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November 19, 2008

Shorties (Sarah Palin as Poet Laureate, My Bloody Valentine, and more)

The online "best music of 2008" and "best books of 2008" lists have been updated.

see also: the Fimoculous aggregation of 2008 year-end lists of all types

Creative Loafing interviews Broken Social Scene's Brendan Canning.

How is your solo album different from Broken Social Scene releases?

Well, I suppose maybe I indulged in a little more guitar feedback loops, keyboard loops. When given the opportunity, you definitely spend more time playing around with guitar pedals and trying to find new sounds. Recording with the group, some members won't be as enthusiastic while you play around with delay effects.

Prefix lists Merge Records' 20 greatest albums.

Prospect Magazine calls for Sarah Palin to be named U.S. poet laureate.

A great poet needs to leave open the door between the conscious and unconscious; Sarah Palin has removed her door from its hinges. A great poet does not self-censor; Sarah Palin seems authentically innocent of what she is saying. She could be the most natural, visionary poet since William Blake.

The Chicago Tribune offers suggestions for the official state book of Illinois.

TIME profiles the National Book Awards.

Amazon is offering a free 5-track DRM-free digital download of its Amazon Holiday Sampler.

Bradley's Almanac shares mp3s of My Bloody Valentine's ATP performance.

Singer-songwriter Emmy the Great creates a mixtape for Drowned in Sound.

Voting is open in Stereogum's 2008 Gummy Awards.

The San Francisco Bay Guardian offers graphic novel gift suggestions.

At the A.V. Club, Chick Klosterman reviews the A.V. Club reviews Guns N' Roses Chinese Democracy.

Reviewing Chinese Democracy is not like reviewing music. It's more like reviewing a unicorn. Should I primarily be blown away that it exists at all? Am I supposed to compare it to conventional horses? To a rhinoceros? Does its pre-existing mythology impact its actual value, or must it be examined inside a cultural vacuum, as if this creature is no more (or less) special than the remainder of the animal kingdom?

Daytrotter features mp3s from the Broken West's in-studio session.

NPR's All Songs Considered is soliciting nominations for its reader's poll of the best CDs of 2008.

WHYY's It's Our City puts Philadelphia in second place in the "Poe wars" as the bicentennial of the writer's birth approaches next year.

With the Bicentennial of Poe next year (he was born Jan 19, 1809) all the Poe cities-Bmore, Philly, NY, Richmond and Boston-are rolling out the red carpet for Poe tourists. Baltimore has two websites promoting its events. Last month, they held a press conference to promote the Bicentennial which is still making waves in newspapers and news sites online. Richmond has a website, as well. And now Boston, the city with the smallest of claims to Poe’s Legacy (his actress mother gave birth to him while passing through on a theatrical tour), is hosting a two day celebration and calling for their city to recognize Poe as own of their own.

io9 examines the burgeoning literary feud between writers of zombie and unicorn fiction.

BBC Two features a video interview with Vladimir Nabokov's son about the posthumous publishing of the author's last novel.

Exclaim! has news of Marianne faithful's double-CD covers album, Easy Come, Easy Go, which features contributions from Chan Marshall, Antony Hegarty, and many more musicians.

E! Online asks celebrities who should perform at the Obama Inauguration.

Arianna Huffington, political commentator and founder of The Huffington Post, says more than musicians should be considered. After Oprah Winfrey gives away a few Priuses to highlight Obama's new energy initiatives, Huffington suggests, "Ellen [DeGeneres] could dance with Barack, Michelle and the girls."

The Village Voice reviews the two recently released Mountain Goats EPs, The Satanic Messiah and the collaboration with Kaki King, Black Pear Tree.

Amazon offers free 5-song mp3 download of the Vanguard Records And Sugar Hill Records digital music sampler.

Drowned in Sound interviews Okkervil River frontman Will Sheff.

There’s been a big interactive element, with this album – notably your invitation to fans and peers to cover its songs, the results of which you’ve been running on your website. Were you pleased with the response?

Yeah, absolutely, it was great. I didn’t realise that the response was going to be so positive – at the time it was just thinking well; the label was asking if we wanted to do anything around the time of this release, and I thought maybe we should track down some of our friends and get them to do covers of the songs. I wasn’t sure if I’d ever heard of anything before where the first time you hear something would be a cover – and I like that.

NPR excerpts from John Hodgman's latest book, More Information Than You Require.

The Futurist shares a couple of mp3s from Horse Feathers' recent WOXY Lounge Act performance.

Chuck Klosterman's book, Killing Yourself to Live, is headed to the big screen.

see also: Klosterman's largehearted Boy Book Notes music playlist for the book

Author Patrick Ness has been awarded the Booktrust Teenage Prize 2008 for his novel, The Knife of Never Letting Go.

Galleycat has a video interview with authors Matthew Eck and Joshua Ferris.

also at Largehearted Boy:

Online "best of 2008" music lists
Online "best of 2008" book lists
daily mp3 downloads
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from this week's CD releases)
this week's CD releases