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July 15, 2014

Daily Downloads (The Moondoggies, Letting Up Despite Great Faults, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Dream Bear: "Sunset Eyes" [mp3]

John Lucas: Clearing Stones EP [mp3]

Letting Up Despite Great Faults: "Wrapped" [mp3] from Neon

The Moondoggies: "Midnight Owl" [mp3] from Adios I'm a Ghost (out August 13th)
The Moondoggies: "Red Eye" [mp3] from Adios I'm a Ghost (out August 13th)

Niagara: "Fat Kaoss" [mp3] from Don't Take It Personally (out September 7th)

PUJOL: PUJOL Sampler EP [mp3]

Shaprece: Molting EP [mp3]

The Skating Party: "Swimmer" [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Rock*A*Teens: 2014-07-12, Athens [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





July 14, 2014

Book Notes - Valeria Luiselli "Faces in the Crowd"

Faces in the Crowd

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.

Valeria Luiselli's Faces in the Crowd is one of the year's most striking and cleverly written novels, a debut that heralds the arrival of a promising literary voice.

The Los Angeles Times wrote of the book:

"Throughout Faces in the Crowd, Luiselli crafts beautiful sentences, while gleefully thumbing her nose at novelistic conventions. All that makes her an exciting and essential voice on the Latin American literary landscape."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In her own words, here is Valeria Luiselli's Book Notes music playlist for her novel, Faces in the Crowd:


Music for a Year of Weightlessness

I write slowly, hesitantly, always a few words at a time. Between sentences, I often read bits and pieces of other books, make cups of coffee, walk around my house and listen to music. I wrote Faces in the Crowd in about one year, after many years of taking notes and reading for it. I heard a lot of music while writing it –I think because I'd just given birth to my daughter and music seemed to make her sleepy.

Some of the songs in this list appear mentioned in the novel, others were just songs I heard a lot in that period, and others were crucial for putting together certain scenes. The novel has two narrators: a woman writing in an undisclosed "present" about her 20s, when she lived in NY and worked as a translator; and a man, Gilberto Owen, who writes from the 1950s in Philadelphia about the late 1920s in NY. The songs here also go back and forth between those periods.


1. Peregrino, by Guty Cárdenas

I discovered Guty Cárdenas on a late night radio program while driving through Mexico City one night. It was September, so it was probably raining. I remember I stopped the car by the side of the road to write down his name on my hand with a pen, so I could find his recordings later. I took me a few years to find something of his. The only thing they'd said about him in the program was that he was born in Yucatan, in 1905, and killed in a bar in Mexico City, the Salon Bach, in 1932. Then, while I was writing the novel I discovered that he had lived in New York in 1929. Part of the novel is set in NY exactly in that period, so Guty made his way into the story: his song Peregrino appears on a radio on Black Tuesday, in 1929, while the male narrator, Owen, is getting dressed in a hotel in the Bowery after sleeping with a prostitute.


2. Lover Come Back to Me, Tamar Korn

Tamar's voice was one of the things that got me writing this novel. She inspired one of the characters and her spirit definitely lingers in its pages. When I met her, she sang in a band called The Cangelosi Cards. They're no longer together, but she still sings in various places around NYC. She has one of the most intriguing, beautiful voices I have heard.


3. Maruzella, Roberto Murollo

I heard this song in Spain, many lives ago. I had it on tape for a long time. One day I travelled to Milano to visit family and I learned that it was one of my grandfather's favorite songs. I bought the CD; then lost it. I just found it on Spotify, after many years on not hearing it. The song "Maruzella" is mentioned in the novel, by the female narrator's neighbor, an old Italian man who shows her his record collection and sometimes cooks for her and lets her sleep on his couch.


4. Le Tourbillon de la vie, Jean Moreau

The first time I heard this song was in my early twenties, watching Truffaut's Jules et Jim. I was sick with Nouvelle Vague fever and watched all those films as if they were oracles or keys to my own life. I'm not sure if I could take in another Truffaut film, but I still like the lighthearted chagrin with which Moreau sings this song –about leaving and being left; about losing people, then reencountering them, and them losing them all over again. It's very much the spirit with which the female narrator in the novel sees her past.


5. No tengo tiempo, Rockdrigo

Rockdrigo was Mexico City's Bob Dylan, in a way. But he died young, in the big earthquake in 1985. I don't think of the earthquake when I hear his voice but I hear the blunt sound of things falling, things finishing, oneself changing. I don't think this song is mentioned in the novel but its ghost is definitely there.


