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April 1, 2015

WORD Bookstores Books of the Week - April 1, 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.


Unabrow

Unabrow
by Una LaMarche

Part memoir, part self-send-up, Una LaMarche's Unabrow tells a charming, loving story.


H Is for Hawk

H Is for Hawk
by Helen Macdonald

A sometimes-harrowing, all-the-time engrossing reflection on family lost and family found.


Words Without Music

Words Without Music
by Philip Glass

The master of compositional modernism tells his story.


There is Simply Too Much to Think About

There is Simply Too Much to Think About
by Saul Bellow

The collected nonfiction writing (including some interviews) from the Nobel winner.


WORD Brooklyn links:

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


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

List of Online "Best of 2014" Book Lists

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


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)





April 1, 2015

Shorties (Finnegans Wake Set to Music, Ben Gibbard's Favorite Death Cab for Cutie Songs, and more)

Coming soon: Waywards and Meansigns, "Finnegans Wake collaboratively set to music, unabridged."


Ben Gibbard listed his favorite Death Cab for Cutie songs at Vulture.


VICE profiled author Colin Barrett.


Stream a new My Morning Jacket song.


The Millions interviewed cartoonist Alison Bechdel.


Mountain Goats drummer Jon Wuster talked to Connect Savannah about the band's new wrestling-themed album Beat the Champ.


Paste listed women who have helped transform the comic book industry.


NPR Music recommended songs from international bands.


Entropy recapped March's best books from indie presses.


An interactive music genre map.


The Quietus interviewed Pete Shelley of the Buzzocks.


BuzzFeed recommended books published in April.


Stereogum ranked Ariel Pink albums.


The World's most translated books.


The 405 listed 2015's best new songs so far.


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 (Fable, Josh Garrels, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Chase Coy: Youth Sampler EP [mp3]

Fable: "Persuasion" [mp3]

Front Country: Sake of the Sound album [mp3]

The Helmholtz Resonators: "Vermillion Hue" [mp3] from The Mystery Of Woolley Mountain (out April 13th)

Itasca: Live on WFMU [mp3]

Joan Shelley: Live on WFMU [mp3]

Josh Garrels: The Sea in Between Soundtrack album [mp3]

Rahim Quazi: "Ghost Hunting" [mp3] from Ghost Hunting (out June 12th)

Travels By Telephone: And Joy Will Flood Through Every Pore EP [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Tigue: 2015-03-11, Brooklyn [mp3]


search for more free and legal music downloads at Largehearted Boy


also at Largehearted Boy:

other daily free and legal mp3 downloads

covers collections
100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads

Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, books, and pop culture news and links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtrack)
weekly new album lists


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

March 31, 2015

Book Notes - T.C. Boyle "The Harder They Come"

The Harder They Come

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

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

T.C. Boyle is a master at exposing the American psyche in his fiction. His new novel The Harder They Come is yet another stunning example, an engaging portrait of family, violence, and anarchy.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"Boyle's...hypnotic narrative probes the complexities of heroism, violence, power, and resistance...Written with both clarity and compassion, each of the novel's characters inhabits a rich and convincing private world. As they traverse a landscape none of them control, their haunting stories illuminate the violent American battle with otherness."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is T.C. Boyle's Book Notes music playlist for his novel The Harder They Come:


Ah, well, to talk about music, which is the very soul of my being, is always a pleasure, but especially in this case, since my new novel, The Harder They Come, shares a title with the Jimmy Cliff tune and film. Unlike in many of my other books and stories, Greasy Lake, for instance, or Drop City or Budding Prospects, the current novel doesn't reference specific tunes beyond "The Harder They Come" and one or two others, but reggae, country music and thrash metal play a definite role in the lives of my characters. Adam, the twenty-five-year-old schizophrenic protagonist (and shooter), loves thrash metal, but when he was in high school he burned through his reggae phase, during which he dreaded-out his hair and wore Burning Spear T-shirts to school. Perhaps for this reason, his father, Sten, seventy, hates reggae. Sten does remember a night in his youth in the late sixties when he was drifting along in his car, very drunk, and listening to "Magic Carpet Ride," just prior to being arrested on a DUI, but that's about it for his music: oldies. Finally, Sara, Adam's girlfriend, a country girl—a farrier, in fact—listens exclusively to country. The three of them listen to music because they're characters in a novel and their music defines them. But what music defines me? Lately, that is? Now that I've got over playing Mozart's "Requiem" on a loop all day every day? Here's a sampling:

Kristin Asbjornson's "Slow Day." This was the key song in the soundtrack for Factotum, the 2005 movie based on Charles Bukowski's work. It's got a dragged-down, way-too-slow waltz rhythm to it that just tears my heart out. You want a sad song? Here it is. And I love sad songs, only sad songs, the sadder and miserabler the better. Which is why I especially love:

Bebo y Cigala's album, Lágrimas Negras. The tunes that really get to me here are "Corazón Loco" and "Veinte Años" (which the Buena Vista Social Club also covered). Cigala's high hoarse floating vocals really inject the pathos into these two songs of love and its conjoined twin, heartbreak. Listen to him soar up high on the line, "Y muestra loco," and tell me you don't want to drop a few tears into your Habana Club?

Nina Simone, "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood." (Or better yet, go to YouTube for her live 1963 Paris concert in which she covers Dylan's "The Ballad of Hollis Brown" and watch her go right out of her body, poof, like magic; now that is setting the soul free.) But this is all about sad, and her version of the Animals' hit, slowed down, whispered, makes the song less a complaint and more a dirge. Beautiful. I defy you to listen to it only once.

Van Morrison, "Carrick Fergus." Saddest song of all time. This is the tune Alma's mother sings for her dead daughter at the end of When the Killing's Done, remembering when Alma was a girl and asking her about the lyrics: "Carry me over where, ma?" How many times have I (usually drunk) thrown back my head to howl along with the lyric, "I'm drunk today/And I'm rarely sober/A handsome rover,/From town to town." Millions. Hundreds of millions. More millions than the National Debt. Or make that billions. Or wait a minute, trillions.

Fleet Foxes, "Oliver James." Enough of the shit, misery and heartbreak. Here's a tune you can really exercise your lungs behind, one that lifts you up and up. I love this band's flawless harmonies and the lovely lilting melody here. Again, a challenge: how can you fail to sing along, to howl, actually, with the refrain, "Oliver James washed in the rain/No longer"? (And I do sing, I sing all the time, along with and contra too. Check out my vocals on "I Put A Spell On You," with the Ventilators, at tcboyle.com)

Taj Mahal, "John the Revelator." I'd forgotten all about Taj, forgive me, but my chief musical buddy these days (his given name is Party, his surname Shuffle) brought this one up for me a couple months ago. It's Taj doing a spiritual with the kind of vocals that just scare me they're so good, plus it's the sort of tune that thrusts you right up out of that chair to wave your arms in the air and beg for redemption. Get on it.

Tom Waits, "Chicago" and "Face to the Highway." While we're dancing, that is. "Chicago" is as propulsive a song as you'll find anywhere. I just want to . . . get up . . . and, there we are, there we are . . . shake it out. Thanks, Tom. And, of course, my love for "Face to the Highway" is because it's another howler. Drunk or not (and whether Frau Boyle's asleep or not), I cannot resist bellowing out the refrain here, "I'm going away/I'm going away/I'm going away." Frau Boyle's response: "Go, already."

Alt J, "Fitzpleasure." Wow. Nothing like it. When I first heard the tune year before last, I didn't even know what language they were singing in. The changes here just knock me out. Especially when the big low-end droning starts in. Makes me feel like skinning animals, smearing my naked chest with the blood and running riot through the neighborhood. Yeah, it's that good.

Amy Winehouse, "Rehab." Real life. It's her voice, wise, wise, wise. And the lyric: "They tried to get me into rehab/But I said no, no, no . . . I ain't got the time." Who doesn't want to be a genius and flame-out young? Uh, not me, I guess. Though lord knows I tried.

The Mars Volta, "The Widow." Again, I have to (re)confess my enslavement to power vocals, but not just to power but to naked emotion too. This is another one that keeps Frau Boyle up at night, whether she sleeps alone or not. Of course, she's not a widow. Yet.

The Kinks, "Milk Cow Blues." Another champ Party Shuffle recently turned me onto. The early Kinks, proto-punks, live in the studio doing a killer blues after a lame voice-over intro from a clueless drone at the BBC. How simple it is. Rock and roll, stripped to its basics. And oh that raw vocal from Ray Davies. My voice is hoarse at this very moment from screeching along, "Oh, please, don't that sun look good goin' down."

