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September 1, 2015

Shorties (Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Zadie Smith in Conversation, Stream the New Widowspeak Album, and more)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Zadie Smith's recent discussion on race, writing, and relationships.


KCRW is streaming the new Widowspeak album All Yours.


Lit Hub features an excerpt from Matt Bell's new novel Scrapper.


Music critic Jessica Hopper shared her media diet with Inverse.


Cosmopolitan recommended political books every woman should read.


The Quietus interviewed singer-songwriter Ane Brun.


Entropy wrapped up August's independent publisher releases.


Mitski played a Tiny Desk Concert.


Read an excerpt from Rachel Cantor's new novel Good on Paper.


Carrie Brownstein announced book tour dates for her memoir Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl.


Authors Annie McGreevy and Claire Vaye Watkins interviewed each other at Lit Hub.


Morning Edition profiled singer-songwriter Gin Wigmore.


Vulture profiled independent publisher Graywolf.


The Guardian is streaming Low's new album Ones and Sixes.


Bustle listed September's best new books.


ArtsBeat interviewed Miley Cyrus.


The Guardian previewed fall's best novels by Latin American writers.


Pitchfork profiled musical icon Grace Jones.


The Artery and Flavorwire previewed fall's must-read books.


VICE interviewed singer-songwriter John Darnielle about his novel Wolf in White Van.


Paste listed August's best books.


Weekend Edition interviewed FKA Twigs.



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 | Comments (View)





September 1, 2015

Daily Downloads (Blood Sound, Amelie McCandless, and more)

Every day, Daily Downloads offers free and legal music and/or stream.


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Amelie McCandless: The Curse EP [mp3]

Aryn Mitchell: DEPTH Sampler EP [mp3]

Blood Sound: Too Much Sun and Not Enough Gloom at the Beach album [mp3]

The Bloom: How It Starts EP [mp3]

Darlingside: The Ancestor EP [mp3]

Dream Chief: "Vice" [mp3]

O'Hanlons Horsebox: Songs and Stories of the Border album [mp3]

Pelicans and Their Allies: "Just Like July" [mp3] from Pelicans and Their Allies EP


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Josh Ritter: 2014-01-16, Lafayette [mp3]


search for more free and legal music downloads at Largehearted Boy


also at Largehearted Boy:

other Daily 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 | Comments (View)

August 31, 2015

Book Notes - Joe Meno "Chicago Noir: The Classics"

Chicago Noir: The Classics

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

Chicago Noir: The Classics is yet another impressive anthology from Akashic books, edited by Joe Meno.

Booklist wrote of the book:

"Richard Wright, Nelson Algren, and Sandra Cisneros are not crime-fiction writers, and yet their Chicago certainly embodies the individual-crushing ethos endemic to noir. Meno also includes stories from writers who could easily have been overlooked (Percy Spurlark Parker, Hugh Holton) to ensure that diverse voices, and neighborhoods, are represented. Add in smart and essential choices from Fredric Brown, Sara Paretsky, and Stuart Kaminsky, and you have not an anthology not for crime-fiction purists, perhaps, but a thought-provoking document all the same."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Joe Meno's Book Notes music playlist for the anthology Chicago Noir: The Classics:


Noir is the language of shadows, of the world in between. First coined by French academics to describe the gusty, urban black and white crime films produced by Hollywood in the 1940's and 50's, it's since been applied to both music and literature. Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and James M. Cain penned gritty sagas about the shadowy underworld of American life, depicting a sense of uncertainty, desperation, and alienation. Jazz composers and musicians of that era seemed to take notice; beginning in the late '30s a gradual shift began to develop away from the harmless big band dance standards of the prewar years to songs that were increasingly melancholy, describing in music a similar sense of mystery and emotional ambiguity. The birth of bebop seems to bear this out; nervy, erratic, nearly impossible to dance to, compositions by Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, and Thelonious Monk remain as explosive and elusive as any other art from that era. A cultural shift was afoot; leaving behind the false optimism of a fictional America defined in mass-produced films, music, and books, giving way to a literature and music that presented the unfamiliar, the lurid, the uncertain, a world of shadows—of people and places reckoning with the darkness and the light—which still exists in American today.


