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February 21, 2019

Brendan Mathews's Playlist for His Short Fiction Collection "This Is Not a Love Song"

This Is Not a Love Song

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 Jesmyn Ward, Lauren Groff, Bret Easton Ellis, Celeste Ng, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Booklist wrote of the book:

"Mathews demonstrates in these stories an uncanny ability to inhabit characters with just a few well-crafted sentences. A master impersonator, Mathews employs a variety of voices, capturing the subtle nuances of dialect and pop lingo to explore with psychological acuity the doubt and insecurities that plague these varied individuals...Mathews excels at portraying the emotional pain felt by those without a clear place in the world and the universality of self-doubt. The versatility of literary techniques shows a writer in the process of sharpening his unique voice."


In his own words, here is Brendan Mathews's Book Notes music playlist for his short fiction collection This Is Not a Love Song:



I listen a lot of music while I write. My first novel, The World of Tomorrow, was set among the big band jazz world in late-1930’s New York, and during the years spent working on it, I listened to a lot of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, and Benny Goodman. The music helped me feel the texture of that time, and I began to think of the book’s structure as a riff on Basie’s swinging style. As a bandleader, Basie gave each of his musicians a chance to solo before drawing them back into the larger rhythm of the song. I aspired to so the same with my characters. But music wasn’t just a means of research or kitchen-table time travel. Those years were also full of Neko Case and Al Green, Boubacar Traore and Arcade Fire—music that created moods I could get lost in while trying to conjure moments within the novel. At the same time, LCD Soundsystem’s eight- to 10-minute songs boosted my confidence about writing a 500-page novel, and I started counting on the sudden, thumping synths of “Dance Yourself Clean” to shake me out of whatever stupor I’d fallen into.

The stories in This Is Not a Love Song are filled with the music that played while I wrote in libraries, coffee shops, and at our kitchen table. The title story revolves around the indie music scene in Chicago—my home from 1992 to 2003—and the playlist below nods toward some of the bands that helped me imagine the central character, Kat Conboy, into being. The playlist also includes songs alluded to in the collection’s other stories, where they whisper from car stereos and blare from boomboxes.

Liz Phair, “Never Said”
On her 1993 debut Exile in Guyville, Liz Phair sang about lust (“Flower”), breakups (“Divorce Song”) and bad boyfriends (“Johnny Sunshine”), but also about ambition and disappointment and the rules for surviving the predatory band dudes who populated Wicker Park, where “This Is Not a Love Song” is set. Exile in Guyville made Liz Phair suddenly famous and set loose a wave of (mostly male) detractors who criticized her musical chops, her stage presence, her suburban upbringing—in short, her authority and authenticity, which were questions that I wanted the story to explore.

Veruca Salt, “Seether”
“This Is Not A Love Song” mentions a band called Violet Beau—like Veruca Salt, a name lifted from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Veruca wanted an Oompa Loompa; Violet turned into a blueberry). Reason enough to include the song here, but I also add it by way of apology: Back in my Chicago days, I once mouthed off at work about Veruca Salt—I used to do that sort of thing—only to get an icy stare from a coworker. I later learned that she was dating the drummer. I’d like to say that was the only time I ever put my foot so squarely in my mouth.

Bettie Serveert, “Tomboy”
Carol van Dijk’s voice—brash and plaintive, smart and tough—was part of the chorus of voices that echoed in my head when I thought about Kat’s music. Bettie Serveert is based far from Chicago (they’re Dutch), but I did see them at Metro, touring with the Swedish rockers Komeda (“There’s a pa-pa-pa-pa-party going on…”) sometime in the mid-'90s.

Blake Babies, “Nirvana”

The acoustic version of “Nirvana” (Juliana Hatfield electrifies it on her solo album) could be one of the songs that Kat picks out on her guitar late at night, her notebook full of lyrics open in her lap. It’s a song about being in pain but also about the power of a good song:

Here comes the song/I love so much/Makes me want to go and fuck shit up
Now I’ve got Nirvana in my head/I’m so glad I’m not dead.

The Beatles, “A Day in the Life”

In one of the story’s overheard moments, Kat sings a few lines from “A Day in the Life” (a very few lines, to avoid calls from copyright lawyers). When Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band celebrated its 40th anniversary, Aimee Mann said in an interview that most of her musician friends would pick “A Day in the Life” as their favorite Beatles song (it wasn’t one of hers). But I like to think that maybe Kat was one of those friends that Aimee Mann was talking about.

Led Zeppelin, “Ramble On”

I went to high school with a lot of guys in black concert t-shirts scribbled over with Led Zeppelin’s vaguely druidical symbols. Some of these guys also played D&D and read Tolkien, and all of that provided an inspiration for Kat’s classic-rock-loving brother Gerry. “Ramble On” sets us in Mordor, where Gollum and Sauron conspire to steal away…“a girl so fair”?!? Not until Peter Jackson’s Hobbit movies would you find someone playing so fast and loose with his source material.

Wilco, “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart”

This could have been the alternate title for the collection, which is full of stories about the ragged way that people fall out of love. The song is beautifully made and sonically restless, and songs like this push me to experiment with structure and voice in my own work. I’m a longstanding Wilco fan, but I’ve been a fan even longer of Sue Miller, who is married to Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy. Miller was the co-owner of the late, great Lounge Ax, one of Chicago’s legendary clubs, the setting for a scene in the title story, and a place I spent more nights than I can count.

John Coltrane, “My Favorite Things”

When I lived near the corner of North and Wells, many of my nights ended at the Old Town Ale House—and this was the song that was always on the jukebox. I love it for Coltrane but just as much for the way McCoy Tyner shapes and then disassembles the piano chords. Hearing it always brings me back to the dimly lit, smoky bars where the characters in “Salvage” scout for artifacts and drink in their off hours.