6. Cemetry Gates, The Smiths

The female narrator in the novel –and perhaps me too– likes going to cemeteries. This is the only cemetery song I know, and I heard it hundreds of times while I was writing Faces in the Crowd. I like its élan and the feeling that life will start happening as soon as you step out of your house and walk somewhere, especially if you head toward a cemetery –which, on the best days, is the same feeling I have when I sit down to write.


7. Take this Waltz, Leonard Cohen

I can now say without sadness that I am a failed dancer. But I was once a serious dancer, and studied Limon technique for ten years. When I was about nineteen, a member of the Limon company came to Mexico City to train us for a summer. She put together a choreograph to this song. It was the first time that my group and I performed something. Many years later, I realized that the song's lyrics were Cohen's very free translation of Federico García Lorca's poem "Pequeño vals vienés." There is a –fictional but absolutely possible– scene in the novel where Owen and Lorca meet the dancer Jose Limon at a party in Harlem. It is hinted that, later on, after meeting Limón and watching him dance, Lorca writes that poem. I read the poem in Spanish many times while simultaneously hearing Cohen's version, trying to recall the steps of the choreograph I'd danced years earlier. I wanted the scene to reflect the basic cadence of the Limon technique. In a way the scene is a translation of that choreograph that bridges Limon and Lorca through Cohen.


8. Toma este vals, Morente & Lagartija Nick

But the back-and-forth of translation gets more complicated. Morente –a classic flamenco singer– and Lagartija Nick –a punk rock band– got together in 1996 and recorded an album called Omega, and used some of Lorca's poems as lyrics for their songs. For "Toma este vals", they used the music that Cohen had written for "Take this waltz," but used the original poem in Spanish for the lyrics. I don't know if I like this song, but I heard it over and over again while writing the Lorca-Limon scene. It came right after the Cohen song in my iTunes lists. I like how these two versions tell a short translation story about Lorca's haunting "Pequeño vals vienés" –there's the original poem, then its translation both into English and into music, then that music is translated into its flamenco-rock version and the original poem recovered and inserted into the music for Cohen's English translation of it. If, moreover, the song is played while watching footage of Limon dancing "The Moore's Pavane," it seems like his steps and cadence miraculously fit the music.


9. When You Finally Return, Six Organs of Admittance

I'm rarely awake at dawn, so the few early mornings in which I've risen to a cup of coffee and a manuscript in progress have been some of the happiest. I would hear this song, from the album "To Octavio Paz," while preparing coffee in those last mornings when I was deeply invested in finishing the novel and writing many hours a day. I like the way it takes its time, the way it circles around the same feeling without needing to get anywhere in particular –it reminds me why I like writing.


Valeria Luiselli and Tomorrow and Tomorrow links:

the author's Wikipedia entry

Electric Literature review
Full Stop review
Kirkus review
MAKE review
Observer review
Publishers Weekly review

ABA interview with the author
Los Angeles Review of Books profile of the author
Los Angeles Times review
Telegraph profile of the author
Untitled 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 - Thomas Sweterlitsch "Tomorrow and Tomorrow"

Tomorrow and Tomorrow

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.

Thomas Sweterlitsch's debut novel Tomorrow and Tomorrow is an inventive and entertaining mix of noir and cyberpunk.

Kirkus wrote of the book:

"Tomorrow and Tomorrow is a delicious dystopian mystery being described as Blade Runner meets Minority Report."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Thomas Sweterlitsch's Book Notes music playlist for his debut novel, Tomorrow and Tomorrow:


Ten years before Tomorrow and Tomorrow opens, Pittsburgh's destroyed by nuclear terrorism—500,000 lives gone in the blinding white flash. The main character, Dominic, lost his wife and unborn child in the blast, but obsessively relives his lost life and lost loves by visiting "The Archive," a fully-immersive digital reconstruction of the city. Dominic's cycle of grief is shattered when he's asked to track a woman whose digital record in the Archive is being systematically deleted…

While writing Tomorrow and Tomorrow, I knew it was vitally important to describe the virtual Pittsburgh as a very real, very tangible place—so the Archive became a love letter to the city, its crooked streets, its neighborhood enclaves, its graffiti and ephemera. Names of real Pittsburgh bands and musicians whose music I know and love appear on concert posters and t-shirts throughout the book. When I was given the opportunity to write a Book Notes post, I knew right away I wanted to highlight these amazing bands that appear in my novel—I hope you stream the playlist and find some new, great stuff. I've bookended my playlist with two very famous (non-Pittsburgh) songs that emotionally resonate with the novel.

