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April 17, 2015

Book Notes - Sassafras Lowrey "Lost Boi"

Lost Boi

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.

Sassafras Lowrey's Lost Boi is an ingenious and compelling queer and punk reimagining of Peter Pan, cleverly told from the perspective of a young boi in service to Pan.

Michael Thomas Ford wrote of the book:

"Neverland has always been a place of dangers, and in this gritty reimagining, Sassafras Lowrey fearlessly leads us into the dark forests and murky lagoons of desire, longing, and self-discovery. A tale for bois and grrls who know that the greatest adventures happen when we dare to stray from the path."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In her own words, here is Sassafras Lowrey's Book Notes music playlist for her novel Lost Boi:


Creating a Lost Boi playlist is like making a mixed tape for a new lover—one part nervousness, one part excitement, and another a little part of yourself mixed in with songs you stay up all night listening to because the remind you of the other person so much. Lost Boi is a queer and punk retelling of the classic Peter Pan story, set in the Neverland squat and featuring a host of queer characters, from Leather Pirates and a gang of Femme Mermaids to the lost bois who are in service to Pan, the boi who will never grow up. The novel is told from the perspective of Tootles, Pan's best boi, as he grapples with desire, the arrival of Mommy Wendi, and the biggest enemy of all... Growing up.

Lost Boi Playlist:

"Pretty Little Head" (Eliza Rickman): The first time I heard this song, I was smitten and transported to the world of Lost Boi. The lyrics and sound captured the dark, sweet uncertainty of Pan and Wendi's romance, and the hope and possibility that existed when she first arrived in Neverland. "Where's your mother? Fall down dead. Dirty mind, dirty mouth, pretty little head. I wish you were here, I wish you'd make my bed..."

"What The Papers Didn't Say" (Tribe 8): This song is an anthem for the character of Pan. It's his big “fuck you” to heteronormative, grownup, assimilationist society. It's a “screw you “to the world of grownups, and a call-out for all the awful things they do to kids, especially to young queers. If the lost bois were going to a show, it definitely would be a punk show to hear a band like Tribe 8 perform!

"Night After Night" (The Sounds): Tootles narrates Lost Boi, and over the course of the novel readers witness his growing disillusionment with the life that he's built. We see him hunger for a different choice, and explore the associated consequences. This song makes me think of the nights that Tootles spends in his hammock, contemplating the life he's preparing to leave behind. It also reminds me of the mourning that takes place when Tootles must grapple with the ways his new life doesn't necessarily live up to his dreams.

"Out of Range" (Ani Difranco): You can't have a book set (in part) within 90s/early 00s dyke culture without including some Ani. This is definitely a Wendi song, as she leaves Pan and comes to terms with the prisons—literal and metaphorical—that she and her bois are destined for as part of growing up, and what it means to say goodbye to Pan and the home they have built together.

"Oh Bondage Up Yours!" (X-ray Spex): This song probably doesn't need much of an explanation. Sexually and politically, this song would be right at home on a playlist that Wendi, Siren, Kelpie or any of the mermaids would blast at full volume. Some people might think little girls should be seen and not heard… But not any of the grrrls in Lost Boi!

"Here's To Never Growing Up" (Avril Lavigne): It’s little bit cheesy, but I just couldn't resist. This feels like such an example of the way that Peter Pan mythology infuses pop-culture. I think all the characters in Lost Boi (with the possible exception of John Michael) would hate this song, but I really love it. I listened to it on loop for a couple of weeks while editing the novel last summer.

"Best Cock On The Block" (Bitch and Animal): This was such a boi dyke, genderqueer and trans guy anthem in the early 2000's, and it really encapsulates the life of the lost bois before Mommy Wendi arrives in Neverland. Graphic, vulgar and in-your-face, this song is just like Pan's lost bois—figuring out what it means to be gender freaks, exploring intense sexuality, and trying to "make their way in a man’s world."