Superchunk, “The First Part”

“The First Part” is from Superchunk’s 1994 album Foolish, which like Rumours and Shoot Out the Lights is a breakup album, made shortly after two people in the band had split romantically. This song gave me the title for the story “How Long Does the First Part Last?” one of the collection’s North Carolina-set stories (Superchunk formed in Chapel Hill, where I went to college). Though it’s never named in the story, this is the song that’s playing on the mixtape while two of the characters spend their last hours as a couple.

Vampire Weekend “Diane Young ” / Velvet Underground, “Sweet Jane” / Anita Baker, “Sweet Love”

Two bands name-checked by the dads trying—and failing—to impress their babysitters in “The Drive,” and one song alluded to but unnamed when one of the dads mentions his prom. “Sweet Love” was the theme of my senior prom, a night that peaked when Mike Tyson and Robin Givens emerged from an elevator to briefly crash the party. A strange turn of events, but it was Albany, New York in the '80s and took our excitement where we could find it.

Public Image Limited, “This Is Not A Love Song”

I tell my students that you’ve got to cite your sources, so here’s the song that provided the title for the collection. I love the way that the title, as a denial, forces you to search for an alternate definition: if not a love song, then what?


Brendan Mathews and This Is Not a Love Song links:

the author's website
excerpt from the book

Booklist review
Kirkus review
Publishers Weekly review
Winnipeg Free Press review

The Berkshire Eagle profile of the author
WAMC interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

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

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
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






February 20, 2019

Will Ashon's Playlist for His Book "Chamber Music: Wu-Tang and America"

Chamber Music: Wu-Tang and America

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 Jesmyn Ward, Lauren Groff, Bret Easton Ellis, Celeste Ng, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Will Ashon's Chamber Music: Wu-Tang and America is a brilliant examination of Wu-Tang Clan's Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers and American culture.

Kirkus wrote of the book:

"A conceptually audacious critical study about the conceptual audacity of the Wu-Tang Clan―and well beyond.... Hip-hop fans and anyone interested in the deeper seams of American culture will be glad [he wrote it.]"


In his own words, here is Will Ashon's Book Notes music playlist for his book Chamber Music: Wu-Tang and America:



Coming up with a playlist connected to my book, Chamber Music, so that I can write about it for Book Notes presents something of a problem. That’s because the playlist already exists. It runs down the sides of the pages throughout the book and, when I tried to assemble it for Spotify, it ended up being almost 10 hours long. If I were to write something about every track included, it would probably end up longer than the book itself. Or would maybe just be the book itself. It would certainly be unwieldy. So instead I’ve opted to try to boil that epic down into a few tracks.

Almost by definition this will be a complete failure. One of the key themes of Chamber Music is that African-American music is a continuum and that when you embark on writing a book about, in this instance, the Wu-Tang Clan’s debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers, you are, of necessity, also writing about the whole of that continuum. Does that continuum fit into a few tracks? No, no it does not.

So here it is. I feel like I should do 36, but that’s still a bit long if I’m going to say something about each of them, so instead here’s 9, one for each member of the group (you get to decide which is for who).


Wu-Tang Clan – ‘Protect Ya Neck’

I had to start with this, didn’t I? The group’s debut, self-released single, with everything already in place—the attack in the multiple voices, the off-kilter production, the mythology, the humor and aggression and sheer chutzpah. What a way to begin.

U.S. Music w/ Funkadelic – ‘I Miss My Baby’

This one is a test case, really. Obviously it’s a stupendous, beautiful, supercharged, soulful slice of post-doowop, but what is it you love about it? Is it the melody line, the way the chord change leads you into the payoff half way through the chorus? Or the peerless harmonising of the backing singers (almost enough, personally, to convince me of the existence of God)? Or is it the drums, the work of Harvey McGee, the way he places the heartbeat thuds of his kick drum to push and pull the beat? Because let’s be honest, that’s the essence of hip hop right there, deep down in the rhythmic bones of the piece.

Brand Nubian – ‘Wake Up’ (Stimulated Dummies Remix)

When I began researching the theology of the Nation of Gods & Earths for the book, I was surprised to find out I already knew it. It took me a while to figure out that this was because it was all there, with brilliant beats and even better delivery, on the first Brand Nubian album, which I’d obsessed over when it came out. Please Educate Allah’s Children with Equality…

Thelonious Monk – ‘Epistrophy’

If there’s one outstanding aesthetic influence on Enter the Wu-Tang, it’s provided by Thelonious Sphere Monk, who – in addition to having a name suitable for a Shaolin Temple – first introduced to American music the spidery, oddly proportioned dynamics you encounter on Enter… The RZA (along with Cecil Taylor, maybe?) is one of the few musicians to take Monk’s example and push forward with it, to make something new rather than a tribute to a unique individual.

Mick Jenkins with BADBADNOTGOOD – ‘Drowning’

One of the key themes of Chamber Music is the notion of rap as an expression, extension and shadow of breathing (and how this ties in with the death of Eric Garner and the Black Lives Matter movement)—themes which Jenkins touches on with considerably more economy than I do, and with a better beat.

Jelly Roll Morton – ‘The Dirty Dozen’

If the dozens are the seed from which rap culture mutated, then Professor Morton traces them back to Chicago. Also, please note, profanity in African-American music IS NOTHING NEW (although the commercial exploitation of it is). Opening line: ‘Oh you dirty motherfucker, you old cocksucker, you dirty son of a bitch, you bastard, you everything – and your mama don’t wear no drawers.’

Wu-Tang Clan – ‘Da Mystery of Chessboxin’’

It’s hard to pick out a track to represent Enter… and this one has the disadvantage of not featuring GZA, but on the other hand it includes rare contributions from U-God and Masta Killah, superb verses from Inspectah Deck, Raekwon and Ghostface Killah (‘No one could get iller’) and the moment when Ol’ Dirty Bastard fully transformed from Ason Unique into the wild and wonderful vocalist who elevated the group to new heights.

Angel Bat Dawid – ‘What Shall I Tell My Children Who Are Black? (Dr Margaret Burroughs)’

This speaks for itself and makes me think of Fred Moten’s words: ‘It hurts so much that we have to celebrate. That we have to celebrate is what hurts so much.’

