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February 20, 2015

Shorties (Kazuo Ishiguro Profiled, A New Blur Album, and more)

The Guardian and New York Times profiled author Kazuo Ishiguro.


Blur will release its first new album in 12 years this April.

Drowned in Sound listed its favorite songs by the band.


Litro interviewed Claire Fuller about her debut novel Our Endless Numbered Days.


Stream a new Beach Creeps song.


The Daily Beast interviewed author Richard Price.


Stereogum ranked Beck's albums.


Lorrie Moore discussed the books & films of Miranda July at the New York Review of Books.


Drowned in Sound interviewed singer-songwriter Julian Casablancas.


Oprah magazine recommended books to give your best friend.


VICE shared an A-Z list of music subcultures.


The Rumpus interviewed David Shields and Caleb Powell about their book I Think You're Totally Wrong.


The Oxford American interviewed singer-songwriter Amanda Shires.


The Morning News Tournament of Books brackets have been announced.


The Nation remembered singer-songwriter Lesley Gore.


Author Sarah Gerard interviewed herself at The Nervous Breakdown.

Read an excerpt from her debut novel Binary Star.


The A.V. Club is streaming the new Elvis Perkins album, I Aubade.


Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon talked to the New York Times about her memoir Girl in a Band.


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


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

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

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

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February 20, 2015

Daily Downloads (I Am Snow Angel, 6 String Drag, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

ChandBibi and the Waste Candidates: ChandBibi and the Waste Candidates EP [mp3]

Deering and Down: "You're the One" [mp3]

I Am Snow Angel: Crocodile Sampler EP [mp3]

Kaleo: All the Pretty Girls EP [mp3]

Storm Circus: Alpha EP [mp3]

SwampTrees: The Wild Fears We Tame album [mp3]

Thinkr: Quiet Kids EP [mp3]

Tululah: Selma / And Yet It Moves single [mp3]

Various Artists: Relapse Records: 25 Years of Contamination album [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

6 String Drag: 2015-02-14, 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

February 19, 2015

Book Notes - Steph Post "A Tree Born Crooked"

A Tree Born Crooked

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

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

Steph Post's debut novel A Tree Born Crooked is pitch-perfect literary noir, authentic and mesmerizing.

The Atticus Review wrote of the book:

"Post doesn't have to reach for realism here – her equable, deliberate authorial voice is a natural fit for the novel's country noir sensibility. She has an excellent ear for lifelike dialogue, wielding a Southern accent like a sawed-off shotgun without ever overstepping the boundaries of believability."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In her own words, here is Steph Post's Book Notes music playlist for her debut novel A Tree Born Crooked:


I consider myself to be a cinematic writer. I can see every scene that I write, down to the last detail, and I hope that the reader can as well. The look one character gives another, the angle of his face when he turns to speak, the shadow of a cigarette when he raises it to his lips- this is what concerns me most when writing out a scene. I have to be able to see it in my mind's eye, as if were playing out on the screen.

In other words, for me at least, A Tree Born Crooked exists like a film on the page. And if that film had a soundtrack, it would go something like this:

Track One: "Old Friend" by Rancid
Despite the country noir genre, A Tree Born Crooked opens up with punk rock. This is James' theme song and the first scene in a nutshell. "Good morning heartache, you're like an old friend, come and see me again." James is a man who wakes up every day, expecting heartache, embracing it, even. Taking it in stride. Wearing it like a badge of honor. There is an optimism in this song, a beat of hope beneath the heartache. And here we have our hero.

Track Two: "This Old Town" by Clay George
If ever there was a song to describe James' hometown of Crystal Springs, which he reluctantly drives into at the end of chapter one, this is it.

Track Three: "Lawd Have Mercy" by El Camino
Here we meet Rabbit, the younger brother who got left behind. He's a tough guy, in his own mind, brash and pathetic at the same time. The kind of guy you want to strangle, then help, then punch in the face, then pick back up off the floor. He stresses readers out. Lord have mercy on them.

Track Four: "Even the Losers" by Tom Petty
This is high school. Not as it was, but as you remember it, fifteen years later, sitting on a barstool next to a girl who can't let the good old days go. Picture James, his ex-girlfriend, and a bar full of aged-out karaoke singers who never quite topped their senior year at Crystal Springs High.

Track Five: "Change My Way" by Howlin' Wolf
A drinking song, pure and simple. Before things get underway, James spends a lot of time at the Blue Diamond, trying to figure it all out with the help of Budweiser, Wild Turkey and good music on the jukebox.