"I'm not Waiting" (Sleater Kinney): I went to hear Sleater-Kinney on their reunion tour through NYC, and in the weeks leading up to the show I went back and listened to all the Sleater Kinney albums I hadn't played in years. This was also as I was preparing for Lost Boi's release, and when I heard this song again, it made me think about Wendi and her powerful commitment to who she is and what she wanted for herself, her bois, and in her relationships with both Pan and Tootles. There comes a time in the novel where Wendi must take her future into her own hands, and she isn't going to wait for anyone to make it happen.

"Rebel Girl" (Bikini Kill): You can’t create a playlist for a book with kickass femme characters and not include this riot grrrrl anthem. Siren and her gang of femme mermaids are so unapologetic in their femininity and their queerness, I imagine them having a dance party in the middle of The Lagoon blasting an old mixtape. This is a song I can also see Wendi listening to in her bedroom at The Darling's Home for Girls before running away to Neverland, imagining the kind of fierce femmes that were out in the world.

"Burning Bridges" (Chris Pureka): Once, in my late teens and totally heartbroken, I almost tattooed the lyrics "rats in the walls" up my ribcage in homage to this song. I think of it as the ultimate heartbreak song in how it beautifully captures the moments when you know everything has just fallen apart. This song reminds me of Wendi and this particular moment in Lost Boi, when she is sitting on a broken futon in the middle of the Neverland squat and she realizes that Pan will never be able to give her everything she needs and wants. It's that moment she knows the magic is over.

"Brother" (The Organ): This song speaks to the relationships that exist between Nibbs, Tootles, Slightly, and all of the lost bois. It's a song that invokes strong sentiments and intensity that come with brotherhood, the solidarity that holds the lost bois together. I imagine this song playing in the background as the lost bois are running through the city at night, dumpster diving and getting into trouble.

"No Good No More" ( Eleni Mandell): In Lost Boi, Wendi meets Pan while she's living in The Darling's Home For Girls. Wendi gets good grades, acts in school plays, and always does what is expected of her…until she meets Pan and realizes there is more to life than being good all the time. In running away, Wendi is liberated from the expectation of growing up, and meets all kinds of grrrls who have taken control of their sexualities and their lives. This song reminds me of the moment in the novel when, after Wendi runs away, she begins to revel in her power, her queer femininity, and her ability to break the rules.

"Stand and Deliver" (Amy Ray): This is a tough but tender love song that makes me think a lot about the complicated romance between Tootles and Wendi. It’s about brokenness and strength, and it makes me think about Tootles intense devotion to Mommy Wendi: "I can't face another day without the one who breaks my heart and gets to touch the tender parts..."


Sassafras Lowrey and Lost Boi links:

the author's website

Daily Xtra profile of the author
The Feminist Wire 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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April 17, 2015

Atomic Books Comics Preview - April 17, 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.


Archie Vs Predator #1

Archie Vs Predator #1
by Alex De Campi / Rich Koslowski

The most anticipated comics crossover of the year is here - Archie vs. Predator. Yes, you read that right. The intergalactic hunter meets his fiercest prey yet - the gang Riverdale. It's more than just another Spring Break gone wrong tale!


Bee And Puppycat Volume 1

Bee And Puppycat Volume 1
by Natasha Allegri / Garrett Jackson

Yes, yes, yes - the Bee and Puppycat collection is finally here. It's the comics version of the popular animated series.


Coffin Cuties #3

Coffin Cuties #3
by Mike Hearse (editor)

Coffin Cuties is a horror exploitation zine - loaded with interviews and (often bloody) pin-ups. It is a rare magazine that can offer both quality content AND cheesecake - and Coffin Cuties is that magazine.


Outta Pocket #000

Outta Pocket #000
by various

Outta Pocket is a well-done, full-color skate zine loaded with action picts outta Baltimore.


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 (Essential Saul Bellow Novels, Doug Martsch on the New Built To Spill Album, and more)

The Guardian listed the essential Saul Bellow novels.


SPIN interviewed Doug Martsch about the new Built to Spill album Untethered Moon.


The moment Saul Bellow found his literary voice.


Vashti Bunyan and Josh Dibb (Deakin) of Animal Collective discussed recording the Prospect Hummer EP together at The Quietus.


Vetiver frontman Andy Cabic shared a mixtape at Aquarium Drunkard.