Wu-Tang Clan – ‘I Can’t Go To Sleep’ feat. Isaac Hayes

In effect a massive steal of Isaac Hayes’ ‘Walk On By,’ it features two brilliant verses from the yin and yang of the Wu-niverse, Ghostface Killah and the Rza. Taken from ‘The W,’ the album isn’t all that great, but this one doesn’t so much ‘get the jelly out your spine’ (as Hayes puts it), as turn your spine to jelly. Sobbing.


Will Ashon and Chamber Music: Wu-Tang and America links:

the author's Wikipedia entry

The Big Issue review
GQ UK review
Guardian review
Irish Times review
Kirkus review

CBC Radio interview with the author
Granta interview with the author
The List profile of the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

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

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
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


Shorties (An Interview with Elias Khoury, New Music from Palehound, and more)

Elias Khoury

The Los Angeles Review of Books interviewed author Elias Khoury.


Stream a new Palehound song.


February's best eBook deals.

eBooks on sale for $1.99 today:

The Best and the Brightest: Kennedy-Johnson Administration by David Halberstam
White Dancing Elephants by Chaya Bhuvaneswar
Wylding Hall by Elizabeth Hand


The A.V. Club reconsidered the Rushmore soundtrack.


Mark Doten talked to Longreads about his new novel Trump Sky Alpha.


Stream a new Jay Som song.


Elizabeth McCracken discussed her new novel, Bowlaway, with BuzzFeed.


NYCtaper shared a recent live performance by William Tyler.


Guernica shared a new essay by Elissa Washuta.


BrooklynVegan shared a collection of covers of Nirvana songs.


Tank Magazine shared an excerpt from Isabel Waidner's novel, We Are Made Of Diamond Stuff.


The Quietus reconsidered the Sex Pistols album, The Great Rock and Roll Swindle, 20 years after its release.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn interviewed author Scott Adlerberg.


Stream a new song by Ellis.


Stream a new Helado Negro song.


Stream a new song by Mini Dresses.


Stream a new Strand of Oaks song.


The Quietus reconsidered Spacemen 3's Play With Fire album.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create 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)
weekly music release lists


February 19, 2019

Lindsay Stern's Playlist for Her Novel "The Study of Animal Languages"

The Study of Animal Languages

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 Jesmyn Ward, Lauren Groff, Bret Easton Ellis, Celeste Ng, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Lindsay Stern's novel The Study of Animal Languages is an exceptionally funny and thought-provoking debut.

Publishers Weekly wrote of the book:

"Thought-provoking…A taut, brainy tale that tracks the breakdown of an academic couple’s marriage while dissecting differences between language and communication, knowledge and truth, madness and inspiration."


In her own words, here is Lindsay Stern's Book Notes music playlist for her novel The Study of Animal Languages:



About three quarters of the way through my novel, The Study of Animal Languages, an old man named Frank has a manic episode in an aquarium. Standing before the shark tank, with its towers of kelp undulating overhead, he becomes convinced that he can read the body language of the animals gliding past him. Later, he recounts the experience to his son-in-law: “You know how, in music, the notes go straight to the feeling, without wedging a thought in between? That’s what their language was like. Their feelings—if that’s what they were—they flowed through me. Beautiful, terrible dances of the soul, more exquisite than any thought of mine could conjure up. I felt oafish beside them, kid. Their joy was painful to me.”

One of the pleasures of writing fiction is the discovery that your characters come up with better lines than you do. Frank responds here to the question that initially inspired my novel: what might the noises coming out of animal throats—the sounds we tend to tune out as gibberish—actually mean? The question pivots on the assumption that we are reliable translators of the sounds uttered by our own kind, including ourselves and our loved ones. And that’s how my curiosity about animal voices evolved into a book about a marriage in crisis.

In crafting this playlist, I started by hunting for songs whose lyrics touched in literal ways on language and marriage and madness. But something in that approach felt unfaithful to the songs’ power, which to me derives from their melodies. So in lieu of that lyric-oriented selection, I’ve chosen the songs that sustained me during the book’s creation, glossing them with snapshots of where I was in life when I was listening to them most frequently—compulsively, typically on runs. With the exception of Suzanne Vega’s “Language,” each one fed the sentences, and sentence-rhythms, that compose the book.


Run On by Moby

The week before I wrote the first scene of the novel’s first draft—titled Archery—I was living for free in a bookstore in Paris. It was August, and stormy. My makeshift bed was on the second floor of the shop, in a room that overlooked a horizontal stretch of roof where someone had placed a wooden nutcracker. He had a mustache and blue top hat and lay on his back, so the warm rain beat on his face. I had come there to “write a novel in Paris” and write I did—every day—but I didn’t have characters yet, so my ideas had no one to matter to.

Ride On, Right On by Phosphorescent

When my characters finally showed up, I had almost no time for them. I’d left Europe and was teaching in Cambodia, writing in the evenings in my shared room on the second floor of a guesthouse called “Tattoo.” In the mornings I biked to my classroom on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, where the asphalt shaded into grassy dirt roads. Its window had no glass, so my students and I sometimes used it as a door. During their breaks I paged through the Khmer-English dictionary, taking photos of some of the entries. One read: “sound made by a panic-stricken crowd/flock (of people/birds).”

Big Coat by Wiretree

I took off teaching one day to attend the Khmer Rouge trial, which was being held in an international court east of the city. Seated on stage left was a white-haired man, Nuon Chea, since convicted of genocide, who had been second in command to Pol Pot. About halfway through the day’s proceedings, he whispered something to a man sitting beside him. That man must have been his guard, because he stood up and led Chea off into the wings. When they returned, Chea was wearing a windbreaker. A war criminal getting cold: the image still haunts me, and challenged me to find the warmth in TSOAL’s rigid narrator.

Fiery Crash by Andrew Bird

As I was building that narrator, I was mourning a relationship, which meant I was spending a fair amount of time screaming into pillows. It was excruciating, but it also exposed me to layers of myself I hadn’t experienced before. So it goes with TSOAL’s narrator, whose “fiery crash” doubles as an education.