Artie Shaw, "Nightmare." In 1938, the same year Shaw's recording of Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine" launched him from obscurity to fame, he also composed this minor-laden melody, his clarinet screeching high like a police siren at first, then becoming languorous and cool, like a criminal on the run, trying to keep his wits, dodging police, searching for a way out. Like Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, Shaw's tone and vision led the way for other musicians and composers to explore darker, more complex themes and pointed toward the moral uncertainty of the post-war years. Few other big bands before or after attempted anything like "Nightmare."

Charlie Parker, "Laura." One of Bird's best-known tracks. Here he is able to transform the relatively tame theme from the 1945 film starring Gene Tierney into something immutable, unforgettable, full of a kind of longing that transcends the confines of the noir genre. Aided by orchestra strings, his alto gathers and soars, presenting a haunting, conflict perspective on the trappings of love.

Miles Davis, Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud, film score. Davis improvised much of his trumpet playing on this 1958 French crime film. There's a lovely, distant quality to the way he uses the mute throughout, which make the events of the film seem faraway, mythical, and fantastic. That distance, that sense of moral ambiguity perfectly matches the tone of the film.

Stan Getz, "These Foolish Things." For someone so restrained, so subdued as to help invent bossanova, there's something amazingly urgent and overtly sexual about the playing on this downbeat ballad. It always reminds me of two lovers on the run, enjoying the last few hours of pleasure before the law comes down. The sax rides over a solitary xylophone and by the end, becomes a kind of insistent plea, delving into the all-out abandon of what one day would be called rock n' roll.

Sam Butera, "The Boulevard of Broken Dreams/Fever." Louis Prima's sideman Butera presents a crime story entirely through music, his sax taking the listener on a tour of dive bars, abandoned jewelry stores, and riverside cliffs. The song crescendos with Butera's restless sax and then slips into "Fever," an entirely stripped-down version, heavy on bass and piano. Butera's voice is non-nonsense, accentuated by handclaps, and a male chorus, driving toward another Butera sax solo, though this one is more desperate, unconstrained, sporadic. There's something about the shift from an instrumental to a vocal popular tune that feels uniquely cinematic, like a long tracking shot establishing the larger world, then giving over to the specific, intimacy of two desperate characters.

Johnny Mandel, I Want to Live! film score. Best jazz film score ever. Gerry Mulligan's take on Mandel's themes are a classic in their own right. These songs capture the fear and hopped-up electricity of Hollywood's vision of youth and criminality, basically positing that jazz and booze will always lead to murder.

Ken Vandermark, "Encino." This is the soundtrack to a film that does not exist, or not yet anyway; it's impossible to sit and listen to this long-playing number and not be inspired to conceive all manner of dastardly plots; the rhythmic lines are long and constant, the reeds subtle, an irresistible and gradual seduction, like the proposal from a former starlet to please murder her millionaire movie producer husband.


Joe Meno and Chicago Noir: The Classics links:

the author's website

Publishers Weekly review

Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Office Girl
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for The Great Perhaps


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)


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Book Notes - Rosie Forrest "Ghost Box Evolution in Cadillac, Michigan"

Ghost Box Evolution in Cadillac, Michigan

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

Rosie Forrest's Ghost Box Evolution in Cadillac, Michigan won the ninth annual Rose Metal Press short short chapbook contest. This collection is as much prose poems as short stories, and is filled with haunting flash fiction built with surgically precise language.

Pamela Painter wrote of the book:

"Each flash story in Rosie Forrest's Ghost Box Evolution in Cadillac, Michigan evokes a startling, often dark, self-contained world. And each intriguing title sets a new tale into motion, unspooling with a mysterious, languid intensity."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In her own words, here is Rosie Forrest's Book Notes music playlist for her short story collection Ghost Box Evolution in Cadillac, Michigan:


Words and music are cousins in my brain; I don't even know if they actually exist in the same hemisphere, language and melody, left brain/right brain and all that, but the song of the story is where I begin—not a specific song, but a tone or a rhythm or a chord. To make a playlist has become this intricate task because in this case, it's both exactly what I love to do (developing story from song) and the complete reverse (matching song to story). I never avoid an opportunity to work backwards. Tracking backwards can open windows and clear the brush. In all my theatre years, I learned how easily I'm sucked in by a well-crafted sound design. That's how I went at this process. Not a soundtrack, necessarily, but an answer to a question: what could take us out of each story when the lights fade? This is different—let me say—than what plays when the credits roll in the movie theatre, which is usually a song that whips you back to reality. Instead, this is what happens when standing inside the story you see a door made of glass, it's locked, but the view outside is unmistakable.

