookshops, and more)

The Barnes and Noble Review interviewed author Marilynne Robinson.


The LSE Review of Books listed the best bookshops in Paris.


The Rumpus interviewed Sabina Sciubba, lead singer of Brazilian Girls.


Smithsonian interviewed Blondie guitarist Chris Stein about his new book of photographs Chris Stein / Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk.


Manhattan's The Strand bookstore now sells vinyl LPs.


BuzzFeed listed great American independent bookstores.


PopMatters interviewed singer-songwriter Cory Branan.


USA Today features an excerpt from Neil Gaiman's forthcoming short story collection Trigger Warning.


Stream a previously unreleased version of Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" at Rolling Stone.


Electric Literature shared a literary atlas to Ireland.


Musician Herbie Hancock talked to Morning Edition about his memoir Possibilities.


The A.V. Club considered film and television adaptations of Jane Austen's classic novel Pride and Prejudice.


Members of the bands Eagulls and Hookworms interviewed each other at Drowned in Sound.


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 (Sweet Soubrette, Streets of Laredo, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Dolly Spectra: "Moving in Circles" [mp3]

Electrician: "Billowing Clouds" [mp3]

Folk Angel: Christmas Songs NoiseTrade Sampler EP [mp3]

Jason Barrows: Islands of My Soul album [mp3]

Peter Carlsen: "Tiger" [mp3] from Sirens (out November 24th)

Pinecones: "Plays Cosmic Hits" Live on Radio album [mp3]

Streets of Laredo: An Introduction To Streets Of Laredo EP [mp3]

Swanky Tiger: "Empires" [mp3]

Sweet Soubrette: Be My Live Wire: Remixes EP [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Ed Schrader's Music Beat: 2014-09-26, New York [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

October 22, 2014

Atomic Books Comics Preview - October 22, 2014

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

Benn Ray is the owner of Atomic Books, an independent bookstore in Baltimore. The Mobtown Shank is his blog, and his comic Said What? is syndicated weekly in the Baltimore Sun's B-Paper.

Atomic Books has been named one of Bizarre Magazine's 51 geekiest places on the planet, as well as one of Flavorwire's 10 greatest comic and graphic novel stores in America.


Bumf Volume 1: Buggered The Kaiser

Bumf Volume 1: Buggered The Kaiser
by Joe Sacco

The early 1990s was a time rich with surrealist underground comics: famous for artists like Jim Woodring and seminal works Ed The Happy Clown by Chester Brown and Like A Velvet Glove Cast in Iron by Daniel Clowes. Joe Sacco, primarily known for his comics reportage of war zones, has taken his decidedly conflict-based frame of reference and turned in this first installment Bumf, a modern take on the surrealist underground comic. Bumf if ripe with post 9/11 images, Nixon, and a hard focus on buggering. It's brilliant, bizarre fun - loaded with intricate linework and a story that delights in both disorienting and reorienting the reader. Essentially what he have here is a new modern, underground, surrealist comics masterpiece.


Cream City Maryland #1

Cream City Maryland #1
by Andre Novak / Grace Slit

This new zine looks at the sleazy underbelly of Maryland. Cream City includes reviews of Ladies Night at a strip club, a playlist of Baltimore music to have sex to, a survey of Baltimore glory holes, and an overview of the sexy art from Baltimore's Club music scene. This zine provides a unique and fascinating look at the sexlife of folks in the "Land of Pleasant Living."


Poet Poe #1

Poet Poe #1
by R. Sikoryak

Poet Poe was initially done as a 24 (or in this case 26) hour comics challenge. Sikoryak takes Edgar Allan Poe's famous poems "The Raven," "Alone" and "The Conqueror Worm" and adapts them to fun comics form, with Poe given a classic Harvey Comics/Richie Rich-esque style. The inside back cover also includes a layout for "Annabel Lee" that you can use to draw your own adaptation if you so desire.


Subterranean Level: 6XZ03188V

Subterranean Level: 6XZ03188V
by Rodger Binyone

It's been a long time since I've seen such precise screenprinting. Subterranean Level is the story of a mission gone wrong. It's also a publication as art object. Page after page of beautiful art - oh yeah, and break out the blacklight to get the full effect, this sucker was printed with UV ink.