Another Sunny Day by Belle and Sebastian

The novel suffered its own regenerative breakdown when I realized I had to rewrite it. I had moved back to the States and was living in a furnished railroad style one-bedroom in Iowa, falling in love with my downstairs neighbor. There was a hole in one of my window frames, which was the rope-and-pulley variety. You could see the taut rope extending down into the shadows. One night in winter, a voice blasted out of this hole. It was a bat, echolocating. I bolted downstairs.

Little Lion Man by Mumford and Sons

On runs along the Iowa River I would listen to this song on repeat, feeling my way into Frank. Eventually I saw that the novel’s epigraph, Wittgenstein’s dictum “If a lion could speak, we could not understand him,” pertains as much to him—and to anyone yearning to make sense of and to the world—as it does to roaring cats.

Take this Waltz by Leonard Cohen

By the time the book found its sea legs I had moved back east. Ivan finally felt real to me. The work of building his “I”—which Leonard Cohen brilliantly equates with its homonym, the phrase “ay yai yai”—was almost complete. On runs around the Central Park reservoir, I prepared to abandon him.

Language by Suzanne Vega

This song doesn’t belong here, because I encountered it long after the copyedits to the manuscript were complete and my patient editor had finally exiled me from its pages. But if TSOAL were a country, Vega’s song would be its anthem. She sings: “[W]ords… / don’t mean what I meant / They don’t say what I said … / They don’t move fast enough / To catch the blur in the brain / That flies by and is gone / … And is gone / … And is gone.”


Lindsay Stern and The Study of Animal Languages links:

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

Kirkus review
New York Journal of Books review
Publishers Weekly review


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

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

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
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


J.S. Breukelaar's Playlist for Her Short Fiction Collection "Collision"

Collision

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 Jesmyn Ward, Lauren Groff, Bret Easton Ellis, Celeste Ng, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

J.S. Breukelaar's short fiction collection Collision is filled with stories complex and defiant of genre, each one guaranteed to shock and amaze.

Breach Magazine wrote of the book:

"The stories are ruthless, nothing is safe—even the child who offers a lollipop and loses a wrist to the Clint Eastwood dog. Breukelaar experiments with the Gothic and queries the queer. Bedded within the tales is a voluptuous energy that turns pages. Tables pirouette in a blink and, before you know it, the story is eleven shades grimmer."


In her own words, here is J.S. Breukelaar's Book Notes music playlist for her short fiction collection Collision:



I can point to three things that got me writing.

These are the death of a friend, the birth of my children, and music. When my best friend died I locked myself in a room and listened to Abbey Road, which I’d stolen from the parents of the kid I babysat, because at that time I hated the Beatles. I specifically hated the song, “Here Comes the Sun,” which I played on repeat until finally a guy who would become my husband introduced me to the Clash. When my kids were born I played music to them constantly, hugely inappropriate music like Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing,” which for some reason was the only song that would get my daughter to sleep. My first novel was a reworking of Kurosawa’s Yojimbo with the title role played by a dead DJ.

All of the stories in Collision are either selected or written in the shadow of the 2016 US election. Some of them reference it directly. Hundreds of albums and soundtracks kept me going through the process, and this is the abridged playlist in the order of each story’s appearance.

1. “Union Falls”

a. “Bat out of Hell,” Meatloaf. I picked this tack for the piano intro that I needed my armless character to play with her feet. I wrongly assumed that it was a 1980s song because of a misspent youth airmicing the bejesus out of the line about the flying heart (still beating, beeeeting) and by the time I realized my mistake it was already essential to the story. But also, Meatloaf’s out-of-this-world voice, and how those chilling lines “nothing really rocks and nothing really rolls/and nothing’s ever worth the cost,” come back, especially now, like a bat out of hell to haunt us all.

b. “Bette Davis Eyes,” Kim Carnes. I needed an '80s hit, and this came out on top, mainly because, despite the overproduced pop vibe, Carnes’ vocals are as brittle and broken as something the armless Ame brings in with her from the woods. But the best thing about the song was how my son got together with a musician friend of his to perform it on stage as a surprise for me, and how my husband was so moved to tears that he forgot to press the Record button.

2. “Raining Street”

a. “Mountain at My Gates,” The Foals. This lush, percussive track invokes facing the insurmountable. My story is about a woman bested by grief. She journeys to an underworld to bring back her beloved but the underworld has other ideas. The song had me standing up at my desk like I was pounding out music instead of words: “Gimme my, gimme my, gimme my, gimme my…”

b. “Save Me,” Queen. This is The Song. The Me track. Every story I have every written or will write comes from this place and in this voice. Freddy’s voice. I have sampled the line, “I’m naked and I’m far from home,” in my work and even managed—true story—to work it into my emails when I was pitching agents! What was I thinking? Oh my gosh. The lines “I have no heart, I am cold inside/I have no real intent,” nail how loss makes revenants of us all.

c. “Stay Awake,” London Grammar. With its slow strumming chords and a hushed, urgent beat, it’s perfect. The lyrics, too: “I live and breathe under the moon/And when you cross the bridge/I’ll come find you.” I can assign a London Grammar song to every story in the collection and I had the album, If You Wait, on a loop while doing the edits.

3. “The Box”

a. “Love on the Brain,” Rihanna. Like so much of Rihanna’s material, this song is about the collision between romantic fixation and female virtuosity. In one song, she is Aretha, Amy, Billie and herself—an old soul dressed up in a new dress—and she is also both of my characters, the strong and independent girl in the box and the lonely boy keeping her there.

4.“Ava Rune”

a. “Dry and Dusty,” Fever Ray. I played Karin Dreijer’s 2009 solo album constantly while writing this story of an Icelandic girl left dry and dusty in Podunk, New South Wales.

b. “Flame Trees,” Cold Chisel. “Oh the flame trees will blind the weary driver/and there’s nothing else could set fire to this town.” No voice opens the wound of place like Barnesy’s gravelly tenor, a feeling of small-town blues—with its savage hierarchies, complacencies and lies, of life having passed you by—that is uniquely Australian.