So, in my mind, this playlist is what each story calls out from the last line forwards. Sometimes it's in tune with the tone or mood, and sometimes it rides the opposite wave to look down on something other. There's a hint of hope inside this ghost box, don't get me wrong, but I've learned that the dissonant chords are what interest me most. I like to hang out in the swamp and muddy my feet.

"Across the Bridge," The Tiny
Bless This Home

Without a doubt, the lead singer's startling, childlike voice is what made my ears perk up, but it's what happens musically when she sings the word, "Still" that gives me shivers. I like to think that this is the heart of Bless This Home and its precocious narrator. A kind of hunger for stillness coasts through the story. There's a yearning for something intimate and small, and maybe that's what she finds lying in the road with the strange man, a shared quiet that shifts the universe to the left. "When colors seem to fade when I'm around," she sings, and that's okay. Preferred, even.

"Halfway Home," TV on the Radio
Ghost Box Evolution in Cadillac, Michigan

Here's one that digs hard into opposites. I love the military rhythm that kicks the whole thing off, but what's entirely unexpected is the sing-song tune that emerges from the percussion. It even has a nursery rhyme quality. Nothing to be sung to a baby, but it runs counterpoint to the drum hits. It's the contrast of these two elements that gets at the weird meeting point of scaffolding and young skin, cavernous box stores and kid wonder. The song feels both urban and immediate, confident and naive. It's all happening at once, and though there's no real chaos, these voices and instruments threaten to let go and let the wild take over.

"Star," Luluc
Moonbone

I'd guess that Moonbone is the most optimistic piece in this chapbook. That is, despite their circumstances, the brother and sister are doing everything right to carry on. Their one moment in the woods isn't perfect but it is a way towards dawn, and this song offers up a simple appreciation for the night sky. About halfway through, the song slows to half its speed, and everything that blew right by before, now has shape. Just as the sister does in the final lines of the story, wondering whether her bother is repeating what she said, whether her brother heard her first. Regardless of who said what and when, there is the moss, the trees, the stars, the moon, and time.

"The Dirt," Mirel Wagner
Where We Off To, Lulu Bee?

The grit is what gets me, the behind-the-beat blue notes that sink low before they sucker punch you in the gut. This song relies on all that's not said, and isn't that the truth? On top of that, in Lulu Bee, we've got a narrator who doesn't say much at all, but years later, what if there were a moment to speak and have it cascade backwards to those early years? For Lulu Bee her moment would arrive, I think, without apology, filled with aches and dirty toenails. When Mirel Wagner sings in her weighty register, "You can't drink the dirt, even if you wanna," it's Lulu's thirst.

"The Velvet Voices," Townes Van Zandt
We'll Go No More A-Roving

Ok, I'll say it: I could have chosen Leonard Cohen's "Go No More A-Roving," that's for sure. It would have worked just fine, and usually Leonard Cohen wins any contest. But I wanted something to almost counter the mystery of the story. Like it's saying, "No, no. Nothing wrong over here." So the odd juxtaposition sounds like this: a seemingly buoyant melody that lifts you up, up, up as you wonder if these two girls will ever, ever be able to leave. In a playlist of mostly contemporary music, this oldie stands out as one of two or three from a different era. It's an odd turn even for Townes Van Zandt, with this choir that sounds more Lawrence Welk than Woody Guthrie, but here's the thing: this basically harmless tune turns eerie and strange when it calls out from the walls of an abandoned church, when the "velvet voices" descend and take over, lulling two girls into apathy. In the story, we don't see what they see, and we don't hear what they hear, though it might sound a little like a chorus dripping with sweetness.

"Sirens," Jana Hunter
Unmoored

A soft snare drum mimics the smallest waves lapping the sand, and the time signature rocks the literal houseboat. Back and forth. Back and forth. While King struggles to make sense of his time with Uncle Bart, there's the lake, the loon, the chill in the air, and sure, it's not the ocean, but the sirens' call can come from anywhere, right? From a longing to be cared for, to be rocked to sleep by something warmer than northern lake water?