Meg Wolitzer discussed her literary inspiration, Mary McCarthy at the Los Angeles Times.


Strand of Oaks' Timothy Showalter profiled.


ArtsBeat profiled the literary careers of X-Files actors David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson.


Stream a new Wolf Alice song.


Bookworm interviewed author David Vann.


Stream a new Wild Beasts song.


Electric Literature and Alibris interviewed author T.C. Boyle.


Drowned in Sound interviewed Mews frontman Jonas Bjerre.


The Wall Street Journal shared an unpublished excerpt from Madeline L' Engle's novel A Wrinkle in Time.


Stream an unaired 1977 interview with David Bowie.


The shortlists for PEN's 2015 literary awards have been named.


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


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

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


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Daily Downloads (Waxahatchee, Alice Boman, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Alice Boman: Folkadelphia Session EP [mp3]

Amy Annelle: Surgery album [mp3]

The Boasting Weak: I Do What I Don't Want To Do album [mp3]
The Boasting Weak: The Boasting Weak album [mp3]

Cottontail: Collision album [mp3]

Dan Kosub: Blood Honey Moon EP [mp3]

Lauryn Peacock: "Wounds Grow Grass" [mp3] from Euphonia (out June 26th)

Oh Man, The Mountain: The Floodplain single [mp3]

Potato Potato: Hopeless EP [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Waxahatchee: 2015-04-09, 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)

April 16, 2015

Book Notes - Marian Palaia "The Given World"

The Given World

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.

Marian Palaia's The Given World is a remarkable debut novel spanning two decades and two continents.

Kirkus wrote of the book:

"Palaia demonstrates a magnificent command of craft for a first-time novelist, but it's her emotional honesty that makes this story so rich and affecting....An immensely rewarding and remarkable debut."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In her own words, here is Marian Palaia's Book Notes music playlist for her debut novel The Given World:


So. A soundtrack for The Given World. At least twelve times a day I hear a song on the radio I think would be perfect for one chapter of Riley's life or another. Some of these are love songs, straight up; others are still love songs, but ironically so, because so much of love is irony, at least for Riley. Love, friendship, attachment, loss, longing. These are songs that speak to me, and since Riley is so much a part of me, or I so much a part of her, they are for that girl, and her wild, wild life.

Little Feat – "It's So Easy to Slip"

It's so easy to slip
It's so easy to fall
Let your memory drift and do nothing at all
Well, the love that you missed, and the people that you can't recall
Do they really exist at all?

This applies to so much of the book, so much of life. Because it is so easy to slip. If only it were so easy to forgive, ourselves and each other, for doing it.

Gnarls Barkley – "Crazy"

I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind
There was something so pleasant about that place.
Even your emotions had an echo
In so much space

And when you're out there
Without care
Yeah, I was out of touch
But it wasn't because I didn't know enough
I just knew too much

Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?
Possibly.

Because she always felt a little crazy, and it probably was from knowing too much, or maybe it was from not wanting to know.

Harry Nilsson – "Everybody's Talking at Me"

Banking off of the northeast wind
Sailing on a summer breeze
Skipping over the ocean, like a stone

This has always been my escape song, and I imagine it would have been hers too.

Eagles – "Ol' 55"

And now the sun's comin' up, I'm ridin' with Lady Luck

Freeway cars and trucks

Stars beginning to fade and I lead the parade

Just a-wishin' I'd stayed a little longer

This one I always hear in my head when Riley's driving over the mountains with the top down. It's a song I probably heard 300 times in my own Mustang with the top down. Maybe 500 times. Maybe more.

Taj Mahal – "Take a Giant Step"

Though you failed at love and lost
and sorrow's turned your heart to frost
I will mend your heart again
Remember the feeling as a child
when you woke up and morning smiled?
It's time, it's time, it's time you felt like that again

I imagine Frank playing this for Riley, and her just looking up at him from where she's sitting on the floor with his dog, and her expression says, "Oh, yeah. Wouldn't that be nice? Thank you, but dream on." I love the song, though. It does make me happy.