Marianne Faithfull, "Why D'ya Do It." This is the far end of heartbreak, the angry end, right at the edge of the pier—and there he is, the crud, push him right off. Her nasty, rasping vocals here just stick a knife into you, and the lyrics, oh, yeah: "Why d'ya do it, she said/. . . every time I see your dick/I see her cunt in my bed." So furious, so unrelenting, so vengeance-driven it's hilarious. I am very, very happy that Marianne wasn't my girlfriend and I was not the one to betray her. Whew!

Jennifer Warnes, "Famous Blue Raincoat." I've got to take this out with a weeper. You want heartbreak, here it is. Warnes makes the Leonard Cohen song her own, and that saxophone doesn't hurt. When she sings "And if you ever come by here,/Be it for Jane/ Or for me/I want you to know your enemy is sleeping/I want you to know your woman is free," I feel the sorrow in my every cell and fiber. Come to think of it, the tune has the same slow waltz quality as the Asbjornson tune referenced above, which is maybe why I love "Slow Day" so much. But wait, wait, sorry, one more:

Jet, "Are you Gonna Be My Girl?" From the opening bass line to the first hammered guitar chords, this is quintessential balls-to-the-wall rock and roll. Perfect. Flawless. Nothing but pure energy. Go ahead, set your ears on fire.

Thanks, folks. I could do this all night, but I suspect the editors might have a thing or two they'd like to squeeze in.


T.C. Boyle and The Harder They Come links:

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

BookPage review
Buffalo News review
Los Angeles Times review
Minneapolis Star Tribune review
New York Times review
Newsweek review
Oregonian review
Paste review
Publishers Weekly review
San Francisco Chronicle review
St. Louis Post Dispatch review
USA Today review
Washington Post review

Brooklyn Rail interview with the author
New York Times interview with the author
New Yorker 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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This Week's Interesting Music Releases - March 31, 2015

Sufjan Stevens

Sufjan Stevens's Carrie & Lowell is the week's premiere release.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress, Lower Dens' Escape From Evil, Ryley Walker's Primrose Green, and Simon Joyner's Grass, Branch, & Bone are other albums I can recommend.

Death Cab for Cutie's Kintsugi is also out today.

Archival releases include a reissue of Ride's OX4 album and the 32-track The Best Of The Grateful Dead.

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


This week's interesting music releases:

Andrew Bird: Weather Systems (reissue)
Billie Holiday: The Centennial Collection
Boxed In: Boxed In
Boz Scaggs: A Fool to Care
Dead Sara: Pleasure To Meet You
Death Cab for Cutie: Kintsugi
Death Grips: The Powers That B
Fort Romeau: Insides
Godspeed You! Black Emperor: Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress
Grateful Dead: The Best Of The Grateful Dead
Grateful Dead: Dick's Picks Vol. 11 - Stanley Theatre
Hannah Cohen: Pleasure Boy
Hollywood Undead: Day of the Dead
Hundstooth: No News From Home
Jerry Paper: Carousel
Jesse Malin: New York Before the War
Jodeci: The Past, The Present, The Future
Katatonia: Sanctitude
Lloyd Cole: Don't Look Back: An Introduction to Lloyd Cole and Lloyd Cole and the Commotions
Lower Dens: Escape From Evil
Ludacris: Ludaversal
Madeon: Adventure
MAINE: American Candy
Marching Church: This World Is Not Enough
Missy Mazzoli: Vespers for a New Dark Age
Nightwish: Endless Forms Most Beautiful
Polar Bear: Same As You
The Prodigy: The Day Is My Enemy
Ride: OX4 (reissue)
Ringo Starr: Postcards From Paradise
Ron Sexsmith: Carousel One
Ryan Adams: Blue Light [vinyl]
Ryley Walker: Primrose Green
Simon Joyner: Grass, Branch, & Bone
The Sonics: This Is The Sonics
The Soft Moon: Deeper
The Staves: If I Was
Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell
The Tamborines: Sea of Murmur
Ufomammut: Ecate
Van Halen: 1984 (reissue)
Van Halen: Deluxe (6-LP box set) [vinyl]
Van Halen: Tokyo Dome In Concert
Van Halen: Van Halen (reissue)
Wale: The Album About Nothing
William Elliott Whitmore: Radium Death

also at Largehearted Boy:

weekly music release lists

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


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Shorties (Leslie Jamison and Catherine Lacey Interviewed Each Other, Sylvan Esso Played a Tiny Desk Concert, and more)

Authors Leslie Jamison and Catherine Lacey interviewed each other at the Huffington Post.