Track Six: "The Night" by Morphine
Close your eyes, listen to this song, and you'll know all you need to know about Marlena. This is the song playing in the background when James and Marlena are sitting across the kitchen table from one another, a storm raging in the sky and in their hearts. "Unknown the unlit world of old, you're the sounds I never heard before…"

Track Seven: "Swampblood" by Th' Legendary Shack Shakers
The Alligator Mafia. ‘Nuff said.

Track Eight: "Low Down" by Hank III
Another drinking song. This is James, Rabbit and Marlena, stewing in a hotel room at The Happy Flamingo, ready to turn on each other in an instant. Ready to turn on themselves. Thank God there are plastic cups and a half gallon bottle of vodka to throw fuel on the fire.

Track Nine: "Baddest of the Bad" by Reverend Horton Heat
Tires screeching, bullets in the air and a strong grip on the "oh-shit" handle. Every story needs a wild car chase and here is its song.

Track Ten: "How's it Gonna End" by Tom Waits
And the credits roll. I had the title for A Tree Born Crooked before I had written one word of the book, but I knew this song would be everything for the story. One of the greatest joys of working on this novel was figuring out what being "a tree born crooked" meant to these characters and how that key lyric was going to factor into their journey. The idea of being bent, but not broken, beaten, but still breathing, is essential to James, Rabbit and Marlena and has become a touchstone for me as well.


Steph Post and A Tree Born Crooked links:

the author's website

Atticus Review review
Heavy Feather Review review

Alisse Lee Goldenberg interview with the author
Bionnovate interview with the author
Entertainment Weekly interview with the author
Entropy interview with the author
The Indie View interview with the author
Read To Write Stories interview with the author
Regina West interview with the author
This Podcast Will Change Your Life interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

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

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Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week - February 19, 2015

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.


After Birth

After Birth
by Elisa Albert

In After Birth, Elisa Albert tackles the subject of childbirth and motherhood with visceral honesty. Ari, mother to a one year old child feels adrift in her new role as a parent after moving to a small town in upstate New York with her much older partner. It seems she may have a potential friend (or frenemy?) when Mina, nine months pregnant, and a former bass-player for a 1980s girl-group, comes to town. As the two women navigate new motherhood and friendship, Albert pulls no punches, turning her narrative lens on love, marriage, feminism, identity, and female friendship with blistering wit.


Dendera

Dendera
by Yuya Sato

Protagonist Kayu finds herself abandoned in a snowy mountain range, victim of the historical Japanese practice of ubasute, which entails bringing elderly people to a remote place to die. However, rather than simply succumbing to the elements, Kayu discovers that she is in Dendera, a utopian society built by fellow elderly women who have been left to die by their families over the years. The community must band together when the threat of a hungry mother bear looms. Sato's "strange fiction" elegantly employs aspects of the fantasy/sci-fi genre with a literary prose style, resulting in a highly unique narrative voice.


S! 20: Desassossego

S! 20: Desassossego

Inspired by Fernando Pessoa's Livro do Desassossego, translated in English as The Book of Disquiet, the latest issue from Baltic Comics Magazine Kuš! is dedicated to comics from Portugal. This issue features a very nice introduction to Portuguese comics by guest editor Marcos Farrajota (of Chili com Carne) with some thoughts on the theme of disquiet. Including work from an impressive list of contributors, S! 20 is a perfect way to get a taste of the contemporary Portugese comics scene.


Find Me

Find Me
by Laura van den Berg

Laura van den Berg's first foray into novel-length fiction is a gripping, suspenseful take on the dystopian near-future genre. When the USA is swept by a highly contagious epidemic that causes memory loss, followed by complete amnesia leading to death, protagonist Joy is one of the few people immune to the disease. As such, she finds herself confined to a Kafkaesque hospital, where news of the disintegrating society is carefully kept from patients. Upon her eventual escape, Joy flees from Kansas to Florida in search of the birth-mother who abandoned her, encountering many bizarre situations and people along the way. At once a meditation on a post-apocalyptic America and a story of a young woman's journey to self-realization, van den Berg's debut novel is not to be missed.