Graham Parker – "Heat Treatment"

Well out in the jungle there's a war going down

You wind up eating all the friends you've found

But you know and I know and it's understood

Let's get out while the getting's good

Heat treatment baby sweet treatment baby

Heat treatment while the flame is burning

Heat treatment baby sweet treatment baby

Heat treatment while the world is turning 
around round around round around yeah

For Lu. For reasons that should, or will, be obvious.

Rickie Lee Jones – "Last Chance Texaco"

Long stretch of headlights that bend into I-9

They tiptoe into truck stops, sleepy diesel eyes
Volcanoes that rumble in the taxi and glow in the dark
Camels in the driver's seat, a slow easy mark
But you ran out of gas down the road a piece
and then the battery went dead
and the cables don't reach


RLJ is one of the world's great lyricists, and I love that she doesn't mind making you work to understand her. And she has so much soul. She's one of Riley's touchstones, in a way, because it is so easy to imagine a similarity to their lives, or at least to whatever esthetic they live by.

Isley Brothers – "Shout"

Shout, shout, shout, shout (Oh-whoa-yeah)
Shout, shout, shout, shout (Oh yeah)
Shout, shout, shout, shout
Everybody shout now (Ooh)


Speaking of soul. This is one of the songs Riley's brother Mick plays for the girls who come to the house to visit. And Riley has to listen from out in the hall. But sometimes, when there are no girls, she gets to come in and listen. And she and Mick dance.

Buddy Holly – "Rave On"

He-he-hey the little things you say and do
Make me want to be with you
Rave on it's a crazy feeling and
I know it's got me reeling
When you say, "I love you" rave on.

Another Mick and his girls/Mick and Riley song. A few years after Mick goes missing, Riley has her boyfriend tattoo the song title on her shoulder, under the initial "M."

Talking Heads – "Heaven"

When this kiss is over, it will start again

It will not be any different, it will be exactly the same

It's hard to imagine that nothing at all

Could be so exciting, could be this much fun


Heaven is a place, a place where nothing, nothing ever happens

Heaven, Heaven is a place, a place where nothing, nothing ever happens

I think this place is where Riley wants to go, but she keeps taking wrong turns. I spent a whole book trying to get her there. I hope, I think—I think I hope—I succeeded.

Jeff Buckley, Jevetta Steel – "I'm Calling You"

A desert road from Vegas to nowhere,

some place better than where you've been.
A coffee machine that needs some fixing

in a little café just around the bend.


A hot dry wind blows right through me.

The baby's crying and I can't sleep

and I can feel a change is coming,

coming closer sweet release.

This one (the Jevetta Steel version) was on the Baghdad Café soundtrack. I think it's perfect as well for Riley, when she's lying out there in the wheat fields, high, knowing she has to leave, and that she'll never be able to tell anyone—never be able to articulate—why.

Talking Heads – "Wild, Wild Life"

Sleeping on the interstate

Whoa ho ah

Getting wild, wild life

Checkin' in, a checkin' out!

Uh, huh!

I got a wild, wild life

Spending all of my money and time

Oh, ho ho

Done too much wild, wild

We want to go, where we go, where we go

Oh, ho ho!

Doing wild, wild life
I know it, that's how we start

Uh, huh

Got some wild, wild life

Take a picture, here in the daylight

Oh, ho!

They got some wild, wild life

You've grown so tall, you've grown so fast

Oh, ho ho

Wild, wild

I know that's the way you like it

Oh, ho!

Living wild wild wild wild, life.

I can hear this playing in the background when she cuts the Cajun and calls 911. I can hear it playing as the cops take her away.

Kings of Leon – "Dreaming on the Last Mile Home"

Tell me that the bar is drinking

And the lights are swinging in the smoke

I'm a fool for conversation

And I've got nowhere to go

Baby I'm the one who's broken

Maybe I'm the breaker of the hearts

Been so long since we've last spoken

It's been lonely baby it's been hard

Amos Lee – "Windows Are Rolled Down"

Look up, child

The world is born

Shoe's untied

And your soles are worn

Windows are rolled down

Sun is setting high

Windows are rolled down

I'm fixing to die

Something about the music of both these bands/artists (Kings of Leon and Amos Lee) makes me want to get in a car and drive across a desert somewhere on a really hot night. If anyone else knows that feeling, it's Riley. And she's not fixing to die. She never was. That's just the way the lyrics go.