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:

Atomic Books website
Atomic Books on Twitter
Atomic Books on Facebook
Benn Ray's blog (The Mobtown Shank)
Benn Ray's comic, Said What?


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

Online "Best of 2013" Book Lists

52 Books, 52 Weeks
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
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)
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)

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WORD Bookstores Books of the Week - October 22, 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.


Grace's Guide

Grace's Guide
by Grace Helbig

YouTube phenom Grace Helbig offers an interactive handbook for self-realization.


#Newsfail

#Newsfail
by Jamie Kilstein and Allison Kilkenny

As tragic and frequently horrifying as the news can be -- its content and its presentation -- there are some pockets of absurdity waiting to be exposed here and there, as this book shows with engrossing detail.


Rookie Yearbook Three

Rookie Yearbook Three
edited by Tavi Gevinson

The manual for all-things growing up grows up itself, maintaining the charm and sensitivity of the previous two collections and the website from which the anthology derives.


McGlue

McGlue
by Ottessa Moshfegh

A formally innovative hybrid of The Long Weekend and The Stranger, with distinct elements all its own.


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 (Austin Kleon's Manifesto for Reading, An R.E.M. Documentary, and more)

Austin Kleon shared a "manifesto for reading."


Stream the trailer for the documentary R.E.M. by MTV.


Vita.mn interviewed Dee Dee Penny of Dum Dum Girls.


Poet Billy Collins shared his love for Yeats' "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" at the Atlantic.


The A.V. Club reconsidered Tori Amos's Under the Pink album 20 years after its release.


Author Marlon James talked "post-post-colonial writers" with BBC News.


Flavorwire interviewed singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan about her new album Heartleap.


The Los Angeles Review of Books interviewed poet Kate Durbin.


Thurston Moore shared a "best day" soundtrack at the A.V. Club.


Author Gina B. Nahai interviewed herself at The Nervous Breakdown.


Angus and Julia Stone visited The Current studio for an interview and live performance.


The Guardian listed the top novels about civil wars.


Justin Townes Earle covered Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams."


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 (Lily & Madeline, J Mascis, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

American Aquarium: Burn.Flicker.Die album [mp3]

Andre Costello and the Cool Minors: "Places" [mp3] from The Rattling Arcade

Lily & Madeline: Rabbit, Run for It EP [mp3]

Matuto: Matuto Sampler EP [mp3]

Miranda Dodson: Collections EP [mp3]

Rachel Thomasin: Microforms album [mp3]

The Sexbots: Songs for Jamil EP [mp3]

Valice: "Charlie Gray" [mp3] from Young Bloomer (out February 24th)

Various Artists: Roadrunner 2014 Heavy Holidays Sampler album [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

J Mascis: 2014-10-17, New York [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

October 21, 2014

Book Notes - Jack Livings "The Dog"

The Dunning Man

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.

Jack Livings' impressive debut story collection The Dog brings to life post-Mao China.

The New York Times wrote of the book:

"Together, his tales open a prismatic window on China, showing us how part of the country is rushing to embrace the 21st century, even as its history continues to exert a magnetic hold over people’s thinking and expectations . . . With The Dog, Mr. Livings has made an incisive—and highly impressive—debut."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Jack Livings' Book Notes music playlist for his short story collection The Dog:


A few of the stories in The Dog are set in Beijing in the mid-90s. That's when I was there as a college student, and although music was everywhere, I don't know if I want to subject you to it. On the trains, blown out speakers mounted over the doors played patriotic pop songs at volumes high enough to drown out a rocket launch. I'd picked up a souvenir butane lighter with Mao's image glued to the side that chirped "The East Is Red" when I flipped open the top. Every morning the elementary school next door to my dorm played Disney tunes through loudspeakers for the kids' calisthenics routines. There were old folks in the park singing Chinese opera at all hours of the day. Rage Against the Machine and Nirvana were on repeat at all the clubs. The thing is, these are all important atmospheric details that might help a reader slip into a fictional Beijing, but to get myself back there, I have to use a different soundtrack.

Certain songs have the ability to draw me heart and soul back to a specific place and time; it's like a dream, full immersion. I'm guessing this is true for most people. "Beat It": my 10th birthday party, Thriller on a silver boom box by the pool. Parts of The Messiah take me to a New York apartment where I am 3 and my dad, an operatic tenor, is running through the "Ev'ry valley shall be exalted" section behind the closed bedroom door. To access deep sense memories of China, I sometimes had to jolt my heart, and the songs I relied on weren't Chinese pop, but the music my roommate and I had brought from home.