Sylvan Esso played a Tiny Desk Concert.


The shortlist for the 2015 Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction has been announced.


Sound of the City explored Sufjan Stevens' musical ties to New York City.


Jon Ronson talked to Morning Edition about his new book So You've Been Publicly Shamed.


The A.V. Club reconsidered Townes Van Zandt's album Live At The Old Quarter.


Electric Literature interviewed author Kazuo Ishiguro.


The band Walk the Moon visited The Current studio for an interview and live performance.


Salon interviewed author Jonathan Lethem.


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 (Field Mouse, A Forecastle Festival Compilation, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Field Mouse: Hold Still Life album [mp3]

Interludio: Raiz album [mp3]

Jon Bayley: Lonely Dove EP [mp3]

Lindsey Luff: Long Gone EP [mp3]

Modern Suspects: Colorado Sampler 2015 EP [mp3]

Rachel Jane: "Come Away" [mp3]

Various Artists: Forecastle Festival Mixtape 2015 album [mp3]

Wild Ones: Keep It Safe album [mp3]

Zach Winters: 2015 Sampler album [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Pile: 2015-03-19, Austin [mp3]


search for more free and legal music downloads at Largehearted Boy


also at Largehearted Boy:

other daily free and legal mp3 downloads

covers collections
100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads

Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, books, and pop culture news and links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtrack)
weekly new album lists


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

March 30, 2015

Book Notes - Dale Herd "Empty Pockets"

Empty Pockets

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

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

Dale Herd's Empty Pockets collects nineteen new and sixty-four previously published stories from one of America's masters of the form.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote of the book:

"Whether in his blending of the traditional and the experimental, or in distilling stories down to a precisely phrased form, these stories offer plenty to savor."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Dale Herd's Book Notes music playlist for his short story collection Empty Pockets:


Empty Pockets, New and Selected Stories, collects eighty-three stories written over a long number of years. As in music, in the writing of short prose one can make any kind of melodic sorties one likes, and can imagine, so long as each sortie rides out on a solid and continual base, the rhythm and sound of the sentences establishing that base, the images of the sentences becoming the melody, the ideas linked off the images telling the tale. Every once in a while one gets lucky and finds it all working together, rhythm, melody and ideas, and a pretty good story appears. Hopefully, this collection has a few of those.

Here is a partial playlist of some of the music that was at least subconsciously present at the time the following stories were being written and helped me in the writing.

Story: EARLY MORNING WIND: a young man hitchhiking through the American South:

"Seven Bridges Road" by Steve Young. One of the greatest country song ever written, covered by the Eagles and made famous by them, but don't stop there, listen to the original for the authentic purity of its emotion: "There are stars in the southern sky, Southward as you go, There is moonlight and moss in the trees, Down the seven bridges road, Now I have loved you like a baby, Like some lonesome child, And I have loved you in a tame way, And I have loved you wild…"

Story: THE FORTUNES OF THE DAY: two lovers separated by mistakes made in the past bump into each other again and face there is no going back even though they both want to:

"I'd Rather Leave While I'm In Love" (Carole Bayer Sager/Peter Allen) as sung by the husky-voiced Rita Coolidge when she was in love with Kris Kristofferson and he was in love with her: "I'd rather leave while I'm in love, While I still believe the meaning of the word, I'll keep my dreams and just pretend, That you and I are never gonna end…"

Story: CAPTAIN BAA BAA: the eternal horrors of all wars, in this specific case the horrific and misguided mess that was Vietnam:

"Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag" - Country Joe and the Fish: "…Come on mothers throughout the land, pack your boys off to Viet Nam, come on fathers don't hesitate, send your sons off before it's too late, and you can be the first ones on your block, to have your boy come home in a box…"
"The End" - The Doors: "…This is the end, my friend…I'll never look into your eyes again…."
"Fortunate Son" - Credence Clearwater Revival: "It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no millionaire's son, son, It ain't me, it ain't me, I ain't no fortunate one, no…"

Story: COME HOME PLEASE: a young pregnant girl finding herself alone and asking:

"Love And Happiness" - Al Green: "…Happiness is when you really feel good about somebody…."

Story: DEATH: taking place in an upscale mid-town Manhattan restaurant, memories of the holocaust are revisited:

Miles Davis Live At The Fillmore East with Miles, Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Dave Holland, Jack Dejohnette and Airto Moreira painting the musical portrait of the multi-billions of synapses simultaneously firing in all movements and all conversations as each of us is being bombarded with all the clutter and electronic glitter of this massive city while, underneath it all, central and eternal realities are revealed, ones of terror, as well as of civility and art.