"Tomorrow Tommorow" by Elliott Smith off the album XO
Tomorrow and Tomorrow takes place in a media-saturated near future, where many people have an endless gush of shock advertisements and infotainment streaming directly to their brain through "Adware" implants. After I settled on the title for the book, my wife pulled out her Elliot Smith CDs and played me his song Tomorrow Tomorrow off XO. Not only is the mood of the song a perfect complement to the tone of the novel, but these lyrics seemed to speak directly to the book: "I got static in my head/ the reflected sound of everything" and "The noise is coming out, but if it's not out now/ I know it's just about to drown tomorrow out"

"Shout" by Donora, off the album Donora
Even if you're not a music lover, you've probably heard the joyous pop of Donora—there's a current Nationwide commercial that's graced with their hit "I Think I Like You." I chose "Shout" because it has the upbeat style Donora's known for, but really shows off the versatility of lead singer Casey Hanner. In the novel, Donora's mentioned as headlining a summer concert in a city park, in my mind providing the perfect soundtrack to illustrate everything innocent and happy that was suddenly and irrevocably lost.

"I Know Every Street" by Meeting of Important People, off the album Meeting of Important People
Tomorrow and Tomorrow is in many ways a meditation on maps. The Archive is a digital map of the lost city, but also people's memories serve as a map to the city as it once was. When lead singer Josh Verbanets sings "It's been a long way since I made a bad turn/I'm a soothsayer and I can't be too proud/I know every street in this town"—I'm reminded of Dominic's quest through the Archive as he tracks ghosts of the past. Meeting of Important People are a great band to see live, with a bright pop sound that's a blends British Invasion groups like The Kinks with current Indie rock. Also, check out Verbanets' very worthy second project, The Josh and Gab Show, an "Anti-Bullying Musical Comedy Program for Kids": http://www.joshandgab.com/

"This is the End (For You My Friend)" by Anti-Flag, off the album For Blood and Empire
Punk band Anti-Flag is one of the biggest groups to come out of Pittsburgh, releasing several politically charged records full of articulate rage. I often wish that my writing was the literary equivalent to an Anti-Flag album. "This is The End (For You My Friend)" describes a scenario similar to the nightmare near-future of Tomorrow and Tomorrow: "Seems every station on the TV/is selling something no one can be/If every page was torn from the magazine/would cash still drive the media machine?"

"Song for you" by Broken Fences, off the album Broken Fences
I've heard Broken Fences described as similar to Simon and Garfunkel because of their clean guitar work and the close harmonies of singers Morgan Erina and Guy Russo, and while I think that's apt, Broken Fences have a much more haunted sound. The lyrics of "Song for You" make me think of Dominic's healing from grief: "whispers of pasts undone/how is it that you've caught me so completely/when I've had this wall built around me?"

"Are You Out There" by Lovebettie, off the album The Red Door EP
"Are You Out There" is a heart-wrenching rock ballad belted out by Lovebettie's powerful vocalist Alexandra Naples. "Crumbling down again/ Filled up with empty/ Where's my home again…" This song is almost gothic in its descriptions of sorrow and desolation.

"Knock Knock" by Mac Miller
In the past few years, two Pittsburgh rappers have gained national fame—Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller—highlighting Pittsburgh's vibrant hip-hop scene. Miller's album "Blue Slide Park" was a huge success, and is riddled with references to Pittsburgh's East End. His single "Knock Knock" is a great party song that Miller incredibly recorded before he was even old enough to drive. In the novel, Dominic's cousin Gavril is also his best friend, his enabler, his confidant. Gavril lives a party-all-the-time lifestyle I can easily imagine being set to Mac Miller's music.

"Big Plans" by Kellee Maize, off the album Aligned Archetype
I remember first learning about Kellee Maize when a friend told me there was a Pittsburgh rapper who "looked a little like Gwen Stefani and sounded a little like Eminem." "Big Plans" is another great party song, but in addition to the music, Maize's lyrics are socially conscious and often about her journey as a spiritual seeker. You might not realize that you already know about Maize—she was recently asked by Toyota to be the spokesman for the Prius, and you can currently see her in Prius commercials nationally.