5.“Lion Man”

a. “When the River Runs Dry,” Hunters and Collectors. Because home is where the dark heart is, and in trying to run from the scene of his talking dog’s crime, my character Turner must inevitably return to his own. ’Cos that’s how destiny works, child.

b. “Downbound Train,” Bruce Springsteen. Because New Jersey, where Turner runs from, and how he once “had something going, mister, in this world.” And because in 1984, when the song was written, everything was going to hell. So, this is, in my mind, one of the most prescient, but also one of the saddest songs ever written, and Turner is one of my saddest characters. And that is saying something.

6. “Fairy Tale”

a. “Some things Never Seem to Fucking Work,” Solange. When the runaway Aisha isn’t listening to the Tangled soundtrack, she’s playing Solange. This song especially, because it’s just so reckless and helpless.

b. “Higher Ground,” Red Hot Chili Peppers, because Stevie Wonder’s song (and his own unflinching performance of it) is as critical now as ever. I tried listening to a bunch of war movie soundtracks but Dan, the wheel-chaired veteran who takes Aisha in and keeps waiting for her to kill him, isn’t all that. Before Dan enlisted he was just a regular 90s alt-rock kind of guy on a collision course with fate. He played state soccer when he still had legs, and he had Nirvana and Pearl Jam and the Chili Peppers in his ears when he was Over There, just trying to get to higher ground.

7.“Fixed”

a. “Gloria” Part I: “In Excelsis Deo”; Part II: “Gloria (Version),” Patti Smith. I named my character’s wolf-dog Gloria because Patti Smith makes a cameo in every book I write. This story is adapted from a chapter in American Monster, about a man who goes home to rescue the farm from his addict aunt. While Van Morrison’s song nails desire as the ultimate rebellion, Patti, weaving her own poem, Oath, into the lyrics, teases a Whitman-esque howl from it that is just right: “My sins my own, they belong to me” speaks to total defiance, the secret care, and in the end, a plea for forgiveness from the only one who matters. Gloria.

8. "Rogues Bay 3013"

a. “Spanish Sahara,” The Foals. This story is about a creator having his creation turn the tables on him, because that is how Fury rolls. The Furies, self-generated from the spilled blood of Uranus’ genitals when his son Cronus castrates him, haunt the piece although I did not consciously set out to do that. Philippakis’ sweetly menacing vocals underscore how some things, once created, can never be uncreated—perfect for my tale of dark desire on a collision course with the rage of ages.

b. “Metal Heart,” Cat Power. Esme Black is an astronaut at the top of her game brought low when she rescues a Metal Heart who thinks with his dick. “How selfish of you to believe in the meaning of all the bad dreaming…” Chan Marshal sings. Ouch.

9.“War Wounds”

a. “Godless,” The Dandy Warhols. This is a historical fiction about a boyhood friendship that blooms and withers in a godless place. I tried listening to WWII music but that blocked me. The Dandies’ psychedelic garage sounds got the juices flowing as they often do, and the lines, “Hey I said you’re godless, then, hey and you’re a soulless friend,” are an example of how the best use of the second person in lyrics, at least for me, is when it’s like that scene in Taxi Driver where De Niro pulls a gun on his own reflection and asks the man in the mirror “Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to?”

b. “Per un pugno di dollari (Titoli),” Ennio Morricone. This whole album worked perfectly to keep me in the weird, contested cowboy country of Jack and Dickie’s boyhood.

10. “Collision”

a. “Gett Off,” Prince. I could write something here about how as artists all we want is to get off, to get to the end of our story, and that just like there are 23 positions in a one-night stand (and in this playlist), there are as many ways into process as there are hours in the endless night, and that we ignore the muse’s booty call at our peril. Or I could admit that this story was so hard to write for me that the only thing that got me through was thinking about sex. And that dancing alone in my office was good for my soul. And that Prince kept me going through this story of the collision of worlds that led to the 2016 election, and he keeps me going still.

11. “Glow”

a. “We the People… ” A Tribe Called Quest. Because their pioneering political hip hop pulled no punches, even at the end. Because in 2016, in the lead-up to the election, which is the setting for my story, they warn: “All you black folks you must go/All you Mexicans you must go/And all you poor folks you must go/Muslims and gays, boy, we hate your ways.” That is all.

b. “Love,” Lana Del Rey. Because “Glow” is a story about collision of love with hate, and because this song is much a dirge as a celebration, a call to arms. “It doesn’t matter if I’m not enough for the future or the things to come…Don’t worry baby.” Mmmmm.

12. “Like Ripples on a Blank Shore”

a. “White Wedding,” Billy Idol. At the heart of my Zombie-ish novella is a nightmare wedding that buries the main character alive, just like Billy said it would.

b. “Reckoner,” Radiohead. The title of the story come from this song, which nails for me how being human is a matter of ebbs and flows. As you listen, the track decomposes, like the Hosts in the story, and then recomposes, like the character Clare who was once Clay; and then it be-comes something else, like my bride who was lost and now is found. An infinity of ripples.


J.S. Breukelaar and Collision links:

the author's website

Breach review

Paperback Paris interview with the author


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

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

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
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


Shorties (An Excerpt from Han Kang's New Book, A List of the Best Movie Soundtracks of All Time, and more)

Han Kang

Literary Hub published an excerpt from Han Kang’s The White Book.


Pitchfork listed the best movie soundtracks of all time.


February's best eBook deals.


Stream a new song by Aldous Harding.


Charlie Jane Anders discussed her new novel The City in the Middle of the Night with the Austin Chronicle.


The Takeout examined collaborations between breweries and bands.


Book Riot shared an introduction to the cosmic horror genre.


Stereogum shared memorable covers of songs by Harry Nilsson.


Kate Davies recommended books about coming out at the Guardian.