Twenty years later, cueing up these songs could be a dangerous procedure because I can't concentrate on my work if I'm listening to music, but what I can do is listen to one song after another while absently looking at the page of words I'm supposed to be working on, letting my memory drift back on the current, while getting absolutely no writing done. It took real force of will to listen to just one or two, take off the headphones, and get to work.

So, this is less a playlist for the book itself than a soundtrack for its bumpy, distracted creation.

Foolish – Superchunk

One afternoon ten years ago I passed Mac McCaughan in the hallway of my apartment building. I was thirty years old. I was married, and I had a baby daughter. I was what is known as a grownass man. But I was too star struck to say anything, which, in retrospect, was good because I wouldn't have done much better than "You rock," and a too-toothy, stalkerish smile coupled with severe hand wringing. When I got to Beijing in 1994 and my roommate, who had been a DJ at WXYC in Chapel Hill, pulled out a tape with some raw studio takes from Foolish, I liberated it from him with thanks and proceeded to wear it out on my Walkman. Yes, my dinosaur-powered Walkman.

"Over the Neptune / Mesh Gear Fox" – GBV

I should mention that in the fall 1994 I had just turned 20 and was in the vortex of a drawn-out breakup, and a few of these songs were in heavy rotation because I was moping around feeling sorry for myself. This one, a beautiful aural buildup to lyrical devastation, on par with the cascading repetition of "You are forgiven!" at the end of The Who's "A Quick One, While He's Away," never failed to make me feel rotten, which is really what I wanted. I listened to this one anytime I felt I might be pulling out of the nosedive. "It's the things you say, it's the things you do, go right through me."

"You and Me" + "Might" – The Archers of Loaf

These two are a prickly pair on Icky Mettle, another album I wore out, along with just about everything the Archers ever recorded. "You and Me" is a sad, sad song, but wait! There's recovery on the horizon: Might! So what if it's passive aggressive recovery?

"Elixir Is Zog" + "Emma Get Wild" – Sebadoh

About midway through the semester, a package arrived from the U.S. My friend Chris, who could have run a record store out of his dorm room, had sent over a couple of mix tapes. He'd included these two songs back to back, as they are on Bubble and Scrape. I have no idea what they're about and I don't care because they're amazing. They're sonic wonders. Things were starting to look up.

"Gladiator" – The Jesus Lizard

The bands I was into could get heavy, but this was something else. This was heavy the way Sonny Rollins gets heavy. It was loud, even when played at a whisper, dynamic, melodic, and psychologically dangerous. I loved this band from the moment I first heard "Gladiator," lying on my narrow bed in Dormitory #3 at Capital Normal University School of Foreign Languages, listening to a live recording from the Jesus Lizard Show, which was on one of my roommate's mix tapes. As soon as I got back to the U.S., I bought the album, which includes David Yow engaging in some colorful banter with the audience.

"Gold Soundz" – Pavement

I'd listen to "Gold Soundz" over and over while I was practicing writing characters for Teacher Rao's class, stopping the tape, spinning it back, click click, doing it so many times I could land on the blank tape ahead of the opening chord by feel. Hearing that elegiac tone, Malkmus' voice close and clear, the band's resistance to rush, the soothing guitars, and I'm back there at my desk. It's a gentle delivery system for some heavy science: You can never quarantine the past.

"New York, New York" – The Last Poets

This was on one of the glorious mix tapes my roommate brought with him. It's angry, it's honest. It's off the 1970 album The Last Poets, and all I can say is, give it a listen and then, if you don't know who The Last Poets are, read a little about them. Oddly enough, this is one that takes me directly to Beijing, probably because after I left China, I didn't hear it again for about 15 years.

"Promises" – Fugazi

Where would we be without 13 Songs? I'd made sure to take plenty of Fugazi with me, but "Promises" puts me on a train creeping through the Chinese countryside, looking over walls into people's house compounds.

I did actually manage to speak when I met Ian MacKaye after a show once. Of course, all I could say was, "You guys rock." Ian, being Ian, was gracious about it, as I'm sure he was to every kid who said that to him. And their number was legion.