Steve Miller Band – "Your Saving Grace"

Rise up with the new dawn's early morning
Feel the sunshine warm upon your face
Tomorrow's come a long, long way to help you
Yes, it's your saving grace

Because that line: "Tomorrow's come a long, long way to help you" is one of my all-time favorite lines from any song, ever. (I know that's a little redundant.) And because, to me, that's what the book is all about. Riley's saving grace. Everyone's saving grace. Mine. Yours. Finding it. Whatever, or whoever, it happens to be.


Marian Palaia and The Given World links:

the author's website
video trailer for the book

Billings Gazette review
Kirkus review
San Francisco Chronicle review

Bloom interview with the author
Publishers Weekly interview with the author
The Quivering Pen essay by 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 - April 16, 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.


Palookaville #22

Palookaville #22
by Seth

Great Canadian cartoonist Seth brings readers back to the world of Dominion, Ontario in his latest graphic novel. A mix of comics and art, the lush hardcover weaves together beloved stories, childhood memories, and a photo essay of a fictional small-town barber shop. All in a day's work for this idiosyncratic, and quintessentially Canadian, artist.


Lurid & Cute

Lurid & Cute
by Adam Thirlwell

Thirlwell's protagonist—well-educated, well-connected, and (until recently) well-employed—falls pray to the lurid, though whether it is caused by his lack of work, a visit from an old friend, or adulterous temptations is anyone's guess. The mundane and the disturbing swirl together in a suburban noir by the award-winning British author.


Page as Bone – Ink as Blood

Page as Bone – Ink as Blood
by Jónína Kirton

Vancouver poet Kirton gives us a debut collection of poems and lyric prose that explore death, desire, and divination, wending through disco, dream kitchens, and dark whispers to tell a deeply autobiographical story. The words are powerful, the collection beautifully brought together.


N+1 #22: Conviction

N+1 #22: Conviction

The new issue of N+1 is in, this time full to the brim with the diverse, riveting writing we've grown accustomed to. There's a roundtable discussion on police violence (part of a larger package on the police and the people), fiction by Christine Smallwood, a review of Elena Ferrante, and essays on basketball, death, and affect theory for activists.


Uppercase #25: The Printmaking Issue

Uppercase #25: The Printmaking Issue

Uppercase magazine continues to put out beautiful, themed issues bursting with ideas, resources, and tools for artists. This month brings us everything we'd possibly need to know about printmaking—from monoprint to silkscreen, overprinting to typesetting—highlighting along the way the work of the astoundingly talented artists working today.


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)


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Shorties (A Cormac McCarthy Primer, Laura Jane Grace on Against Me's New Wave Album, and more)

The Oyster Review shared a primer to the works of author Cormac McCarthy.


SPIN interviewed Laura Jane Grace about Against Me's 2007 album New Wave.


Robert Pinsky read Elizabeth Bishop at the New Yorker poetry podcast.


Stereogum interviewed Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast.


Authors Porochista Khakpour and Katherine Dunn interviewed each other at Slice.


Aquarium Drunkard shared several tracks from the New York sessions for Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks album.


The Telegraph found much to still praise in Nick Hornby's novel High Fidelity 20 years after is publication.


Mike Rutherford of Genesis talked to PopMatters about his memoir The Living Years.


The Galway Advertiser profiled author Jon McGregor.


The 405 shared an essential Joanna Newsom playlist.


Writers shared the books that inspired them to write at BuzzFeed.


Stream the top 100 songs of 1981.


Author Warren Ellis shared his workspace and writing habits at Lifehacker.


Flavorwire interviewed Michaelangelo Matos about his new book The Underground Is Massive: How Electronic Dance Music Conquered America.


Maya Angelou's art collection goes on sale Friday in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.


The Record interviewed musicians Mac McCaughan of Superchunk and Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee.