Story: DEAR ANTHONY: a young Latina, beginning her childish play in the game of love:

"Kiko and the Lavender Moon" - Los Lobos: "… And then he waits. And then he fakes, And then he bends, And then he shakes, He plays and plays... Out dreaming 'bout green shoes, haircuts and cake, and then he wishes, the world away, and then he kneels, as if to pray, he dreams and dreams, Kiko and the lavender moon."

Story: THE PROWLER: a boy and girl's first sexual experiences:

"Love Is Strange" - Mickey & Sylvia. The title of this song says it all.

Story: HANDCRAFTED DOLLS: when two people first get hit and smothered with the heat of passion, oblivious of anything else:

"Do Wah Diddy Diddy" by Manfred Mann. This song as actually sung a cappela by a trio of Afro–American street guys in their own beautifully rendered sidewalk version was the central image around which the story was constructed: "There she was just a-walkin' down the street, singin' do-wah diddy-diddy down diddy-do, snappin' her fingers and shufflin' her feet, singin' do-wah diddy-diddy down diddy-do, …I'm hers, she's mine…, wedding bells are gonna chime…"

Story: GONE TO POLYESTER: the grandfather recalling his musical days in Paris right after WW11, the old standards, many that Frank Sinatra was known for:

"Stardust," "That Old Black Magic," "Laura," "Stella By Starlight," "September In The Rain," "I'll Be Seeing You."

Story: YOU PROMISE ME: holding on to the past, and being burned by it, through memories of the one who got away:

"Only The Lonely" - Martha Davis and The Motels; "Stay With Me Tonight" - Jeffrey Osborne

Story: EMERALDS: the hip narco-trafficker, a gringo, maneuvering his way through Bogota, Colombia back to the States. On his iPhone he mostly listens to Eminem, and 50 Cent's Get Rich Or Die Tryin' album like the ordinary white middle class American guy he is:

"Lose Yourself" – Eminem: "…If you had one shot, one opportunity…"
"Candy Shop" – 50 Cent: "I got the magic stick, I'm the love doctor…"

And finally, some other music definitely being listened to as most of the other 72 stories were being written:

"Darkness, Darkness" - The Youngbloods
The Gilded Palace of Sin - the Flying Burrito Brothers
Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley
"Cause We've Ended As Lovers" – (Stevie Wonder) as played by Jeff Beck and Tal Wilkenfeld
"Smooth Operator" - Sade
"Gonna Find Her" – The Coasters
"Driven To Tears" – Sting and Robert Downey, Jr.
"Simply Irresistible" - Robert Palmer
"That'll Be The Day" – Buddy Holly
"Shake Rattle And Roll" - Bill Haley and the Comets
"Honky Tonk" – Bill Doggett
"She Came in Through the Bathroom Window" - Joe Cocker's great cover of The Beatles' song
"Tequila" – The Champs
Brazilliance - Laurindo Almedia and Bud Shank
"I Don't Want to Talk About It" - Rod Stewart
"Satisfaction," "Street Fighting Man," "Miss You" - The Stones
"Crying" – Roy Orbison
"Pusher Man" – Curtis Mayfield
"Tell Me Something Good" – Chaka Khan and Rufus
"Sweet Dreams," "I Fall To Pieces," "Crazy" - Patsy Cline
"Let's Get It On"- Marvin Gaye
"A Thousand Kisses Deep" – Leonard Cohen
"I Fooled Around And Fell In Love" – Elvin Bishop
"I Shot The Sheriff" – Bob Marley
"Cruisin'" – Smokey Robinson
"Jazz On A Summer's Day" - Jimmy Giuffre Three
"We're All Alone" – Boz Scaggs
School Days – Stanley Clarke
"Caballo Viejo" off Mambo Sinuendo – Ry Cooder
Chet Baker Sings - Chet Baker
"To Ramona," "Lay Lady Lay," "Knockin' On Heaven's Door," "Tangled Up In Blue" - Bob Dylan

"Big Sky Country," "I Forget You Every Day" – Chris Whitley:

"He'd play the dirtiest, smallest clubs on stage w/6 rat guitars, cut up t-shirt, all skin & bones...and then he'd start to play & it was beyond words beautiful. It was like what like I was pinned & mounted on the wall to his stuff. The minute I heard his music… It hurt so good." (Comment by Jackson8)

"Hey, Good Lookin'," "Cold, Cold Heart," "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," "Blue Eyes Cryin' In The Rain," "I Can't Help It If I'm Still In Love With You," and anything and everything else by the great Hank Williams.