"Deep Seat" – Swervedriver

You talk to people who went to Swervedriver concerts in the 90s and they all at some point wind up making this sound to describe the experience—a fuzzy, drawn out whooshing pulse. Some people throw in hand motions, an oscillating push, as if they're trying to hold back a wall of air. I've never seen Swervedriver live, but for years—please trust me here, I'm not exaggerating—probably from 1993 until about 2005, there were only a handful of days I didn't listen to this song, usually at Chinese train loudspeaker volume. I listened to this song in the Stone Forest in Yunnan province, and at the monastery in Xiahe, and on a hill outside Dali. London, Boston, Inishbofin, Zurich, Iowa City, San Francisco, Winnsboro. It's been everywhere with me. I'm about to listen to it again.


Jack Livings and The Dog links:

the author's website
excerpt from the book
excerpt from the book
excerpt from the book

Kirkus review
Minneapolis Star Tribune review
New York Times review
Open Letters Monthly review
Publishers Weekly review

Los Angeles Review of Books interview with the author
Tweed's interview with the author
Wall Street Journal interview with the author
Washington Independent Review of Books 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 - Kevin Fortuna "The Dunning Man"

The Dunning Man

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.

Kevin Fortuna's short story collection The Dunning Man is dark and compelling, a book filled with unlikable characters so keenly drawn the reader cannot help but empathize with them.

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Kevin Fortuna's Book Notes music playlist for his short story collection The Dunning Man:


Growing up in an Irish-Italian household in a few cities that included New Orleans, with a musical genius for a brother (bias acknowledged), music was a constant for me. Now I'm a writer at night and a tech entrepreneur by day, but I never lost my obsession with music. A few years back I founded a destination website, popdust.com, which focuses on pop music. One of my friends and co-founders is a career music guy, and we used to jawbone a lot about the industry and what makes great music. He believes that members of every generation think their music is the "best" music. His thinking is that the music you listen to while coming of age creates a kind of "soundtrack" to your life, the melodies enhance your formative experiences and lodge them in memory. Makes sense to me. But I argued with him over the nuances of the theory and over whether some genres of popular music (disco, electronica) might be fly by night, just like some of the one-hit wonder acts that have created some of the most durable and memorable songs ("Come On Eileen" by Dexys Midnight Runners or "Spirit in the Sky" by Norman Greenbaum). Still, my friend is right—popular music is the soundtrack of our youth. And some people—like many of the characters in my book—don't ever really grow up. They keep striving for meaning, keep picking up new anthems and new formative experiences. My short story collection, The Dunning Man is about characters who reject society's rules and go far away from the beaten path. The below songs are the soundtrack for my book and for for my characters' lives.


"Be My Baby" – The Ronettes

Veronica Bennett's haunting, gorgeous voice, the wall of sound, the solemn, on-a-mission backbeat, and the explosive chorus make this love song a classic. Connor Ryan ("Dead" and "The Dunning Man") knows this song and it informs and inspires his love for Ursula—and, later, for Alice. Doesn't matter that its sung by a woman—the words and mood fit his all-in approach to love and relationships, and the timelessness fits his desire to do something that matters.


"Fairytale of New York" – the Pogues

Shane MacGowan's classic Christmas tune, which still charts to #1 or #2 in the UK every Christmas, is a fitting anthem for Maggie Dunne ("Flogging Maggie"). Like Shane, she lives by her own rules. She's got a poet's heart and an angel's voice, and, also like Shane, she doesn't give a fuck what society thinks of her. Hell, Shane even asked Maggie to take Kirsty's place at a Christmas Eve show in Dublin one year.


"Almost Home" – Joey Fortuna

To me, this song is an instant classic (and yes, it is written and sung by my brother, who is one of the best singer-songwriters I've ever heard (no irony here)). With a melody and hooky chorus that compare with the best songs of John Lennon and Paul Simon, this song captures what Connor is feeling as he gets closer to Alice and starts to realize that they might be something more than just friends. He's almost home. (shameless plug: www.joeyfortuna.com).


"Come On Eileen" – Dexys Midnight Runners

This tune actually makes a cameo in "Sullapalooza" and touches off a fateful car chase. Our hero is stuck in the past and what could have been, so it makes sense that he's listening to this song from his high school days. He lives for the moment and he loves this song for one of its best lines: "In this moment, you mean everything…"


"Rocks Off" – by The Rolling Stones

I imagine Jimmy Dolan ("Poor Jimmy") blasting this song on his headphones when he's going to rescue his Afghani sweetheart. It has a 'fuck you' vibe to it that suits Jimmy perfectly. He can't stand authority, sunshine bores the daylights out of him, and he's always trying to get his rocks off.