"Forks at Kudatheda" by Centipede Eest, off the album Resonator
If you look them up on the internet, Centipede Eest is often described as "Prog"—and while it's hard to disagree with that as a label to give an idea to their sound, this band is completely unclassifiable. "Forks at Kudatheda" showcases their deep-space psychedelics and hissing vocals, but also check out this video of the band performing at FLUX, an all-night art party that used to pop up around Pittsburgh in unexpected places. I was at this show, so I'm more than likely one of those shadowy audience figures in the background: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh-GTJDFQCk

"Waves" by Shade, off the album Latonka
Shade is a legendary Pittsburgh band whose fans are apt to describe their music with near rapturous enthusiasm. Their sound is most often described as a rust-belt version of shoegaze, full of lush, fuzzy guitars and plaintive vocals. "Waves" is maybe my favorite of their songs—as the title implies, it has the mesmeric effect of floating alone in the ocean.

"Smile" by Life in Bed, off the album Passed and Presents
Life in Bed was a mainstay in the Pittsburgh scene throughout the 2000's, but came on my radar in 2008 with their album Passed and Presents. I love the guitar work in the instrumental track "Smile"—If this list were a soundtrack to a movie version of the book, I'd imagine this track being the perfect accompaniment for Dominic's great love for his wife, Theresa.

"Inter-America" by Host Skull, off the album Black Mark
Host Skull, easily one of Pittsburgh's most unique, experimental and relentlessly creative bands, is a morphing group anchored by Santa Fe's Will Dyer and Pittsburgh's artistic polymath Dave Bernabo. Equally at home playing as part of an art installation or headlining a concert venue, their sound ranges from avant-garde Jazz one moment to indie-pop melodies the next. Inter-America is a great track, and definitely check out their video for my favorite of their songs, "Totally Fatalist": http://vimeo.com/25583549

"City Lights" by Joy Ike, off the album Good Morning
Joy Ike is Pittsburgh's most beloved singer/songwriter, without a doubt. Her soulful, beautiful voice needs to be heard by more people. I chose "City Lights" off her early album Good Morning because the lyrics echo the love story at the core of my novel: "Maybe dependency brings out the best in me/City Lights are so much brighter when you're next to me." Make sure to check out the video for Ike's "Everything You Have" from her most recent album All or Nothing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXynlTBPuIs&feature=kp

"A Day in The Life" by The Beatles, off the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
In one of the earliest drafts of Tomorrow and Tomorrow, I typed the words, "I read the news today, oh boy" and felt like the entire novel bloomed in my head, waiting for me to simply type it out (of course, writing the book proved much more difficult than that…). Lennon's plaintive, bewildered voice confronted by the horror-shock of the news combined with McCartney's almost suburban verse of a man soldiering through his day, all swept up in the melancholy apocalypse of noise is the perfect distillation of what I wanted to achieve with my novel. I'd wanted that phrase to be the epigraph for the book, but royalties to use Beatles' lyrics are prohibitively high—so, as you turn to page one of the novel, play "A Day in the Life" softly on vinyl in the background then read the first sentence, "Her body's down in Nine Mile Run, half buried in river mud…"


Thomas Sweterlitsch and Tomorrow and Tomorrow links:

excerpt from the book

Kirkus review
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette review
Publishers Weekly review

Pittsburgh City Paper profile of the author
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review profile of the author
Tor.com interview with the author
WESA 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

Shorties (R.I.P. Nadine Gordimer, Elliott Smith's Roman Candle Album at 20, and more)

R.I.P. author and Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer.

Speakeasy listed her essential books.


Flavorwire reconsidered Elliott Smith's Roman Candle album 20 years after its release.


Flavorwire listed essential cult novels.


Salon interviewed author Emily Gould.


Rolling Stone listed the 10 craziest stories in Rick James' new autobiography Glow.


Francisco Goldman talked to Weekend Edition about his new book, The Interior Circuit: A Mexico City Chronicle.


Drowned in Sound profiled the Manic Street Preachers.


Guitar World listed the best albums of 2013 so far, and the Oregonian listed the year's best Portland albums.


The Telegraph listed the coolest record stores in Britain.


All Things Considered interviewed author William T. Vollmann about his new book, Last Stories and Other Stories.


The Line of Best Fit interviewed the band Cloud Boat.


Author Emily Gould listed her favorite books at The Week.