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


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

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


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Daily Downloads (A Bonnaroo 2015 Mixtape Compilation, Chastity Belt, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Alix Williams: "I Saw You Standing There (And That's When This Whole Thing Started)" [mp3]

Chastity Belt: "Time to Go Home" [mp3] from Time to Go Home
Chastity Belt: "Joke" [mp3] from Time to Go Home

Goldroom: "Mykonos (Fleet Foxes cover)" [mp3]

Leland Sundries: The Foundry EP [mp3]

Soundstatues: Soundstatues EP [mp3]
Soundstatues: "Lone View" [mp3]

Various Artists: Alt-Melodies Vol. 4 album [mp3]

Various Artists: Bonnaroo Mixtape 2015 album [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Spray Paint: 2015-04-04, 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


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April 15, 2015

Book Notes - Janaka Stucky "The Truth Is We Are Perfect"

The Truth Is We Are Perfect

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.

Janaka Stucky's debut poetry collection The Truth Is We Are Perfect is filled with precise and powerful poems.

Bill Knott wrote of the book:

"Stucky's verse has the power of the best East European poets—some of his poems seem to be perfect, magnificent, and instantly anthologizable. He is a forceful, cogent, incisive phrase-maker."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Janaka Stucky's Book Notes music playlist for his poetry collection The Truth Is We Are Perfect:


Back in 2008 I was attempting NaPoMo for only the second time in my life. I'm not an historically prolific writer, and the prospect of writing 30 poems in 30 days (let alone in a year) felt daunting, so I turned to a novelist friend I knew to crank out thousands of words a day for advice. She suggested I create a ritual for myself. I think she meant something simple, to create a space to write in—but having grown up with exposure to a number of mystical traditions I took it literally, and began constructing an elaborate somatic ritual that not only allowed me to produce the requisite number of poems but also led me to discover writing from a trance state, which changed the voice of my work entirely. This new book is largely a document of the work that came out of that ritual, which chronicles the destruction of the self through the adoration of the other—and the recreation of the self in the other's absence. One of the components of this ritual involves listening to ambient music—often doom / stoner / drone metal, but not always. I've chosen songs below that were either directly involved in my rituals or acted as influences outside the ritual, informing my aesthetic choices and aspirations.


"Holy Affirming, Holy Denying, Holy Reconciling" by Gurdjief / de Hartmann

I probably listened to this piano composition at least thirty times while writing the poems in the book. Part of an amazing collection titled Hymns, Prayers, and Rituals, it's one of over fifty pieces for the piano that Russian composer Thomas de Hartmann wrote in the early 20th century with the enigmatic Russian mystic, Gurdjieff (who also happened to be de Hartmann's spiritual teacher). Alternately delicate and intense, whenever I needed to shine a light in the abyss I would turn to this haunting recording. Ultimately it worked its way into one of my poem's titles.

"The Bees Made Honey in the Lion's Skull" by Earth

When most people hear the term "doom metal" this probably isn't what they're thinking of. It feels more like a soundtrack to a Cormac McCarthy novel (I recently learned his novels are actually where the band gets a number of their titles). It's totally trance-inducing without droning. I remember seeing Earth live once, struggling to stay conscious on my feet along with the rest of the silently swaying crowd as this music washed over us. At one point a guy standing next to me just dropped to the floor; a few of us looked over at him—totally unsurprised, as if this could happen to any of us at any moment—and then someone helped him up, and he resumed to rock slowly back and forth again. Whenever I'm sitting at my desk and the snow outside starts piling high—which is often in Massachusetts—I feel compelled to put this on.

"Aéroport / Évolution" by Ô Paon

I first heard Ô Paon (née Geneviève Castrée) when she opened for Earth on that same tour through Boston several years back, and was totally mesmerized from the start. Despite performing solo, she creates passionately beautiful songs that are as elaborately textured as they are intimate. I would love to accomplish in my poems what she accomplishes in her music, and so I sometimes listen to her when I write—hoping to be transported back into whatever liminal space she creates from and then find my own potential there.

"A Shaving of the Horn That Speared You" by Sunn O)))

Sunn O))) is a quintessential doom / drone band, and I love them—their live show is a physically and psychologically transcendent experience—but I actually can't listen to their recordings for too long because they scare the shit out of me. Nonetheless, from time to time I need to unfetter my dread and so I nervously take a walk through these dark woods.