"Running to Stand Still" – U2

In this song I see Alice ("The Dunning Man"). It has a profundity and dignity and hidden passion to it that suits her. She's a noble person, and life has been bad to her. She's got a no-good boyfriend, and her upstairs neighbor has made her living situation unbearable. But she also has Connor. He can see that she's running but standing still and tall. He feels her, wants to help her.


"Madame George" – Van Morrison

Though it's not actually in the story, I can imagine this song playing in the background at the Fahey wedding while Rose Casey ("Weddings and Burials") is talking to the club's caretaker, Rodney Meeks. She's outside of the main ballroom but can hear Van crooning this slow dance song for the wedding party. The wistfulness of words and melody echo her mood and the bitter homecoming to the Natchez Club, the scene of her husband's undoing.


"Maggie May" - Rod Stewart

Maggie Dunne ("Flogging Maggie") was named after Maggie May from this song, which probably had some impact on how her life turned out from there. Maggie is a good girl, but she doesn't want to be. She knows too much about the meanness of the world, and she can't pretend otherwise.


"We Are Alive" – Bruce Springsteen

In the movie version of the story, Connor ("The Dunning Man") plays this tune on his car stereo when he's leaving NYC and Ursula behind and heading for Atlantic City. It has a rousing, solemn energy to it, and a soulfulness. It's about dying and being reborn, becoming "alive." That's what Connor wants.

"Bastard Landlord" – The Pogues

Connor ("The Dunning Man") plays this song as he approaches the Beachgarden complex in Atlantic City. Connor doesn't want to be the bad guy, 'the Man,' but that's who he is to his favorite tenant—at least on some level. He wants to change that dynamic.


"Empire State of Mind" – Jay-Z and Alicia Keys

Stryker Jones respects this song, in spite of his long-time rivalry with Jay-Z. He knows that it was Alicia who made it work by writing one of the year's best hooks. But he also appreciates the wit and sense of history in Jay-Z's words. Sure he brags like all rap stars must, but he also talks about the girl on the bus getting caught up in drugs and promiscuity. He talks about how the city can chew you up. Connor knows this. Stryker knows this. They're both survivors of the Empire State of Mind.


"Memories are Made of This" – Dean Martin

I've always been more of a Dino guy than a Frank guy, and this might be my favorite Dean Martin song. Perfect vehicle for his smooth, warbling baritone. Tells a story, too, and works as background music for Connor's encounter with the "Fat Italian" on the train to Atlantic City. Good irony here, with a sentimental tune playing during this existential and tense conversation. Memories are what make the Fat Italian want to find the exit.

"Do Whatcha Wanna Pt. 3" – Rebirth Brass Band

In the movie of "The Dunning Man," this classic Mardis Gras track is playing when Connor walks into Stryker's apartment. It's a chaos of trumpets and trombones and sax and guttural vocals—and one of the happiest melodies you'll ever here. Makes sense for this Stryker scene for two reasons: First, as the title suggests, Stryker does what he wants. Second, the man knows music and his own stuff is influenced by the tribal, quasi-religious homegrown music of New Orleans.


"Feel the Tide" – Mumford and Sons

"You and I, now, we can be alright if we just hold on to what we know is true." I think this song belongs to the narrator of "Sullapalooza." It's a tribute and a serenade to his wife, Anne—whom he loves, whom he is finding his way back to at the end of the story. He feels the tide turning. He's growing up during the course of the story. He's figuring himself out.


"Maybe I Believe" – Joey Fortuna

Every year my two brothers and I do this thing called "Brothers Weekend." You can fill in the blanks. We go somewhere, without women, and we blow off steam and catch up with each other. We kicked this off about five years ago, and the destination was Jazz Fest in New Orleans. This song by my brother Joey came out of that weekend. It's a life-affirming song and it belongs to all the characters in my book. They all believe, they all have something to live for. They're finding it.


Kevin Fortuna and The Dunning Man links:

the book's website

AskMen review
Esquire review
Kirkus review
Parade review
Popdust review


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

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