The BOOKMOBILE Book

The BOOKMOBILE Book
by Leila Pourtavaf

The BOOKMOBILE Book brings to life the projet MOBILIVRE BOOKMOBILE project, an exhibition of artist books, zines and independent publications that traveled across the US and Canada from 2001-2005. Along the way, the organizers also gave a lot of workshops and talks, and collaborated with many amazing groups and individuals. This publication tells the tales of the making and of the doing, from the road and from the studio. With reflective essays that examine some of the contemporary motivations and inspirations for the project, the book also contains many photographs, selections of books and zines that were part of the BOOKMOBILE’s touring collections, tour guide diaries, and of course, comics!

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

List of Online "Best of 2014" Book Lists

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 (A Yoko Ono and Antony Hegarty Duet, The Best of Haruki Murakami's Advice Column, and more)

Stream Antony Hegarty and Yoko Ono's new version of Ono's "I Love You Earth."


The best of Haruki Murakami's advice column.


Paste interviewed cartoonists Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez.


Pussy Riot has released a new song, "I Can't Breathe."


Kirkus interviewed author and editor Mark Doten.


Actor Jeff Bridges talked music with Pitchfork.


The Barnes and Noble Review interviewed poet Jynne Martin.


Kreative Kontrol interviewed former Pavement bassist, who said that Stephen Malkmus has nixed another reunion tour.


Litro interviewed Claire Fuller about her debut novel Our Endless Numbered Days.


SPIN profiled the band Screaming Females.


Bookworm interviewed author Chang-rae Lee.


VICE listed the A to Z of grime.


The Toast hosted a roundtable of Asian American authors.


NPR Music is streaming The Pop Group's new album Citizen Zombie.


The Quietus interviewed author Ben Lerner.


SA Visual shared the origin story of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures album cover.


Photojournalist Lynsey Addario talked to Morning Edition about her new memoir It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War.


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


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

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

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

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

Daily Downloads (Menace Beach, A New West Records Compilation, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

City Hall: Home Cuts EP [mp3]

Claws: Feel It All Sampler EP [mp3]

The End of the Ocean: Pacific Atlantic album [mp3]

Helsinki: "The Batteries Weren't Dead" [mp3] from A Guide For The Perplexed

Menace Beach: "Fortune Teller" [mp3] from Ratworld

The North Country: "The Cross We Bear" [mp3] from

Various Artists: All About Love 2015: A TuneCore Artist Compilation, Vol. 1 album [mp3]
Various Artists: All About Love 2015: A TuneCore Artist Compilation, Vol. 2 album [mp3]

Various Artists: New West / Normaltown Records 2015 Spring Sampler album [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Drive-By Truckers: 2015-02-14, 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

February 18, 2015

Book Notes - Laura van den Berg "Find Me"

Find Me

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

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

Laura van den Berg's debut novel Find Me is a haunting dystopian tale of memory and identity that impresses with its beautiful and precise language.

Library Journal wrote of the book:

"Like Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale or Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go, van den Berg's debut novel (after two successful story collections) presents a frighteningly plausible near-future dystopia grounded in human elements…Joy's quest, and her need to feel cared for, is heartbreakingly real and compellingly wrought. The book's ambiguous conclusion may lead to rereading as the possibility of multiple interpretations is opened. Highly recommended."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In her own words, here is Laura van den Berg's Book Notes music playlist for her debut novel Find Me:


If a short story is like taking a walk on a winding, mysterious wooded trail, writing a novel can alternately feel like you are racing through a field of tall technicolor grass and like you are crossing a vast, hot desert—limping, sunburned, diving into mirages of water only to emerge with mouthfuls of sand, feral dogs nipping at your heels. I found that it took a new level of sustained energy to write a novel, so with music I often looked to songs that would encourage me to keep walking even after desert fatigue set in. Energy was a big factor. My full list is even longer and more schizophrenic than the below, but these 10 were, at different stages in the process, among my most played.

"Twins," Caribou
There's a trippy quality to this song that was great for certain scenes in Find Me, especially when the narrator, Joy, was moving toward an event of particular importance—an arrival or a departure. "Twins" has a momentous feeling to me.

"Paradise," Wild Nothing
My husband is way hipper when it comes to music and he introduced me to Wild Nothing. I listened to "Paradise" a lot when I was writing the landscape scenes that appear in the second part of Find Me. Though the kinds of landscapes Joy encounters are usually anything but a paradise, they do often have a magical quality to them and I think this song has a bit of magic too.

"Norway," Beach House
Beach House was one of several super excellent bands that I discovered while living in Baltimore, and "Norway" is one of my favorites of theirs. It strikes the right balance between dreamy and keeping me awake at the keyboard.