And overall, and really overall: "Misterioso"Thelonious Sphere (as in music of the spheres – his actual name) Monk.


Dale Herd and Empty Pockets links:

excerpt from the book ("Handcrafted Dolls")
excerpts from the book ("Rawlins" and "All There Is")

The Foxing Review review
Minneapolis Star Tribune review
Queen Mobs Teahouse 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)


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Book Notes - Todd Hasak-Lowy "Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You"

Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You

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

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

Todd Hasak-Lowy's Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You is a mesmerizing YA novel told innovatively through lists.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"As Darren struggles to gain some form of control over events in his life and negotiate his preconceptions about homosexuality, Hasak-Lowy maintains a sweet, acerbically funny, and often painfully honest tone."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Todd Hasak-Lowy's Book Notes music playlist for his novel Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You:


Top Ten Ten-Second Stretches Of Ten Top-Ten Worthy Songs

I wrote an entire novel in lists, for reasons that remain only somewhat clear to me. Whatever the case, this novel contains not a single "top ten" list, because that kind of list would have broken the list-making and (in particular) list-titling rules I followed while working on the thing.

Which isn't to say I have anything at all against top ten lists.

I also noticed, when discussing this book's format with people, that most folks associate list-making with obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior. With these two things in mind I've put together one more list, a decidedly obsessive-compulsive top-ten list.

It's not a list of my top ten songs, which would be too obvious. Rather, it's a list of ten of my favorite ten-second musical stretches from ten songs that would get serious consideration if I were putting together a regular Top Ten Favorite Songs list.

I don't know about you, but I prefer to get to know a song well enough to inhabit it (and for it to inhabit me). That way I know precisely what's coming, and I can prepare myself to feel a very particular thing for a very finite period of time. When I (re)play a song it's often in order to feel this specific thing, even if I'm only going to feel it for a short time. And so this list is a list of moments I feel very, very strongly.

The other strange thing this list draws attention to just how liquid and slippery music is. A good song is always somehow passing you by. Maybe that's why people like the groove, the beat, the one part of a song that repeats itself for the duration. It's possible to spend a few minutes or more in a good groove. Whereas these moments, these fleeting, greatest moments, as much as I love them, I just can't hold them.

But that's how music is. Its coming is its going. It's not like a breathtaking painting you can face for as long as you like, getting lost in the thing while a whole afternoon passes outside the museum. It's not like a sublime passage in a book that you can read as slowly as you like, just staring at the words late at night in bed. Sure, hip-hop artists sample these kind of moments in order to repeat them again and again in their own song, thereby turning such a moment into part of the groove, but then the moment's not the moment anymore, it's something else. Maybe there's a lesson in here somewhere, who knows.

Anyhow, here's the list, in no particular order:

Dire Straits, "Sultans of Swing," 4:18-4:28

You probably think I've included this song to single out some delightful chunk from one of the two astounding guitar solos Mark Knopfler plays in this number. But no, my favorite moment in this song, which I listened to over and over while delivering hundreds of pizzas from 1985-1987, is this absurdly cymbal-rich drum fill, played by the awesomely named Pick Withers, a fill which occurs in the middle of the wonderful plateau between the two guitar solos. Everything is charged by this point in the song, and this fill somehow both releases and creates more energy in the lead up to Knopfler's final solo, a top ten moment in its own right.

Wilco, "Poor Places," 2:38-2:48

This stretch of "Poor Places," in particular the five-note guitar figure you hear at around 2:44, is the key moment of this song, which I think of as the climax of the entire album, which, like a lot of people, I think of as the high-point of Wilco's discography. What I find doubly fascinating about these five notes is that they're played like this only once, despite their collective awesomeness, which the band obviously knew early on. How do I know this? Well, compare this final version of the song to the earlier demo, in which this figure is played over and over again. No doubt that in this final version, where the band somehow found the self-restraint to play them just once, these five notes pack a much greater punch.

Jeff Buckley, "Last Goodbye," 3:00-3:10

Another list: "Artists with essentially only one studio album, but that album is more or less perfect." Because it's true, "Grace" is a masterpiece. On this song, everything comes together, "everything" meaning the backing band and Jeff's other-wordly voice. And here, at the end of this forty-second, crescendoing instrumental bridge, which Buckley coos over, he goes up extra high on a final five-second long note, while the drummer (I borrow the following technical term from music theory) brings it in a serious way. If you don't get goosebumps here, it's time to see a professional.