The Los Angeles Review of Books interviewed author Nick Harkaway.


The OTHERPPL podcast interviewed author Peter Stenson.


Literary Hub shared an excerpt from Snowden Wright's novel, American Pop.


The Rumpus interviewed author Amanda Petrusich.


Literary Hub interviewed author Valeria Luiselli.


The Rumpus shared an excerpt from Nina Revoyr's novel, A Student of History.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create 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)
weekly music release lists


February 18, 2019

Raymond Strom's Playlist for His Novel "Northern Lights"

Northern Lights

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

Previous contributors includea Jesmyn Ward, Lauren Groff, Bret Easton Ellis, Celeste Ng, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Raymond Strom's Northern Lights is a stunning debut, an unforgettable coming of age novel.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote of the book:

"Good news for readers who love coming-of-age stories and don't mind their fiction soaked in drugs: Northern Lights a debut novel by Hibbing, Minn., native Raymond Strom, might be described as a cross between two of the greats in those categories: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, and Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson."


In his own words, here is Raymond Strom's Book Notes music playlist for his debut novel Northern Lights:



In a sense, Northern Lights has been brewing in my mind for more than twenty years, ever since a student-led confederate flag parade rolled through Cambridge, Minnesota in 1997. In the years before and after that, I witnessed first-hand the effects of crystal meth on the Midwest, initially through my own circle of friends, and later through the stories of people with whom I found myself in drug-treatment facilities. These two themes twisted in my head for years as character after character came up against their own weaknesses and limitations—some merely falling into the web of drugs and desire I set, while others were destroyed entirely—until I found a protagonist that could live through the harsh world I was intent on recreating.

Shane Stephenson, the narrator of Northern Lights, has to leave in a hurry when his uncle kicks him out of his childhood home, so quickly that he leaves all of his music behind. Being a seventeen-year-old boy growing up in the rural Midwest in the late 1990s, his cassette collection was influenced much by MTV but also by the few classic rock radio stations that reached his house on clear nights. If you asked him which five songs he felt best describe the summer of 1997, he would play these for you:


“Halah” - Mazzy Star

In the short time Shane has to gather his things, he finds a Christmas card that his estranged mother had sent him years earlier. The return address on the envelope leads him to Holm, Minnesota, where he arrives with the hope of finding his mother so he can forgive her for abandoning him as a child and spend some time with her before he goes off to college in September. He truly wants to forgive her, but he remains conflicted: “Maybe I hold you to blame for all the reasons that you left…”

“Kiss Off” - Violent Femmes

Shane’s long hair and androgynous looks drive the local boys wild when they see him on the street, some of the young men building to a furor when they realize he is not a woman. On his first day in town Shane has to deal with shouted comments and even a violent attack over his appearance: “You can all just kiss off into the air, Behind my back I can see them stare, They’ll hurt me bad but I won’t mind, They’ll hurt me bad they do it all the time…”

“Corduroy” - Pearl Jam

Though distracted by the small group of allies he collects in Holm, and the first true sense of belonging he’s ever had, Shane does eventually get a lead on his mother and finds his way to her house: “The waiting drove me mad, You’re finally here and I’m a mess…” Shane would say that this is a classic song of reunion gone awry.

“Castles Made of Sand” -The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Can’t say, at any point, that Shane’s plans turn out well: his drug use drops him into a world of delusion, his friends J and Mary leave town without a word to him about it, his reunion with his mother creates as many problems as it solves: “And so castles made of sand fall in the sea, eventually…”

“Change” - Blind Melon

Back in Holm after the reunion with his mother, Shane finds that his absence has allowed the unthinkable to happen and he must overcome his own despair in order to find the truth: “When your deepest thoughts are broken, keep on dreaming boy, ‘cause when you stop dreamin’ it’s time to die…”


I often listen to music while I write, so I wanted to add two of my favorite songs from the current century to Shane’s list as well. These are songs I think Shane too would like and listen to in the present day—they would certainly give him flashbacks of his past:

“Ocean Breathes Salty” - Modest Mouse

By the end of Northern Lights, many of Shane’s friends have disappeared, never to be seen again, and similarly, I’ve lost touch with friends from my youth only to find, years later when seeking them out, an online mugshot or a funeral notice: “And maybe we'll get lucky and we'll both grow old. Well I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. I hope so…”

“Maurice & Michael (Sorry I Didn’t Say Hello)” - Ambrose Akinmusire

At one live performance I saw, Akinmusire introduced this piece with a story about seeing a childhood friend on the street in Oakland. It had been years since they had last met but he could see that his friend was so obviously high that, instead of saying hello and entering that world again himself, he slipped away, picked up his trumpet, and composed this song.


Raymond Strom and Northern Lights links:

author's website

Booklist review
Kirkus review
Publishers Weekly review


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

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

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
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


Shorties (Charles Portis's Novel The Dog of the South at 40, Tracey Thorn on Her New Memoir, and more)

The Dog of the South

The Ringer reconsidered Charles Portis's novel, The Dog of the South, first published 40 years ago.


Tracey Thorn discussed her new memoir, Another Planet: A Teenager in Suburbia, with the Los Angeles Times.


February's best eBook deals.

eBooks on sale for $2.99 today:

The Hospital by Ahmed Bouanani
President Carter: The White House Years by


Sunflower Bean visited The Current studio for an interview and live performance.


The Los Angeles Review of Books interviewed author Gabino Iglesias.


The Ringer reconsidered Pavement's Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain album on its 25th anniversary.


BuzzFeed shared an excerpt from Sophie Mackintosh's novel The Water Cure.


Stream a new song by Mal Blum.


John Boyne recommended books about LGBT life at the Guardian.


Stream a new song by Visible Cloaks.


Sjon discussed his favorite books at Vulture.


Stream a new song by KERA.


The Bold Italic recommended books that take place in San Francisco.


Stream a new Cold Cave song.


Ha Jin talked to the Think Again podcast about his new book, The Banished Immortal: A Life of Li Bai.


Stream a new song by A. A. Bondy.