"Y.A.L.A.," M.I.A.
This was often a song I listened to when I was settling in to work on my final edits. Pre-game music, if you will. M.I.A.'s transgressiveness is a rare thing with "mainstream" women artists and this song has fierce energy and sometimes I needed to feel a little fierce.

"How it Ends," Devotchka
Beautiful, lyric, haunting (like my favorite books!), and builds in a really wonderful way. Highly recommended if you need to feel a dash of longing.

"Side of the Road," Big Black Delta
This is one of those songs that I can just disappear into—I'm not exactly sure how to quantify or describe that feeling even, except to say that such songs help me forget the immediate world, which can be a very useful thing when I'm writing fiction.

"This Too Shall Pass," Ok Go
This was a song I listened to when I was a little stuck and needed to punch through to a particular kind of moment. It sounds hopeful to me and like if you listen to it enough you might just become unstoppable.

"Bohemian Rhapsody," Queen
I have a soft spot for "Bohemian Rhapsody" (who doesn't?) because I once tried to use it as my karaoke song, with awesomely disastrous results. In fact, I'm not sure I've done karaoke since. Also, sometimes I feel sort of adversarialy towards what I'm working on, especially when it's a long-term project. So, like, novel, you think you can stone me and spit in my eye? You think you can love me and leave me to die? Think again!

"Beautiful World," Devo
How can you write a dystopian novel and not listen to "Beautiful World?" It's a wonderful time to be here/it's nice to be alive. OR IS IT? This is also a good energy song and I appreciate that it's a little dance-y because sometimes that is the only thing to do.

"Party Up," DMX
That desert looking endless? Need to conjure a little steely determination? DMX can help you out with that.


Laura van den Berg and Find Me links:

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

Booklist review
Boston Globe review
Kirkus review
LitReactor review
Los Angeles Times review

Electric Literature interview with the author
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for The Isle of Youth
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us
Los Angeles Review of Books interview with the author
Portland Press Herald interview with the author
Publishers Weekly review
Salon interview with the author
Tin House interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

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

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WORD Bookstores Books of the Week - February 18, 2015

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.


Is Shame Necessary: New Uses for an Old Tool

Is Shame Necessary: New Uses for an Old Tool
by Jennifer Jacquet

The power of shame is strong -- sometimes very strong -- which means that power can be redirected for good. Hopefully.


The Improbability Principle

The Improbability Principle
by David J. Hand

Logical fallacy or not, we have every reason to expect the unexpected: Just think of what happened today against what you thought would happen! Did you know you'd see a seagull?


The Sound of Music Story

The Sound of Music Story
by Tom Santopietro

Anyone who's heard a recording of the von Trapp family knows they were tremendous and terrific, and just think of The Sound of Music! Something that culturally inherent has to be significant.


Find Me

Find Me
by Laura van den Berg

After two much-touted short story collections, Laura Van Den Berg goes long with a poignant, exceptional novel.


WORD Brooklyn links:

WORD website
WORD Facebook page
WORD on Instagram
WORD Tumblr
WORD Twitter


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

List of Online "Best of 2014" Book Lists

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 (Talking Books and Drinks with Writers, A New Simon Joyner Song, and more)

Entropy's Getting Lit series talks books and drinks with authors.


Stream a new Simon Joyner song.


Full Stop interviewed author Elisa Albert.


Stereogum interviewed singer-songwriter Colleen Green.


The Paris Review interviewed author Matt Sumell.


Stream Iron and Wine's rarities compilation Archive Series Volume No. 1.


Book Riot recommended feminist genre fiction.


World Cafe featured performances and interviews with Owen Pallett and The Lone Bellow.


Author Robin Antalek interviewed herself at The Nervous Breakdown.


Los Angeles Magazine profiled singer-songwriter Jessica Pratt.


William Gass reading.


El Perro del Mar shared an all-Swedish mixtape at SPIN.


Fresh Air interviewed Richard Price about his new novel The Whites.

Read an excerpt from the book.


The A.V. Club looked back on American critics' responses to the Streets album Original Pirate Material.


Salon interviewed author Laura van den Berg.