"One Of Mine," Holly Golightly
Paper/Boy

She sings about "long distance," and I had to laugh because a few blocks away can feel like long distance to a new love, a whole nighttime can be a year. Her voice is playful and teenage-dreamy, although there's a touch of doubt in her lyrics when she says, "I gotta get the message to you to make you see." The whole song sounds like it's sung through a tin can, and the story, too, has that tactile feel of trying to get something right, and the editing we do before we present our most casual and unaffected selves.

"My Body's a Zombie For You," Dead Man's Bones
What Happened on Wednesdays (As Told By Someone Who Probably Wasn't There)

Ha. Yeah, that's what it's called, and boy do I love the light laugh that starts it all off. Even though the story has a morbid veil, I wanted to bring out the playful quality. It is, after all, just a game, and these teenagers are coming together to play at danger, all the while hurling fake gusto and bravado into that basement. There's no hurtful intention at first; where it goes is not where any one person takes it, and the lasting hook into Eve is no one person's fault.

"Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," Nina Simone (Zeds Dead Remix)
Gun Moll

A classic song all dolled up in a techno costume, perfect for an off-the-wall Halloween party. Also playing dress-up is the connection between this young couple, and while I'm not sure these two would have made it for the long haul, their immersion into their pretend world is what cuts an already tenuous thread. "Don't you know no one in life can always be an angel, when everything goes wrong you see some bad," Nina says, and while Georgia would struggle to come out and say this, I can see it running through her mind as her boyfriend splits, the techno beats clouding the whole thing, distracting her from any real culpability.

"Ghost Train," Typhoon
The Field, A Religion

I'll be honest, I tried to avoid songs with "Ghost" in the title. I didn't want the connection between story and song to rely on an obvious word. This little riff gets stuck in my head like crazy. I'm drawn to the multiple voices, and how it moves forward while staying in place. That might sound loony, but give it a listen, and I think you'll agree. It captures the seesaw affect of the two families—how they travel through the same brushing past each other, touching lightly until the touch is more, and finally, too much.

"Josie," Donovan
Taps

Another oldie, and maybe I cheated a little here. Eli sings this song throughout Taps, sings it for Josie until "I won't fail ya, I won't fail you, have no fear" becomes a promise or a bargain. A sweet tune, "Josie" is about a bigger love than the singer wants to admit. He loves her from afar even when she's in his bed. Doubtful that Eli sees that connection, but he wants to impress her, and maybe hopes that one day when two of them tromp through the winter woods instead of three, she might relent. If they ever get another chance.

"River Of No Return," Scout Niblett
Possum Kingdom

It's the half-sung, slightly out of tune voices on top of a lovely string melody that unsettles a person, disconnected but all dancing on the same dance floor. What I wanted to capture here was the basement staircase, the need to climb those stairs at the very end of the story, but knowing deep down that there's a certain kind of sadness up there. Younger voices singing about "no return" as if they know, but likely they don't, they can only guess at it, while the real thing is in the kitchen, a husband calling out for help as he watches his wife slip away.

"Had To Go," Heartless Bastards
He Showed Us a Road

In an unusual twist, this was the first song I found for the playlist. Unusual because endings and final notes can consume me—can consume most writers I know—but this Heartless Bastards number rolled right into view, and there was no better place for it than the very end. "I come to you open, organs on my sleeve, won't you help me now, help me find peace," her voice comes from the gut, which I love. There's strength there but also resignation. And like the Jana Hunter song above with a boat rocking rhythm, here the rhythm walks or trudges down a long dirt road with purpose and a kind of Hades-don't-look-back sensibility, and when the strings storm the barricade, they don't ask permission. You step aside and let them run free.


Rosie Forrest and Ghost Box Evolution in Cadillac, Michigan links:

the author's website
video trailer for the book

Flash Fiction Chronicles review


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)


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Shorties (An Interview with Ursula K. Le Guin, An Iron Maiden Videogame, and more)

Weekend Edition interviewed author Ursula K. Le Guin.


Play an Iron Maiden video game.


Electric Literature interviewed author Austin Grossman.


Craig Finn discussed his favorite Hold Steady, Lifter Puller, and solo songs at SPIN.