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 (Azar Swan, Pink Mexico, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Arielle Verinis: Bruised Not Broken album [mp3]

Azar Swan: "White Violet" [mp3]

Hanah: "Out of Touch" [mp3]

Pink Mexico: Pnik Mxeico album [mp3]

Vanya Zhuk: Live on WFMU's Transpacific Sound Paradise with Rob Weisberg - June 28, 2014 [mp3]

Vincent James: The Wilderness Below EP [mp3]

War Jacket: War Jacket - An Overview EP [mp3]
War Jacket: "Life Can Haunt You" [mp3]

Wren: Bone Nest EP [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Phish: 2014-06-11, 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

July 13, 2014

Daily Downloads (The Week's Best Free and Legal Music Downloads, Including They Might Be Giants, Mal Blum, The Young, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

The Choir: Shadow Weaver EP with Bonus Songs [mp3]

Guster: Live with the Redacted Symphony album [mp3]

The Howlin' Brothers: The Stone Fox Live EP [mp3]

Island Wren: Fountain EP [mp3]

The Littlest Birds: Live on KPFA: 6/18/2014 album [mp3]

Mal Blum: Covers single [mp3]

Rock Plaza Central: Cover Me with Brule album [mp3]

They Might Be Giants: First Album Live album [mp3]

The Young: Live on WFMU's Three Chord Monte with Joe Belock: July 1, 2014 [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Phish: 2014-06-12, 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

July 12, 2014

Shorties (Chicago Independent Bookstore Day, R.I.P. Tommy Ramone, and more)

Today is Chicago Independent Bookstore Day.


R.I.P., Tommy Ramone.


NPR Books interviewed Robin Black about her new novel Life Drawing.


All Things Considered examined the evolution of boy bands over the years.


NPR Books and the Oxford American interviewed Amanda Petrusich about her new book Do Not Sell at Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World's Rarest 78 rpm Records.


A Blog Supreme remembered jazz legend Charlie Haden.


Authors recommend summer reading at the Guardian.


Midnight Sun profiled the band Wye Oak.


Killing the Buddha features an excerpt from Scott Cheshire's debut novel As High as the Horses' Bridles.


Walkmen frontman Hamilton Leithauser visited The Current studio for an interview and live performance.


SPIN recommended forthcoming albums available to stream online now.


The Chicago Tribune recommended novels for summer reading.


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 (Sharon Van Etten, Five Eight, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Alejandro Escovedo: 2014-06-02, New York [mp3,ogg,flac]
Alejandro Escovedo: "Can't Make Me Run" [mp3]

Bloodkin: 2014-07-05, Athens [mp3,ogg,flac]
Bloodkin: "Pretty Girls In Summer Dresses" [mp3]

Chuck Prophet: 2014-06-13, Arlington [mp3,ogg,flac]
Chuck Prophet: "Sonny Liston's Blues" [mp3]

Drive-By Truckers: 2014-03-29, St. Louis [mp3,ogg,flac]
Drive-By Truckers: "Do It Yourself" [mp3]
Drive-By Truckers: 2014-03-29, St. Louis (early acoustic show) [mp3,ogg,flac]
Drive-By Truckers: "The Part of Him" [mp3]

The Frames: 2014-06-30, Dublin [mp3,ogg,flac]
The Frames: "Gigantic (Pixies cover)" [mp3]

Sharon Van Etten: 2014-07-06, Vancouver [mp3,ogg,flac]
Sharon Van Etten: "Every Time The Sun Comes Up" [mp3]
Sharon Van Etten: 2014-07-06, KEXP [mp3,ogg,flac]
Sharon Van Etten: "Break Me" [mp3]
Sharon Van Etten: 2010-10-09, New York [mp3,ogg,flac]
Sharon Van Etten: "Holding Out" [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Five Eight: 2014-06-22, Athens [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

July 11, 2014

Book Notes - Mira Jacob "The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing"

The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing

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.

Mira Jacob's The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing is an ambitious and sharply written debut novel.

Kirkus wrote of the book:

"Comparisons of Jacob to Jhumpa Lahiri are inevitable; Lahiri may be more overtly profound, Jacob more willing to go for comedy, but both write with naked honesty about the uneasy generational divide among Indians in America and about family in all its permutations."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In her own words, here is Mira Jacob's Book Notes music playlist for her debut novel, The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing:


I am one of those people that need to work in near silence when it comes to music because I’m basically a lyrics junkie--one good line and I’ll sit around and dream on it for days. But sometimes when I’m stuck in a scene, I need to find another way in. Those days, I’ll sit around and draw something from that scene or I will listen to a song on repeat like a stoned teenager.

1) Metric, Empty

We couldn't see what was coming...