The Los Angeles Review of Books interviewed author Nick Harkaway.


Stream a new Car Seat Headrest song.


Marlon James discussed his novel, Black Leopard, Red Wolf, with the Guardian.


Stereogum reconsidered XTC's Apple Venus Volume 1 album on its 20th anniversary.


The Guardian interviewed author Nico Walker.


Hand Habits (Meg Duffy) shared three cover songs at Aquarium Drunkard.


The New York Times shared a list of books by 2020 U.S. presidential candidates.


Granta features new short fiction by Olga Tokarczuk.


Victor LaValle recommended books at The Week.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create 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)
weekly music release lists


February 16, 2019

Atomic Books Comics Preview - February 16, 2019

In the weekly Atomic Books Comics Preview, Benn Ray highlights notable new comics, graphic novels, and books.

Benn Ray is the owner of Atomic Books, an independent bookstore in Baltimore. He also runs the Mutant Funnies Tumblr.

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.


Cinema Sewer #32

Cinema Sewer #32
by Robin Bougie

As Cinema Sewer hits its 32nd issue, I couldn't help but feel amazed that Robin Bougie has not only managed to keep Cinema Sewer going in a cultural environment mistakenly predisposed to not appreciate it, but he still manages to turn out a zine that, upon opening it, compels me to read it from cover to cover. And it's with distress that the first words I read is Bougie sounding the alarm that this issue marks his zine's lowest print run in 18 years. And after reading the very next story on Dorothy Stratten, a heart-wrenching Hollywood tale that I had all but forgotten about, it just serves to underline what a tragedy it would be for fans of sleazy cinema to lose this gem of a publication. Robin's Cinema Sewer presents us with stories of actors, actresses and movies that most other "serious" film publications consider too trashy or too lowbrow to consider - but that doesn't make the stories any less important or any less compelling. This issue features articles on actress Moana Pozzi, the movie Rattlers, "Sultry Celebrity Gossip", Billy Wilder's Kiss Me Stupid, Argentinian cult actress Isabel Sarli, journalist R. Allen Leider, and a lot more. Get turned on - check out Cinema Sewer. Oh yeah, this is an "adults only" publication.


Jungle Girls

Jungle Girls
edited by Mitch Maglio / Craig Yoe

This collection of Pre-Code "Jungle Girl" comics is, by no means, easy. First, there is the obvious postcolonial problem of narratives focusing on white people ruling in the jungle (y'know, like Tarzan). Then, of course, there's the fact that these comics, created in the 1940s-1950s, were of a time when there was little regard to racial sensitivity (I'm putting it mildly here). Then, there's the sexism and objectification inherent in characters like Sheena Queen Of The Jungle (sure they could provide empowering heroic women for girls to idolize, but the reality of these publications is that scantily clad, anatomically impossible characters were being used to help sex to sell issues). But, at the same time, Sheena was the first female character to get her own comic book title and her own TV show. So do we ignore them, banishing them to the dustbin of history? Jungle Girls says, "No. That would be a mistake." And the book, while providing a good number of examples of jungle girls comics and covers, also provides about 24 pages of introduction in the form of five different essays - each adding context, history and significance to why such a collection is necessary.


Eugene V. Debs: A Graphic Biography

Eugene V. Debs: A Graphic Biography
by Paul Buhle / Steve Max / Noah Van Sciver

Buhle and Van Sciver follow up their lush and gorgeous biography of American radical Johnny Appleseed with a timely biography of Eugene V. Debs. Unlike Appleseed, who most Americans have heard of (albeit a most likely fictionalized folktale version), Debs is an important American historical figure that is intentionally excluded from our school history books. This makes Eugene V. Debs such a necessary book. Debs was a labor leader, a socialist, a war protester, and a former presidential candidate. Debs was part of a growing rise in popularity of socialism in America about 100 years ago. Given the current rise, again, of the popularity of socialism in America, Buhle's story of Eugene V. Debs adds some much needed historical context and Van Sciver's fantastic linework makes it too appealing to not read, regardless of your political persuasion.


Mister Miracle

Mister Miracle
by Tom King / Mitch Gerads

Mister Miracle is easily the best superhero comic of the year. This is one of those superhero books geared for a serious, adult audience. One of the things about DC Comics is that is has so many great 2nd and 3rd string characters that are just sitting there, waiting for a great character-defining story (Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, Doctor Fate, The Spectre, etc.) - something ambitious, something grown up, something big, something important, something next level, something like what King and Gerads deliver here with Mister Miracle. This Jack Kirby-created Fourth World character is a famous escape artist struggling on Earth until he comes up with his greatest trick of all - escaping death. Meanwhile, he's also caught up in a war between New Genesis and Apokolips, his two homeworlds. And to top it all off, his adoptive father Darkseid may have just gotten his hands on the universe-ending Anti-Life Equation. King's writing is miraculous (geddit?) - adding humanity and personality to characters long in need of fleshing out, and Gerads art matches King's excellent story with an abundance of exquisite 9-panel grids occasionally interrupted - for solid narrative reasons - by variations. Mister Miracle will go into the pantheon of DC's great superhero graphic novels.


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:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

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)


February 15, 2019

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week - February 15, 2019

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.


Lost Children Archive

Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli

Following the publication of her slim account of travelling along the US/Mexican border with her family in 2014, Tell Me How it Ends, comes this fictionalized account of the journey. It’s a road trip with the family compiling traces, fragments, and news clippings of children gone missing crossing the border. We are so excited for this book that we will host the upcoming New Reads Book Club on this book March 27 2019.


The Problem of Susan & Other Stories

The Problem of Susan & Other Stories by Neil Gaiman

These four short comics each develop fantastic worlds, revisiting fairy tales, children’s literature, and legends. The illustrations, with a different style for each story, add detail and mystery to Gaiman’s writing. There is a darkness to this book, at first hidden but ultimately enhanced by the bold, expansive graphics.