Entropy interviewed author Sean H. Doyle.


Live Nation TV interviewed singer-songwriter Courtney Barnett.


Bookforum interviewed author Ottessa Moshfegh.


Stereogum reconsidered Death Cab for Cutie's album Plans 10 years after its release.


Author Michele Faber discussed his love of comics with the Sunday Herald.


Aquarium Drunkard interviewed the members of Yo la Tengo about the band's new covers album Stuff Like That There.


Amy Stewart discussed her debut novel Girl Waits With Gun with Morning Edition.


ArtInfo interviewed singer-songwriter and author John Darnielle.

Would you want anything to do with a film version of "Wolf in White Van"? Or would you rather keep your distance?

There's been some talk of it — I wonder how exactly it’d play out, but I'm a little interested in the idea. I think the mood of the book is pretty cinematic, but the actual action: how much action is there? It's largely about a person reflecting: the quality of reflection is central to the stories he tells, it's not linear. But I have some interest in the idea of it, especially as a way of emphasizing that it's not just a story about a person but a chronicle of place & time.


Chefs recommended their favorite cookbooks at the Guardian.


All Things Considered interviewed singer-songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff.


Flavorwire interviewed Mary Shelley biographer Charlotte Gordon.


Stream the first new song by Siouxsie Sioux in over eight years


Edward St. Aubyn talked to Weekend Edition about his novel A Clue to the Exit.


The A.V. Club reconsidered Kanye West's Late Registration album.




All Things Considered
interviewed Carl Phillips about his new poetry collection Reconnaissance.


Stream Miley Cyrus's new album, which features the Flaming Lips, Ariel Pink, and Phantogram.


R.I.P., author and neurologist Oliver Sacks.

The Atlantic recommended a selection of his essays and interviewed readable online.



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 | Comments (View)

Daily Downloads (Earth, The 42nd Parallel, and more)

Every day, Daily Downloads offers free and legal music and/or stream.


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

The 42nd Parallel: Michigan Winter EP [mp3]

Better On Paper : Boom Chop Demo EP [mp3]

Coyote Talk: Sister album [mp3]

Golden Records: After Dancing EP [mp3]

Run Like a Deer: Dry Bones EP [mp3]

Submarine Lights: The Dangerous Pleasures of Uncommon Curiosity album [mp3]

Various Artists: The 2015 LA Bluegrass Situation Festival Mixtape EP [mp3]

Various Artists: Friend Records Compilation Vol. I album [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Earth: 2015-08-27, Brooklyn [mp3]


search for more free and legal music downloads at Largehearted Boy


also at Largehearted Boy:

other Daily 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 | Comments (View)

August 30, 2015

Largehearted Boy Weekly Wrap-Up - August 30, 2015

A list of the past week's Largehearted Boy features:


Book Notes: (authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates to their book)

Anna Badken for her book Walking with Abel
Brandon Hobson for his novel Desolation of Avenues Untold
Cara Nicoletti for her book Voracious: A Hungry Reader Cooks Her Way through Great Books
Jamie Iredell for his memoir Last Mass
Michael Dirda for his essay collection Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with Books
Robert Goolrick for his novel The Fall of Princes
Russell Smith for his short story collection Confidence


Weekly New Book Recommendations:

Atomic Books Comics Preview (recommended new comics and graphic novels)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (recommended new books)


New Music Recommendations:

The Week's Interesting Music Releases


And of course, the daily music and news posts:

Daily Downloads (10 free and legal mp3 downloads every day, plus links to free live recordings online)
Shorties (news & links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)


also at Largehearted Boy:

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines
Atomic Books Comics Preview
Book Notes
Contests / Giveaways
Cover Song Collections
Daily Downloads
Lists
weekly music release lists
musician/author Interviews
Note Books
Soundtracked
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Daily Downloads (The Week's Best Free and Legal Music Including Mekons, Buriers, All Dogs, and more)

Every day, Daily Downloads offers free and legal music and/or stream.