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


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

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

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

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

Daily Downloads (Colleen Green, Drive-By Truckers, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Brian Dunne: Songs from the Hive album [mp3]

Charlie Belle: "Get To Know" [mp3] from Get To Know EP

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

Ellen O'Meara: Take Me to the Desert album [mp3]

Folk Family Revival: Join the Family Sampler EP [mp3]

Geographer: Live from the El Rey Theatre album [mp3]

Kasey Keller Big Band: "Coventry" [mp3]
Kasey Keller Big Band: Music for Abandoned Podcast EP [mp3]

The Rebel Light: "Strangers" [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Drive-By Truckers: 2015-02-12, 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

February 17, 2015

Book Notes - Monica Byrne "The Girl in the Road"

The Girl in the Road

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

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

Monica Byrne's debut The Girl in the Road is a sharply written novel comprised of parallel narratives, one in the present and the other in the future, and has been lauded by Neil Gaiman and others.

Kirkus wrote of the book:

"The most inventive tale to come along in years. . . . The writing is often brilliant, as Byrne paints wholly believable pictures of worlds and cultures most Westerners will never know. . . . Engrossing and enjoyable."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In her own words, here is Monica Byrne's Book Notes music playlist for her debut novel The Girl in the Road:


"Michelle Johnson" by Meshell Ndegeocello

On page 1 of The Girl in the Road, Meena leaves home in a terrible hurry. This is her soundtrack, already self-justifying, making little admissions to herself ("Sometimes I love too much") and repeating to herself the line: "I'm just a soul on the planet. Imma try to do good, be good, feel good." She catches the express maglev train and then steps into the chaos of 2068 Mumbai, just in time for a terrorist attack. Meshell Ndegeocello's music was my guide in expressing Meena's beautiful, angry, sensual spirit.


"La Fête au Vilage" by Amadou & Mariam

Mariama also leaves home in a hurry. Her caravan heads to Senegal, whose music scene is heavily influenced by Malian musicians Amadou & Mariam. I hear this song as they pass through villages on their way to Dakar and Mariama watches children running and women carrying bundles on their heads by the road, amazed at how much bigger the world is than she ever knew.


"I Will Not Be Sad in this World" by Djivan Gasparyan

I listened to this song on repeat when first writing Meena's scenes on the Trail. The melancholy in this melody is overwhelming, which makes the title ironic; of course, that's also Meena's problem. She's deeply and irrevocably sad. But she doesn't express it in the ways people often recognize. Her sadness is active, reckless, and destructive. This stillness is what lies beneath.


"Fifa" by Angelique Kidjo

I heard this song in my head when writing the scene on page 82: "We were all quiet, all watching. The land was changing." Here, the wonder Mariama feels deepens even further as they cross into true Sahara and watch the sun rise over the dunes . . . and as she begins to imprint on Yemaya, the beautiful new stranger who joined their caravan in Dakar.


"Kajra Re" from Bunty Aur Babli, with Alisha Chinai, Shankar Mahadevan, and Javed Al Bunty

I listened to this song on repeat whenever I wanted to conjure Mohini, Meena's lover, who was a connoisseur of classic Bollywood movies. Of course, in 2068 "classic" means what's coming out now, including the film Bunty Aur Babli from 2005. (By the way, this music video illustrates both why Aishwarya Rai is one of the biggest stars on the planet and why I think India will set global pop culture in the next century. I mean . . . watch it. I just did again. Four times.)


"Afirika" by Angelique Kidjo

Out of all the Angelique Kidjo songs that Yemaya has on her sirius (a future smartphone), this is the song Mariama loves most. To her it symbolizes the new "family" that she's constructed around her, with Yemaya as her mother and Francis as her father. On page 136 they sing it out loud together on the way to Agadez and it puts everyone in a good mood.


"Suprabhatam," sung by M. S. Subbulakshmi

Meena sings this mantra to herself on page 101. To her it's less of an explicitly religious devotion—she calls herself "a nominal Hindu"—than it is about comforting herself with something familiar. Meena grew up with this recording, specifically, which her Hindu grandfather played every morning.


"Brown Is the Color of My True Love's Skin" by Sparlha Swa

On her Live from New York album, Swa talks about how when she was in Cuba, the land "gave" her songs directly. In my head, the connection made a few hops: from Cuba the country to the practitioners of Yorùbá religion there to the orisha Yemaya, goddess of the sea. Somehow this song always reminded me of my character Yemaya and her tortured soul-searching.


"Afralehu" by Teddy Afro

When I was in Ethiopia to do research in 2009, this was the inescapable single playing on every radio station in the country—in minibuses in Addis, in hotels in Debark, in storefronts in Gonder. I surmise that in 2026 it's an old pop classic, which is why Francis uses it to teach Amharic to Mariama on page 133: "Tey fit ateshigne, afralehu": "Don't turn your back, I am afraid." Though, here, "afraid" means something more like "shy" or "nervous." (I think Francis feels exactly that way about Yemaya!)