"Death Letter" / "Grinnin' in Your Face" / "Little Bird" medley by The White Stripes

Despite listening to a lot of drone and doom metal while I write, I'm not necessarily trying to emulate that aesthetic in my work. Instead, I'm working towards the spare unspoken that's often found in old blues songs … but which one to choose and by what artist? Skip James comes to mind for his otherworldly voice and popularization of the D minor tuning (taught to him, incidentally, by a guy named Stuckey). Son House is also a strong contender because of how he allows himself to be possessed by the "lowdown shaking chill" of the blues. But let's be honest; I'm just a Montessori-schooled white kid who has been heavily influenced by their work… and you know who else matches that description? Jack White. Incidentally, he also published my book... What I love about Jack's playing is his emotive guitar work, which mirrors how I strive to use silence in my poems. Silence in a poem should work like a good guitar solo in a blues-based rock song, coming at the moment when words fail to say what language alone cannot. Jack does this masterfully in the controlled and sorrowful solo that comes at 1:52 in "I Want To Be The Boy To Warm Your Mother's Heart." However, if I had to pick one of his pieces that embodies what my own work aspires to, I'd have to choose this live performance of the "Death Letter / Grinnin' In Your Face / Little Bird" medley found in their Blackpool concert. "Death Letter" and "Grinnin' In Your Face" are Son House staples, the hauntingly minimal originals given new urgency in the White Stripes' hands. Meanwhile "Little Bird" only makes a cameo in this medley via a few notes at the very end, but I know the lyrics to that song (I got a little bird / I'm gonna take her home / put her in a cage / disconnect the phone) and the absence of them makes it all the more personally poignant. The barely restrained wailing guitar work found in this performance perfectly embodies, with a kind of frenzied duende, the silence I strive for in my own work—and the dark, elliptical lyrics tell intensely intimate stories of quiet desperation that resonate deeply with subject matter I find myself returning to again and again.

"J'attends oh J'attends" by Dashenka

I met Dasha when we got booked to perform at the same show in Portland, Oregon a couple of years ago. At the show I performed some poems as part of cleansing ritual—drawing from my Vedic upbringing and adding influences from Gnosticism, Thelema, Santería, Chaos Magick, etc. Which is to say it was a witchy show. Dasha totally captured the audience with her music then, and whenever I listen to her now, often lying alone in the dark, I'm similarly spun deeply into myself as though from a spell.

"And the Phoenix Is Reborn" by Sabbath Assembly

Fronted by heavy metal sorceress Jex Toth, Sabbath Assembly formed to play "the hymns of the Process Church of the Final Judgment, an Apocalyptic religious sect from the late 60's and early 70's. The controversial theology of the church unites Jehovah, Lucifer, Satan and Christ, with the hymns invoking each of these ancient deities." Processians derived their original methodology of self-discovery from Scientology and then infused it with some Old Testament mojo. That said, they also published a magazine called "The Process," which featured some of the most artful graphic design coming out of that era—and apparently they wrote some really beautiful hymns because the songs covered by Sabbath Assembly are incredible. Falling somewhere between Black Sabbath and the HAIR soundtrack, this song in particular exemplifies the merging of contemporary art with ancient imagery and esoteric belief systems to powerful effect. I can't get enough.

"Mani Malaikat" by Arrington de Dionyso

Arrington is a shaman. Whether live or recorded he is always channeling something pure, fiery and fierce. Equal parts William Blake and Indonesian black magic, this song is a throbbing, trance-inducing psychedelic incantation. Go check out the translation to these lyrics. Here, let me Google that for you…

"Dopesmoker" by Sleep

Clocking in at just over 63 minutes, this epic stoner anthem chronicles the "Weedians" pilgrimage to a mythical Nazareth through relentlessly slow and heavy iterative guitar chords that build a surprisingly lucid and infinitely listenable journey. I've definitely written a few poems in the book while lost somewhere along the road in this extra-dimensional landscape.