I have to start with this because I listened to it on repeat over the three years that I put this novel away and tried to forget it. A lot was happening in that time—I was shuttling in and out of hospitals with my dad, losing him more every day, losing myself in all those hallways and rooms. So this song for me is very specific: it's the sound my heart makes when it breaks.

2) Najma, Neend Koyi

Amina hangs up the phone with Kamala in the prologue, and in my head this fills the distance between Seattle and New Mexico. The translation of the lyrics (if you can believe someone who calls herself The Princess Alexandra on YouTube) are over-the-top and heartbreaking, in true Ghazal fashion.

The whole world to my memory is lost/ and only the image of my love remains. All that I had left were tears, I have lost them in your presence, and nothing now remains.

Side note: I discovered Najma’s album Qareeb in high school, after months of needing to blast Fugazi’s Repeater just to get out of bed in the morning. My parents were so relieved.

3) Richard Buckner, Raze

So you just pour your poor self out/ and you milk your spirit down/ but what are you going to do in another year or two but groove a new rut/ in another town?

Buckner is one of my favorite songwriters, hands down, and his voice is the kind of haunting you feel everywhere at once. The song is the last stop on a road you never meant to go down. It’s where Amina ends up after she sees Bobby McCloud jump and her fury and grief leaves her unable to function.

4) Ozzy Osborne, Crazy Train

The only way to head into the 80s. The best thing about this song (besides Randy Rhoads’ epic solo) is the weird, fractured, angry-guy hope in it, the idea that even though the world is going to shit, it could be turned around with love.

5) Air Supply, Lost in Love

Amina loves this song. And that other one mentioned in the book. And every other Air Supply song ever. Yes, really. WHAT.

6) John Hartford, Turn Your Radio On

Wholesome and sweet with the conviction that gospel radio can cure the most acute ills. Every time I hear this song, I think of Kamala in the kitchen, churning out chutney, transcending.

7) The National, The Geese of Beverly Road

We'll go from car to sleeping car

And whisper in their sleeping ears

We were here, we were here

We'll set off the geese of Beverly Road…

We’re the heirs to the glimmering world

At the risk of revealing that I’ve written a book informed by a song informed by a book, this one has to make the list. So thank you to the National for something that always makes me feel rough and alive, up on a roof waiting for this year’s miracle to appear, and thank you to the brilliant Cynthia Ozick for the best line in it.

8) Judas Priest, Breaking the Law

Rob Halford, hell yes. Love this because it’s so over the top, so fronting and growly and meanwhile, when it appears in the book, Amina and Akhil are teenagers who are wearing down to their little kid selves on a long ride home.

9) Scorpions, No One Like You

The ultimate Love Manthem, and everything Akhil feels about Paige. Furious guitar, shrieking accusations of love, the potential to blow your speakers out forever—this one is pure metal ballad gold.

10) Jim and Jennie and the Pinetops, Mt. St. Helens

I live on old St. Helens/ don’t think that I don’t know/ I live on old St. Helens/and it’s about to blow

Full disclosure: Jennie Benford and I lived together during some highly formative years, and we spent a lot of time talking about how to make things (music, art, writing), so her voice will still occasionally rise up when I’m in the middle of something tough and guide me through. No varnish here, just pure and simple beauty, and the perfect contrast to the words she’s singing.

11) Najma, Dil Laga Ya Tha

In the absence of translation (even by The Princess Alexandra) I’ve decided this song is about loving someone enough to see the world through their eyes, and set the whole house alight with your conviction.

12) J. Mascis, Sideways

I really don’t think any novel about the desert could be complete without some pretty big guitars. This sounds like the mesas and the mountains to me, the sky moving overhead like an animal.


Mira Jacob and The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing links:

the author's website
video trailer for the book

Independent review
Kirkus review

Biographile essay by the author
The National profile of the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

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

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Book Notes - Glen Hirshberg "Motherless Child"

Motherless Child

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.

Motherless Child is a crisply told and original vampire novel.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"The clash of human and vampire worlds in the tumultuous final showdown presents a satisfying, startling, conclusion and infuses this work with both literary and genre merit."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Glen Hirshberg's Book Notes music playlist for his novel, Motherless Child:


Motherless Child is a vampire novel about single-motherhood, a road novel about coming home to a home you already know is no longer there, and a blood-soaked thrill ride. In other words, it's a book of many moods. From its opening lines—"She met him on a Monday. Her heart stood still."—it is also threaded with overt and oblique references to dozens, hundreds of songs. They are the songs Natalie and Sophie, the story's two victimized, resilient heroines, sing to and at each other, and also what I was singing to myself almost the entire time I was writing. Every track listed below gets mentioned or referenced somewhere in the narrative.