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

All Dogs: Live on WFMU [mp3]

Ben Foerg and The Absurd: The Trigger Warning EP [mp3]

Buriers: We Are Small single [mp3]

David Ramirez: FABLES - Eastside Manor Sessions EP [mp3]

Ian McGlynn: A Map To Get Away : The Collection album [mp3]

Lachlan Bryan and the Wildes: 2015 Sampler EP [mp3]

Mekons: Live on WFMU [mp3]

Protomartyr: "Dope Cloud" [mp3] from The Agent Intellect (out October 9th)

TV Girl: French Exit album [mp3]

Various Artists: Pilgrimage Music Festival Mixtape 2015 album [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

My Morning Jacket: 2015-07-21, Chrlottesville [mp3]


search for more free and legal music downloads at Largehearted Boy


also at Largehearted Boy:

other Daily 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 | Comments (View)

August 28, 2015

Book Notes - Michael Dirda "Browsings"

Browsings

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

Michael Dirda's Browsings is a smart and compulsively readable book about reading, writing, and literature from a distinctly personal perspective.

Booklist wrote of the book:

"This joy-filled, reflective collection makes perfect bedside reading. Literate but never snobby, this collection of essays surely will entertain and enlighten book lovers of all stripes."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Michael Dirda's Book Notes music playlist for his book Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with Books:


Nietzsche once wrote that "without music life would be a mistake." While one can argue with the great German philosopher about many things, this isn't one of them.

When I was writing the pieces that make up Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting, and Living with Books, I would sometimes end the day's work by putting some favorite disc in the CD player or on the turntable. I'd relax, occasionally sip a beer, and quite regularly feel sorry that I couldn't play music all day long. Why not? Because I can only write by mouthing words aloud in my head, and for that I need quiet or at least nothing more distracting than random noise.

But music, almost any music, demands to be listened to. Old rock and roll quickly sets me daydreaming about my vanished youth. Country-and-western songs make me feel so lonesome I could cry. Hip-hop hurts my ears. Classical works—apart from some 18th-century chamber pieces—tends to demand particularly close attention. That's true of much jazz, too.

I probably most enjoy listening to music on long car trips. There's nothing like, say, the soundtrack from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly to keep you awake at 2 AM on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I especially recommend the "Ecstasy of Gold" section toward the end, when composer Ennio Morricone pulls out all the stops, then adds church bells. Once upon a time in the west, I mean New York, I spent some time with Christopher Frayling, then head of the British arts council, who said that whenever he had to attend an important meeting, he'd play "Ecstasy of Gold" beforehand. Fully pumped and feeling like Clint Eastwood in a serape, he'd be ready to face any budgetary committee.

As a kid from a Slavic working-class family, I took years of accordion lessons. Start the "Beer Barrel Polka" and I'm still ready to hit the dance floor while singing along as loudly as possible. When I got to Oberlin College, I heard live classical music for the first time. George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra came to Finney Chapel to play Sibelius's Second symphony. After those thrilling crescendos in its last movement, I walked out of the concert saying to myself—to quote Ira Gershwin-- "How long has this been going on?" Soon afterwards, I persuaded a conservatory student to suggest a dozen standard masterpieces I should listen to. His list included Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, Debussy's "Afternoon of a Faun," Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" and Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde."

Over three particularly memorable evenings, while sitting in a sound-proof booth with headphones around my ears, I listened, mesmerized, to Wagner's opera. To this day, my hands will break into a sweat when I hear the Love Duet or the Liebestod, especially when sung by Kirsten Flagstad. No wonder that a century ago mothers would prevent their daughters from hearing this once controversial masterpiece. In its climax--nothing less than sexual rapture translated into music--Isolde's yearning voice rises, then falls, then rises again, competing with the orchestra, reaching impossible heights, before finally breaking into an orgasmic, soul-shaking cry of ecstasy, then slowly sighing away as the opera comes to a close.