Fiona Apple, "I Know," 3:45-4:05

Twenty seconds, I realize that. But it's a slow song, so twenty seconds it will have to be. This track, the last one on an album that overall has a very different sound, is easy to miss, but it's a whopper. Apple's specialty is detailing—darkly, bitterly, sardonically—a certain unavoidable dysfunction in human relations and the pain that comes with that, especially when you're too sensitive for this world, which, by all accounts, Apple most certainly is. And yet this song, which has the feel and sound of a standard, finds her speaking, or singing, from a very different position. It's a love song, a forgiving one at that, and the way she delivers her glorious, generous lyric make me long to be the "you" she addresses, the "you" she loves unconditionally. Near the end of this track, after the wonderfully assonant "pry open/hoping for encore," her delivery reaches its almost unbearably expressive climax.

The Beatles, "Tomorrow Never Knows," :04-:16

Sometimes the best thing about a song is simply its very existence as a unique, free-standing sonic universe. And the great pleasure of listening to a song like that is just entering this universe, is being welcomed by the song into itself. This song, the last track on "Revolver," represents a quantum leap in rock and roll (if it could even be called that by this point), and I'm still amazed by the inaugural force of the drums and the bass here. Only sixteen seconds into the tune, after Lennon has sung his first line—"Turn off you mind, relax, and float downstream"—you find yourself in another realm entirely.

The Beatles, "Here Comes The Sun," 1:01-1:29

Yes, I know, this one is also longer than ten seconds. And it's not the only way I'm cheating here. This stretch refers not to the time of the song itself, but to the time of a video on youtube in which you can hear (along with George Harrison's son, Dhani, George Martin and his son, Giles) a guitar solo that never made it into the final track. The solo, which would have appeared at the 1:30 mark of the tune as we all know it, absolutely changes the feel of the song, and I now hear the solo in my head every time I listen to the official version. What I love about this solo, in addition to it being a quintessential Harrison solo in terms of its masterful simplicity (the song is arguably better with it), is the way, for me at least, its very existence opens up a heady "what if" question: what if this solo made it into the official recording? For some reason, this kind of question seems to matter when it comes to The Beatles, as there's something about their unparalleled body of work for which the notion of definitiveness is crucial. Their command of the studio makes every one of their decisions seem almost pre-ordained, such that an alternate path of this sort makes my head spin. It's like learning that Shakespeare wrote an alternate ending to Hamlet.

Joni Mitchell, "Hejira," 5:27-5:37

There's a problem in my household right now. I've gone down a Joni Mitchell rabbit hole, but no one else in my family cares for her too much. Which kills me, because I'm realizing she's a true genius. Mitchell's song "Hejira" is, like the rest of the similarly titled album, moody and ethereal and maybe not everyone's cup of tea. But it feels like an entire world to me, and when she repeats the opening lines of the title track ("I'm traveling in some vehicle/I'm sitting in some café/A defector from the petty wars/That shell shock love away") at the five-and-a-half minute mark, that is, after you've been steeping in the song for some time, it creates the paradoxical effect of having you remember—and long for—the song you're still listening to.

Novos Baianos, "Acabou Chorare," 3:37-3:47

I wouldn't be opposed to being reborn as a member, even a marginal one, of this Brazilian outfit. Not only is their music joyous, but a video of them playing the opening track from this brilliant 1972 album has me thinking they were among the happiest people ever to inhabit our planet. And yet the title track (translated as "No More Crying") sounds like a gentle, restrained, and even bittersweet lullaby. The lush, tender vocals here make a pretty good case for Portuguese as the most beautiful of all languages, but it is potent arrival of a second acoustic guitar near the very end—when an emotional tension, mysteriously hidden until this moment in this song, is finally released—that I'll never get enough of.

Bob Dylan, "You're a Big Girl," 3:22-3:32

There's a good chance that Dylan is the finest lyricist of the last fifty years. And there's also a good chance that Blood on the Tracks, is his best and/or his most brilliantly produced album. So perhaps that's why this moment in this song— when Dylan relinquishes his complex, consummate poetry for a simple, direct "I'm going out of my mind" followed by a raw wail—hits as hard as it does. Dylan is a slippery shape-shifter of an artist, but here, perhaps more than anywhere else in his entire catalog, he expresses his pain as his own, with no indirection whatsoever.