The basic situation is this: on a rare night out, Natalie and Sophie, best friends and single moms, have an encounter with a shadowy, legendarily gifted musician known only as the Whistler. When they become aware of just how significantly the Whistler has changed them, and in terror of what they can feel themselves becoming, Natalie and Sophie leave their babies with Natalie's mother, tell her to get out of town and never let them find her, and flee in Natalie's rebuilt GTO. Neither motherhood, their new and terrible realities, nor the Whistler turn out to be so easily fled, though, and they eventually turn around, hurtling toward a confrontation they already realize they have no hope of winning.

This is their music:

Warren Smith - "Red Cadillac and a Black Mustache"
This is the song Natalie and Sophie hear the Whistler play on the night he seduces and alters them. The Whistler is indeed a master musician, a mimic, an artist in the George Jones mold, drawing relentlessly on explosive emotions he sees people feeling but can't seem to experience himself. As for the song, it seemed the right one here for several reasons: it's got that melody, that rhythm, first of all, so sweet and scary at the same time. When Warren Smith's jilted lover sings, "Who you been lovin' since I've been gone/A long tall man with a red coat on," I both hear his heartache and find myself more than a little afraid, maybe for the singer, but just as much for the red-coated stranger, and most of all for the woman. There's a sort of love in this music. But there's also a primal, barely acknowledged fury.

Chuck Berry - "Memphis Tennessee"
The greatest midnight phone-call in the history of rock music isn't to a lover, but a daughter, and so inevitably surfaces in Natalie's thoughts as she tries, and fails, repeatedly, to accept the fact that her son is no longer with her. Natalie is the more grounded, more thoughtful, and moodier of these two lost women, Sophie her sunnier, lighthearted opposite, but both of them are applying the considerable force of their respective personalities to coming to terms with their grief. Natalie wants "to feel, yet again, the full force of the emptiness there, where her child had been. To know it was permanent. She needed to know that, if she hoped to go on. If she did." So this is what she sings. And as with "Red Cadillac," there's a magic in the melody itself that doesn't so much mask the grim subject matter as bathe it in beautiful, almost alluring light. Which, again, makes it terrifying to me.

Wanda Jackson - "Fujiyama Mama"
In addition to Natalie and Sophie—vulnerable, killable, but not conquerable—there is another ferocious female presence in this book: Natalie's widowed mother, Jess. She was the great revelation during the writing of the novel, and very nearly walks off with it. She's a Baltimore Orioles fanatic, a tiny mama lion in a Walgreens uniform, not at all a music connoisseur, and the jaw-dropping poor taste in these lyrics would no doubt appall her. But she's a survivor, a fighter, and though Natalie has only begun to know it, her strength and her moral compass come directly from this source.

Terry Jacks - "Seasons in the Sun"
In so many ways, this is an awful song, a puddle of sop too sticky even to trigger tears. Except, just maybe, if you're in a rebuilt GTO in the middle of the night in the middle of South Carolina on a road trip with the best friend who has been your best friend almost since you were born, and who may well be the only friend you have left or will ever have left. Natalie is a music snob (with superior taste), Sophie a music lover (not necessarily the same thing). Sophie's selection of this song to play one night triggers the following conversation, starting with Natalie:

"Terry Jacks? Have you learned nothing, all these years with me?"
"Like, that music matters?" Sophie said.
"Like, which music matters."
"Oh, I get that well enough. I'm just not sure why mattering matters."
"Because it does."
"Not if it keeps you and me from singing Seasons in the Sun."

Otis Redding - "(Sittin' On) the Dock of the Bay"
It's the Whistler who carries this one around. Partially, this is because he loves the story of the song's recording (it was finished days before Redding's plane crash), and so that iconic, whistling fade-out becomes, for this guy, "The greatest whistling part—the whistle of the singer's own death coming." But also, this track is a devastating evocation of entropy—"Looks like nothing's gonna change/everything still remains the same"—and since that is the emotional state the Whistler comes closest to achieving, or at least understanding, he identifies with this more than any other song.