I own hundreds of vinyl LPs—who, of my generation, could possibly resist picking up long-desired records when libraries and bookstores started selling them for a dollar or less?—and many more CDs. Just as I like real books rather than e-texts, so I prefer my music to come with sleeve notes and libretti and pictures of the artists. In music, as in books, my tastes range pretty widely: I revere pianists Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli and Sviatoslav Richter no more than I do saxophonists Ben Webster and Paul Desmond. And I love virtually anything sung by Ella Fitzgerald, Patsy Cline, Eva Cassidy, or Jussi Bjorling. Here's a short list of some other favorites:

Opera: Mozart's "Don Giovanni," (dir. Giulini) closely followed by "The Marriage of Figaro" (dir. Jacobs) and Wagner's "Tristan" (dir. Furtwaengler)

Musicals: Leonard Bernstein, "Candide" (dir. Bernstein); Cole Porter, "Kiss Me Kate" (original Broadway soundtrack)

Pop songs: "The Way You Look Tonight," sung by Margaret Whiting; "I Was the One," sung by Jimmie Dale Gilmore; "Cry Me a River," sung by Julie London; "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," sung by the Platters; "Maybe It was Memphis," sung by Pam Tillis; "Bridge Over Troubled Waters," sung by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel; "American Pie" sung by Don McLean.

Solo pieces: Bach, "The Goldberg Variations" (the 1981 version by Glenn Gould); also the Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin (Nathan Milstein)

Classical vocals: Tallis, "Spem in Alium" (Tallis Scholars); Schubert, "Winterreise," (Ian Bostridge); Strauss, "Four Last Songs" (Elizabeth Schwarzkopf)

Chamber works: Haydn, String Quartets (Kodaly Quartet); Beethoven, String Quartets (Vegh Quartet); Schoenberg, "Verklaerte Nacht" (Hollywood String Quartet); "Elevator to the Gallows" (Miles Davis and others)

Concertos: Beethoven Fourth Piano concerto (Leon Fleischer, with George Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra); Bruch, Scottish Fantasy (Heifetz); many others.

Symphonic works: Berlioz, "Symphonie Fantastique"; Mendelssohn, Overture of "A Midsummer Night's Dream"; many others.

Classic rock: "Shout," (Dion and the Belmonts); "Louie, Louie," (The Kingsmen), "Satisfaction," (The Rolling Stones), "Stairway to Heaven" (Led Zeppelin).

Okay. That's enough writing for today. In fact, I do believe it's time for that beer and, let's see, should it be one of the Mozart piano sonatas, played by Mitsuko Uchida, "Deep River Blues," by Lou and Jim, or some early Diana Krall? No, none of them today. Given the season and the year, I think it's just the right time to listen to Samuel Barber's "Knoxville: Summer of 1915," sung by Leontyne Price.


Michael Dirda and Browsings links:

the author's Wikipedia entry

Cleveland Plain Dealer review
Kirkus review
Minneapolis Star Tribune review
Paste review
Washington Post review

Barnes and Noble Review interview with the author
Publishers 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 - August 28, 2015

Beach House

Two of the year's finest albums are released this week, Beach House's Depression Cherry and Destroyer's Poison Season.

Frog Eyes' Pickpocket's Locket, Infinity Girl's Harm, Sea Lion's Desolate Stars, Yo La Tengo's covers album Stuff Like That There, and The Weeknd's Beauty Behind the Madness are also worth your time.

Reissues include new vinyl editions of five albums by The Jam.


This week's interesting music releases:

All Dogs: Kicking Every Day
Atlas Genius: Inanimate Objects
Beach House: Depression Cherry
Cold Showers: Matter of Choice
David Ramirez: Fables
Defeater: Abandoned
Destroyer: Poison Season
Dialect: Gowanus Drifts
Dope Body: Kunk
Faces: 1970-1975: You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything... (5-CD box set)
Fake Palms: Fake Palms
Foals: What Went Down
Frog Eyes: Pickpocket's Locket
Grandchildren: Zuni
Halsey: BADLANDS
I See Stars: Phases
I tried to run away when i was 6: Can I See You Today
Infinity Girl: Harm
The Jam: All Mod Cons (reissue) [vinyl]
The Jam: In the City (reissue) [vinyl]
The Jam: Setting Sons (reissue) [vinyl]
The Jam: Sound Affects (reissue) [vinyl]
The Jam: This Is the Modern World (reissue) [vinyl]
The Jet Age: Destroy.Rebuild
The Jimi Hendrix Experience: Live At The Atlanta Pop Festival
Liam Corcoran: ROM-DROM
Mastodon: The Hunter [vinyl]
Mike Krol: Turkey
Motorhead: Bad Magic
Nile: What Should Not Be Unearthed
Pixx: Fall In
Rayland Baxter: Feathers and Fishhooks
Rob Moir: Adventure Handbook
Sea Lion: Desolate Stars
Silicon: Personal Computer
Steep Canyon Rangers: Radio
Stolen Jars: Kept
Sun Kil Moon: Universal Themes [vinyl]
Tamaryn: Cranekiss
Tijuana Panthers: Poster
Van Morrison: The Essential Van Morrison
Various Artists: The End of the Tour (soundtrack)
Various Artists: Our Generation: 75 Mod Classics: A Way of Life
The Weeknd: Beauty Behind the Madness
Willis Earl Beal: Noctunes
Yo La Tengo: Stuff Like That There