My Solo Exchange Diary 2

My Solo Exchange Diary 2 by Kabi Nagata

Nagata is back with more diaries to share! This book, a sequel to My Lesbian Experience With Loneliness and My Solo Exchange Diary continues to be full of honest and intimate confessions. Nagata takes readers through the complexities of fame and family, continued isolation, compulsive drinking, and hospitalization. What comes through most in this book, however, is an appreciation of the strength of familial love.


The Source of Self-Regard

The Source of Self-Regard by Toni Morrison

A collection of essays and speeches that spans forty years, the pieces in this collection feel timely and urgent. Arranged into three sections: “The Foreigner’s Home,” “Black Matter(s),” and “God’s Language,” the book is composed of an impressive variety of pieces addressing political, social, and literary matters. This book will delight long-time Morrison fans, as well as those looking for an introduction to her thinking and writing.


The I Wonder Bookstore

The I Wonder Bookstore by Shinsuke Yoshitake

A sweet, fantastical, and clever book of short comics about an imagined meta bookstore that only sells books about books. If you think of it, they’ve got it. Included are: the manual How to Grow a Tree that Writes Books, a training guide Boot Camp for Bookstore Employees, an anthology of Unique Book Festivals, an account of the Village of Raining Books, and a look into The Underwater Library. For the book obsessed, like us.


Librairie Drawn & Quarterly links:

Librairie Drawn & Quarterly's website
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly's blog
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Facebook page
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Tumblr
Librairie Drawn & Quarterly on Twitter


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support the Largehearted Boy website

other Librairie Drawn & Quarterly Books of the Week

Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly new comics and graphic novel 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)


This Week's Interesting Music Releases - February 15, 2019

Hayes Carll

Hayes Carll's What It Is and Ladytron's self-titled release are the two new albums I can recommend this week.

Reissues include remastered editions of five David Bowie releases (Glass Spider, Let's Dance, Never Let Me Down, Serious Moonlight, Tonight).

Two Japanese compilations are especially intriguing: Even A Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973 and Kankyō Ongaku Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990.


This week's interesting music releases:


Avantasia: Moonglow
Avril Lavigne: Head Above Water
​Chaka Khan: Hello Happiness
Czarface & Ghostface Killah: Czarface Meets Ghostface
David Bowie: Glass Spider (remastered)
David Bowie: Let's Dance (remastered)
David Bowie: Never Let Me Down (remastered)
David Bowie: Serious Moonlight (remastered)
David Bowie: Tonight (remastered)
Florida Georgia Line: Can’t Say I Ain’t Country
Frank Zappa: Goblins, Witches & Kings
Hauschka: A Different Forest
Hayes Carll: What It Is
Hot Water Music: Caution (reissue) [vinyl]
Hot Water Music: A Flight and a Crash (reissue) [vinyl]
India.Arie: Worthy
Jon Fratelli: Bright Night Flowers
Ladytron: Ladytron
Megadeth: The System Has Failed (remastered)
Megadeth: The World Needs a Hero (remastered)
Methyl Ethel: Triage
Millencolin: SOS
Pinegrove: Skylight [vinyl]
Piroshka: Brickbat
Ryan Bingham: American Love Song
Social Distortion: Social Distortion (reissue) [vinyl]
Super Furry Animals: Rings Around the World (reissue) [vinyl]
SWMRS: Berkeley's On Fire
Tedeschi Trucks Band: Signs
Tom Petty: Dockside
The Long Ryders: Psychedelic Country Soul
Various Artists: Even A Tree Can Shed Tears: Japanese Folk & Rock 1969-1973 [vinyl]
Various Artists: Kankyō Ongaku Kankyō Ongaku: Japanese Ambient, Environmental & New Age Music 1980-1990
Various Artists: The Orville Soundtrack - Season 1
Yann Tiersen: ALL


also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

weekly music release lists

Book Notes (authors create music 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 book and music news and links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)


Shorties (Janet Malcolm on Books and Reading, Stream the New Julia Jacklin Album, and more)

Janet Malcolm

Janet Malcolm talked books and reading with the New York Times.


NPR Music is streaming Julia Jacklin's new album Crushing.


February's best eBook deals.


The Current interviewed Peter Hook about his time in Joy Division, New Order, and The Light.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn interviewed author Brian Alan Ellis.


Faber launched a series of political pamphlets by musicians with a book by Billy Bragg.


Shondaland shared an excerpt from Toni Morrison's new book, The Source of Self-Regard.


Stream a new Tacocat song.


Vanity Fair listed winter's best books from around the world.


Paste listed the best albums of 1979.


Men's Health listed the greatest sports books of all time.


Stream a new song by Versing.


Sharma Shields talked to Paste about her new novel The Cassandra.


Stream a new Jenny Lewis song.


Georgia Public Broadcasting interviewed author Tayari Jones.


Stream a new Wye Oak song.


Bookworm interviewed French author Amanda Sthers.


Stream a new song by Son Volt.


Valeria Luiselli discussed hew new novel Lost Children Archive with Vulture, The Rumpus, and Guernica.


Stream a new My Brightest Diamond song.


Yiyun Li discussed her new novel, Where Reasons End, with Literary Hub.


Revolver profiled the band Jawbox.


Maryse Meijer discussed her new short fiction collection Rag with the Chicago Review of Books.


Stream a new song by Leggy.


The Creative Independent interviewed author Esmé Weijun Wang.


Stream a new Hand Habits song.


Rolling Stone interviewed Dave Cullen about his new book, Parkland.


Stream a new song by Over the Rhine.


Book Riot recommended books for bibliophiles.


Stream a new Holy Ghost! song.


Steph Post recommended books that define the carnival genre at Literary Hub.


Stream a new Matmos song.


The Believer shared a conversation between authors Sabrina Orah Mark and Elizabeth McCracken.


Stream a new Sir Babygirl song.


Poets and Writers profiled author Marlon James.


Stream a new song by Broken Social Scene song.



also at Largehearted Boy:

Support Largehearted Boy

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

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics and graphic novels)
Book Notes (authors create 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)
weekly music release lists


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