"Destroyer" by Angels of Light

While I am often more drawn to Michael Gira's other band, Swans, for an ecstatic yet meditative experience, a number of years ago I became totally hooked on The Angels of Light. Less aggressive than the music of Swans but dense with lyric imagery, I find myself pulled back into their songs over and over again. This song really resonated with me, and inspired a number of love poems to Kali—a few of which made it into the book.

"Eaglewolf" by Master Musicians of Bukkake

Imagine The Residents playing the dark side of New Age and you've got MMOB. Drawing heavily on eastern instrumentation and song constructions, they build crystalline dirges that make for the perfect come-down music to a DMT trip. This particular song is the final track off the first album in their Totem trilogy, which climbs slowly up, higher and higher into a glittering spiral of fractalled majesty that recedes just as gently back into the river of stardust from whence it came. I've listened to Totem One countless times to help me ascend into other planes, and every time I reach "Eaglewolf" it's once again like watching seraphim lead the Merkabah eternally off and away.


Janaka Stucky and The Truth Is We Are Perfect links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry

Phantasmaphile review
Zack Kopp review

Virginia This Morning 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 - April 15, 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.


On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City

On the Run: Fugitive Life in an American City
by Alice Goffman

A sobering, unsparing investigation into the realities of urban American life.


Born With Teeth

Born With Teeth
by Kate Mulgrew

Kate Mulgrew, of Star Trek and, most recently, Orange is the New Black fame, tells her story.


The Turner House

The Turner House
by Angela Flournoy

The story of an enduring house and its equally persistent inhabitants on Detroit's East Side.


Brooklyn ABC

Brooklyn ABC
by Krzystof Poluchowicz

The borough comes alive, letter by letter.


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)


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Shorties (The 2015 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Shortlist, Jenny Lewis on Her New Signature Wine, and more)

The shortlist for the 2015 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award has been named:

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Horses of God by Mahi Binebine
Harvest by Jim Crace
The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
K by Bernardo Kucinski
Brief Loves That Live Forever by Andreï Makine
TransAtlantic by Colum McCann
Someone by Alice McDermott
Sparta by Roxana Robinson


Jenny Lewis talked music and her new signature wine with Los Angeles Magazine and Elle.


The Nervous Breakdown shared an excerpt from Andre Alexis's new novel Fifteen Dogs.


The Comics Journal interviewed cartoonist Miss Lasko-Gross.


Grizzly Bear frontman Ed Droste talked to The Standard about the band's forthcoming album.


The Los Angeles Review of Books interviewed author Jim Ruland.


Paste interviewed John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats about the band's new wrestling-themed album Beat the Champ.

The band's drummer Jon Wurster talked to CityBeat and the Pittsburgh CityPaper.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn interviewed author Sara Lippman.


Stream a new Tallest Man on Earth song.


The Rumpus interviewed author Christian Kiefer.


Stream a new Desaparecidos song.


Author Andre Alexis interviewed himself at The Nervous Breakdown.


Drowned in Sound interviewed members of the band The Vaccines.


Tin House interviewed author Cari Luna.


The Record interviewed singer-songwriter Jose Gonzales.


David Vann talked to the National Post about the popularity of his books in japan.


Stream a new Kathryn Williams song from her new album Hypoxia, inspired by Sylvia Plath's novel The Bell Jar.


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


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

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


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Daily Downloads (Emerald Park, Summer Fiction, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Ayla Nereo: Hollow Bone album [mp3]

Emerald Park: "LiberTeens" [mp3] from GO! GO! GO! (out June 23rd)

Embleton: It Did Me Well album [mp3]

Great Horned Owl: Beautiful California EP [mp3]

LA Font: "Whisperer" [mp3] from Hangtime Vol. 1

Summer Fiction: "Lauren Lorraine" [mp3]

We Came From Wolves: "Am I Useful?" [mp3] from We Came From Wolves (out June 1st)

The Wheelworkers: "Yodel" [mp3] from Citizens (out May 26th)

Zia Hassan: Live at Rockwood Music Hall - April 11, 2015 album [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

The Mountain Goats: 2015-04-02, Nashville [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)

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