"Mary Magdalene" by Meshell Ndegeocello

This is one of Meena's love songs for Mohini. It's both tender and deeply problematic, as it exposes ways that Meena fetishizes Mohini in ways she's not entirely conscious of or responsible about: as a "Mary Magdalene" figure to whose beauty she is drawn and of whose body she is possessive. Tell me I'm the only one.


"Migoten Manyawkal" by Bezunesh Bekele

As an adult in Addis in 2040, Mariama goes to an Ethiopian jazz listening party hosted by her handsome new Indian friend Gabriel, who collects old jazz vinyls. He plays Bezunesh Bekele, a hero of the Ethiopian musical renaissance that flourished just before the Derg took power. This song plays while they eat pakoras and thali.

"Awara" by Kiran Ahluwalia

This is the song that Gabriel plays on page 288, hence the chapter title. I can't listen to it without crying now. To me it means how the world opens up in first love, and no matter how tragically it may end—"awara" means "fickle"—nights like that are eternal. See? I'm crying right now, writing this entry. Dammit.


"Hummer" by Smashing Pumpkins

This might seem a strange song to end this playlist. But sometimes inspiration is like that: totally oblique to the source material. I was driving home late one night and this song made me feel the exact feeling I wanted to capture when Mariama meets the woman she thinks is Yemaya, on page 300. As if everything in the world is put to right.


Monica Byrne and The Girl in the Road links:

the author's website

Duke Chronicle review
NPR Books review
PopMatters review
Raleigh News and Observer review
San Francisco Chronicle review
Wall Street Journal review

Independent Weekly profile of the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

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

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This Week's Interesting Music Releases - February 17, 2015

The Juliana Hatfield Three

The Juliana Hatfield Three releases its sophomore album Whatever, My Love today, 21 years after its debut.

Other new music I can recommend include A Place to Bury Strangers' Transfixiation, Ibeyi's self-titled disc, Mourn's eponymous album, Six Organs of Admittance's Hexadic, and Steve Earle and the Dukes' Terraplane

Reissues include vinyl editions of Sigur Ros's Agaetis Byrjun and three Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds albums (Henry's Dream, Let Love In, and Tender Prey).

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


This week's interesting music releases:

A Place to Bury Strangers: Transfixiation
The Amazing: Picture You
Bob Marley: Easy Skanking in Boston '78
Brothers Of the Sonic Cloth: Brothers Of the Sonic Cloth
Colin Hay: Next Year People\
Damon and Naomi: Fortune
Elle King: Love Stuff
Estelle: True Romance
Grant Lee Buffalo: Mighty Joe Moon (reissue) [vinyl]
Guster: Evermotion [vinyl]
Hey Colossus: In Black and Gold
Ibeyi: Ibeyi
Imagine Dragons: Smoke + Mirrors
John Zorn: Hen to Pan
Jose Gonzalez: Vestiges & Claws
The Juliana Hatfield Three: Whatever, My Love
Kate Pierson: Guitars And Microphones
Letts: Hold Fast
Leviathan: Scar Sighted
The Mavericks: Mono
Mourn: Mourn
Nedelle Torrisi: Advice From Paradise [vinyl]
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Henry's Dream (reissue) [vinyl]
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Let Love In (reissue) [vinyl]
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Tender Prey (reissue) [vinyl]
Oh Land: Earth Sick
Phoenix: Alphabetical (reissue) [vinyl]
Phoenix: It's Never Been Like That (reissue) [vinyl]
Phoenix: United (reissue) [vinyl]
Phosphorescent: Live at the Music Hall [vinyl]
Pops Staples: Don't Lose This
The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band: So Delicious
S. Carey: Supermoon
Sigur Ros: Agaetis Byrjun (reissue) [vinyl]
Sir Richard Bishop: Tangier Sessions
Six Organs of Admittance: Hexadic
Sonny and the Sunsets: Talent Night At The Ashram
Steve Earle and the Dukes: Terraplane
Twin River: Should The Light Go Out
The Unthanks: Mount the Air
Various Artists: Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me
Various Artists: Putumayo Presents: Celtic Cafe
Whitehorse: Leave No Bridge Unburned
Wrinkle Neck Mules: I Never Thought It Would Go This Far


also at Largehearted Boy:

weekly music release lists

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

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

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