Bill Evans, "Lucky to Be Me," 3:14-3:30

I'm not sure anyone can make the piano sound as beautifully sad as Bill Evans. The undertone of melancholy in his playing is so consistent that even his happier tunes seem to cut both ways. This track, in part because of its title, expresses this tension perfectly. The subtly uplifting final seconds (I assume it's a coda) of this often plaintive song find him in some impossibly open—indeed wise—space containing both happiness and sorrow. As this song ends I get a strange feeling that everything is possible—or that everything simply is—pain, joy, loss, love, all of it is real in essentially equal portions. I'm not sure what to call that feeling, but gratitude is my best guess.


Todd Hasak-Lowy and Me Being Me Is Exactly as Insane as You Being You links:

the author's website
excerpt from the book
video trailer for the book

Publishers Weekly review

Adventures in YA Publishing interview with the author
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for 33 Minutes


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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Shorties (Jonathan Franzen on Climate Change; The Best Albums of 2015 So Far; and more)

Jonathan Franzen wrote about climate change at he New Yorker.


MOJO and The 405 listed 2015's best albums so far.


The Los Angeles Times interviewed author James Hannaham.


Pitchfork loved Sufjan Stevens' new album Carrie & Lowell.


Interview magazine interviewed poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti.


Ben Gibbard covered Guided By Voices' "Tractor Rape Chain."


BOMB shared an excerpt from Alejandro Jodorowsky's novel Where the Bird Sings Best.


NPR Music is streaming the new Mountain Goats album, Beat the Champ.


At Biographile, author Cristina Henriquez outlined her Unknown Americans Project.


The Guardian profiled the Alabama Shakes.


The Brooklyn Rail interviewed author J.C. Hallman.


NPR Music is streaming Drenge's new album Undertow.


The New Yorker features a new short story by Thomas Pierce.


NPR Music is streaming Toro y Moi's new album What For.


Author Howard Jacobson on revisiting his own work at the Guardian.


NPR Music is streaming the new Waxahatchee album, Ivy Tripp.


Alexander McCall Smith on the "continued life of the Jane Austen industry."


The BBC Magazine examined the influence of a six-second drum solo on an obscure single and how it influenced over 1,500 songs.


A Folio Prize judge discussed the process at the Guardian.


Jay-Z is launching a streaming music service.


Weekend Edition interviewed Sara Gruen about her new novel At the Water's Edge.


Flavorwire interviewed filmmaker Vivienne Dick about the No Wave movement and making art in New York in the 1970s.


A list of books featured on Mad Men.


An album by Ben Stiller's teenage band, Capital Punishment, is being reissued.


All Things Considered interviewed Kirstin Valdez Quade about her new short story collection Night at the Fiestas.


The A.V. Club offered a primer to garage rock.


Author Hanif Kureishi discussed his favorite books at The Week.


The Preservation Hall jazz Band visited The Current studio for a live performance and interview.


Foreign Policy examined the sad state of Russian literature.


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 (Bill Baird, Ryan Adams, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Bill Baird: Goodbye Vibrations album [mp3]

Dark Furs: En L'air EP [mp3]

Fauna Flora: Fauna Flora album [mp3]

The Habituals: The Habituals Go! EP [mp3]

Mother Upduff: Tempest single [mp3]

The New Lines: Live on WFMU [mp3]

Nils Frahm: Solo album [mp3]

Various Artists: Lynchstock 2015 Artist Sampler album [mp3]

Various Artists: non•market comp EP [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Ryan Adams: 2011-06-08, Dublin [mp3]


search for more free and legal music downloads at Largehearted Boy


also at Largehearted Boy:

other daily free and legal mp3 downloads

covers collections
100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads

Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, books, and pop culture news and links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtrack)
weekly new album lists


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March 29, 2015

Largehearted Boy Weekly Wrap-Up - March 29, 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)

Carola Dibbell for her novel The Only Ones
John Reneham for his novel The Valley
Nicole Haroutunian for her short story collection Speed Dreaming
Rebecca Scherm for her novel Unbecoming
Skip Horack for his novel The Other Joseph
William Boyle for his short story collection Death Don't Have No Mercy


Author/Musician Interviews: (authors interview musicians, and vice versa)

Chris Tarry interviewed Musician Shara Worden of My Brightest Diamond


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


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