Judy Roderick - "Walking Slow Behind You"
While the menace in most of the music above is veiled, sometimes not even intentional, the threat in this one couldn't be clearer, or more gleeful: "They'll take you out to you know where/And lay you in the shade/Then proceed to pat your ugly features with a spade/So allow me to remind you/They'll be walking slow behind you." This is the music Natalie grabs in a late-night record store in Columbia, South Carolina, right after leaving home. It's not a psych-up for her, or wish-fulfillment; it's the closest thing she has left to a promise. All you Jolenes, Red Cadillac watchers, Whistlers: I'm walking slow. So you should run.

(Go Home Productions Mash-up) - "Velvet Sugar"
 In last Saturday's Orphan Black, Sarah and her mercurial, monstrous clone-sister Helena are in a car, break out the Archies' "Sugar Sugar," and have a moment. It's a great moment, the Orphan Black moment of the year, hilarious and hummable and disconcerting. It's also way too close to a similar scene in Motherless Child (written, obviously, long before), except that what my hopefully lovable monster-women are singing is the above version, in which that irritating, irresistible, winking melody gets grafted over the opening of the Velvet Underground's "Waiting for My Man," maybe the most primal and resonant riff of the ‘60s (yeah yeah Rolling Stones, blah blah Beatles, this is the one that does that to me). What gets created here makes you laugh, rips you open, and sets you singing, all at the same time. And that's pretty much what I was hoping to do with this book.

Glen Hirshberg and Motherless Child links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry

Publishers Weekly review
Washington Post 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

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Atomic Books Comics Preview - July 11, 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.


Badzine #10 : Another Coloring Book

Badzine #10 : Another Coloring Book
by Tim Lamb

Badzine collects an illustrated array of trucks, trains, dumpsters, etc. for you to color in. Or, if you prefer, to practice some designs before you break out the spray cans.


Believed Behavior Anthology Season 2

Believed Behavior Anthology Season 2
by various

It's time for the second season of Believed Behavior - a newsprint anthology. This issue features comics by Michael DeForge (about a girl who has herself medically transformed into an airplane and falls in love with a boy who turned himself into a car), Anya Davidson (with a story about a working class monster poet), Sophia Foster-Dimino (about the misadventure of a terrible bodyguard) and stories by Lale Westvind and Lyra Hill.


Doris #31

Doris #31
by Cindy Crabb

The new issue of Crabb's long-running and beloved zine is now out - and it's always like catching up with an old friend who always has interesting things to say. In personable, and extremely relatable prose, she talks about squatting in the winter, reparations, raising animals, building houses and so much more.


Galaga (Boss Fight Volume 4)

Galaga (Boss Fight Volume 4)
by Michael Kimball

If you're familiar with the 33 1/3 book series - where each book is based on a great album and is written by a different author - than you'll easily grasp the idea behind the Boss Fight Series. It's the same idea, but applied to videogames. In Volume 4 Kimball gives game tips, a cultural history, explains his obsession with Galaga and how the game may have just saved his life.


Modern Drunkard #58

Modern Drunkard #58
by Frank Kelly Rich (editor)

It's been a while since the last issue of the modern drinker's go-to magazine. This new issue features cover-to-cover content for the drinking enthusiast - mixology tips, a history of the flask, and a drinking battle between Hunter S. Thompson and Doc Holliday. No bar should be without a copy.


Tall Trees Of Portland

Tall Trees Of Portland
by Matt Wagner (editor)

Wagner's Tall Trees series is a survey of different areas' contemporary art scene. Her he profiles Portland by featuring the work of artists like Apak, Martin Ontiveros, Souther Salazar, Craig Thompson and many more, as well as some key, important art spaces. Tall Trees of Portland expertly documents the art of a time and place.


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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Shorties (An Interview with William T. Vollmann, The Top Atheist Anthems, and more)

Bookforum interviewed author William T. Vollmann.


Religion News Service listed atheist anthems.


The Guardian listed the top comics in art.


Stream a 2011 PJ Harvey performance at Rolling Stone.


The Washington Post examines climate change as literary genre.


PopMatters interviewed Harvey Danger frontman Sean Nelson.


Authors shared their favorite soccer books at Granta.


Heard Mentality interviewed The Wytches' Kristian Bell.


Authors Sheila Heti and Tao Lin talked Twitter at The Believer.


PopMatters shared an excerpt from Marc Spitz's book Twee: The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion, and Film.


Bookworm interviewed poet Alice Notley.


The longlisted albums for Canada's Polaris Music Prize have been named.


The Chicago Tribune interviewed author Edan Lepucki.


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


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

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

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

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