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)


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Atomic Books Comics Preview - August 28, 2015

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


Big Pussy

Big Pussy
by Gina Wynbrandt

Okay, just look at the cover and the title of the very funny Wynbrandt's risographed mini comic from 2D Cloud and tell me you don't feel compelled to read it. If you do (and you know you do), you'll be rewarded with the struggles of a 24 year old woman trying to grow up while avoiding responsibility at the same time.


E-Man: The Early Years

E-Man: The Early Years
by Joe Staton / Nicola Cuti

Those who read my picks regularly might rightfully get the impression I am not a huge fan of all things superhero. I am, however, unreasonably excited by this collection of E-Man comics. Somehow, as a kid, I lucked into finding the character's Charlton Comics early '70s run, which this book now, finally collects. I'm not sure I can adequately explain the comic here, but I'll give it a shot by saying it involves a sentient form of energy from a nova and an exotic dancer/grad student.


Imagine Caring About This

Imagine Caring About This
by Meghan Turbitt

In this mini comic, the very funny Turbitt presents a series of one page comics featuring stories about things like what Jeb Bush ate for lunch or what J.Lo thinks of her exes, and then challenges you to care about them. And you probably won't. But you will laugh at how much you don't care.


Snowden

Snowden
by Ted Rall

I'm including this new Ted Rall comics bio of Edward Snowden because I want to end up on some NSA watch list. Just kidding, I'm probably already on one. We've seen so much of how mainstream (or institutional) America has presented Snowden, but Rall gives us a more complete view, along with humor and commentary on the current security state we currently live in. Hi, NSA!


Ultra Violent Magazine #12

Ultra Violent Magazine #12

It's been too long since there was a new issue of this global horror and exploitation magazine. But the new issue is finally here and it's loaded with interviews and reviews.


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, Mutant Funnies


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Book Notes (authors create music playlists for their book)
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week (recommended new books, magazines, and comics)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
WORD Bookstores Books of the Week (weekly new book highlights)


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Shorties (An Interview with Elena Ferrante, An Interview with Grimes, and more)

Vanity Fair interviewed author Elena Ferrante.

The Guardian shared an excerpt from Ferrante's novel The Story of the Lost Child.


Entertainment Weekly interviewed Grimes' Claire Boucher.


The Rumpus interviewed author Ottessa Moshfegh.


All Songs Considered is streaming August's best dance tracks.


PBS Newshour interviewed author Jesmyn Ward about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.


Stream a new Laura Stevenson song.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn listed the best poetry books of 2015 so far.


Stereogum ranked Richard Thompson albums.


Justin Taylor shared a book tour playlist at Lit Hub.


Stream Alison Moyet's unreleased demo of "More."


BuzzFeed interviewed poet Claudia Rankine.


Stream a new Zola Jesus song.


Jenna Leigh Evans interviewed author Wendy C. Ortiz.


Stream Sounds Better with Reverb's best shoegaze and dream pop songs of 2015 so far.


The Chicago Tribune reviewed Haruki Murakami's novels Wind and Pinball.

"Both books are powerful, unsettling, mature novels, replete with many of the same distinctive traits that characterize his later fiction: jazz, beer, a gentle surrealism, a tendency to treat the strange and the mysterious as mundane facts of life and characters haunted by an ineffable, pervasive melancholy, a kind of metaphysical perplexity that arises from the basic nature of being human."


Stereogum interviewed Garbage's Shirley Manson.


Newsday reviewed Jonathan Franzen's new novel Purity.


Paste interviewed singer-songwriter Gin Wigmore about her personal style.


Five novels about climate change.


Carly Rae Jepsen talked to All Things Considered about her new album Emotion.



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 | Comments (View)

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