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June 30, 2015

Book Notes - Bill Hillmann "Mozos"

Mozos: A Decade Running with the Bulls of Spain

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

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

Bill Hillman's Mozos: A Decade Running with the Bulls of Spain masterfully chronicles the years of his life spent running with the bulls at Pamplona.

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Bill Hillmann's Book Notes music playlist for his memoir Mozos: A Decade Running with the Bulls of Spain:


"San Fermin Pedimos"
This is the prayer Mozos (bull-runners) sing before the beginning of the encierro (bull-run). It is a prayer to San Fermin, the patron saint of Fiesta in Pamplona. Runners gather at the beginning of the course and sing the song while waving their newspapers. The lyrics ask San Fermin to protect them. I don't regularly walk down for the prayer; maybe I should start—it could have kept a bull from goring me on July 9, 2014.

"Come a Little Closer" Cage The Elephant
After the infamous goring I stayed in Pamplona for about a month, living in iconic American bull runner Joe Distler's apartment. The place is like an encierro museum. I wrote every day for hours while listening to Cage The Elephant on repeat. Come a little closer really struck a chord with me. It seemed like it was written from the bull's perspective, talking to me.

Brevito (the bull who gored me) knew he would see me on the street that morning. It was our destiny to meet that way. I knew it too but still I thought I could change it. "Want to see if you can change it. Still I know I'll see you there." I've seen many things on the streets of Pamplona, The bulls have visited me in my dreams.

"Do you understand the things that you've been seeing? Do you understand the things that you've been dreaming? Come a little closer then you'll see." I got a little closer to Brevito and he showed me everything.

"El Rey" Jose Alfredo
My wife Enid's favorite Mexican folk singer is Jose Alfredo. His masterpiece is "El Rey." The song is so popular—it is a major hit to this day in Pamplona; it's one of the songs they always play at the closing ceremony. The song also is dear to me because I've spent much of my life poor but I've always done what I wanted and lived the life I chose and so, "With or without money. I'll always do what I want. And my words are the law. I don't have neither a throne nor a queen. Nor anyone who understands me. But I'm still the king."

"Take It to the Limit" The Eagles
One of my great maestros was the late Bomber. This man was the greatest traveler I've ever met. He summited Everest and also did some work for the CIA. Bomber was like a bull-run sorcerer. He was an incredible bull runner for decades and the way he talked about bull running gave me shivers and inspired the hell out of me. Bomber will always be close to my heart when I'm in Pamplona, and when I take it to the limit on the street, it's for him.

"Sunny" Boney M
Much of this memoir is the story of my wife's and my love. This song, "Sunny," really sums up what she has done for my life. "Sunny, thank you for the truth you let me see." There's plenty of great lines in it. But my wife is definitely my Sunny.

"Try Me" Dej Loaf
A lot of strange things happened after my goring. People I didn't know chimed in by the thousands from around the world to say they wished I'd died and various other nasty things. A lot of people who I thought were my friends took the opportunity to back stab me. So this song goes out to all of those people who kicked me while I was down. If you see me around, you better not come anywhere near me and sure as hell better not try me, because, "Let a nigga try me, try me, I'm a kill his whole mafuckin family, and I ain't play'n with nobody, fuck around and I'ma catch a body."

"Bad Blood" Bastille
After I vent, imagining punching several people as hard as I possibly can in the face, I start to look at things like the Buddhist that I am. I realize that any negativity I inflict will be returned onto me a thousand fold and so I decide to just let it go. "All this bad blood here won't you let it dry. It's been cold for years won't you let it lie."

"Pobre de Mi" and "Ya Falta Menos" songs
Fiesta de San Fermin's closing ceremony happens at Pamplona's Town Hall. Thousands gather just before midnight with lit candles to sing "Pobre de Mi--poor me, poor me, San Fermin is over." It's an incredibly sad time for me but then the song turns and twists into the "Ya Falta Menos," a peppy song which is a countdown to next year's festival. "Ya Falta Menos" means "Fiesta is almost here!" Ya Falta Menos is a mantra that keeps me going throughout the year as I struggle with bipolar disorder. And as I write this, I can't help but smile and think, Ya Falta Menos!


Bill Hillmann and Mozos: A Decade Running with the Bulls of Spain links:

excerpt from the book

Publishers Weekly review

Chicago Reader interview with the author
Chicago Tonight interview with the author
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for The Old Neighborhood
The Nervous Breakdown self-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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June 30, 2015

This Week's Interesting Music Releases - June 30, 2015

Neil Young

New music I can recommend this week includes Neil Young's The Monsanto Years and The Velvet Teen's All Is Illusory.

The Civil Wars' Joy Williams' Venus and Matt Pond PA's The State Of Gold are also in stores today.

Reissues include vinyl editions of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' The Boatman's Call and No More Shall We Part.

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:

Alden Penner: Canada in Space EP
Amara Toure: 1973-1980
Failure: The Heart Is A Monster
Fraser A. Gorman: Slow Gum
Future Islands: The Chase [vinyl]
Good Old War: Broken Into Better Shape
The Hussy: Galore
Jaill: Brain Cream
Joy Williams: Venus
LA PRIEST: Inji
Matt Pond PA: The State Of Gold
Miguel: Wildheart
Neil Young: The Monsanto Years
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: The Boatman's Call (reissue) [vinyl]
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: No More Shall We Part (reissue) [vinyl]
Of Monsters and Men: Beneath the Skin [vinyl]
Pete Townshend: Truancy: The Very Best Of Pete Townshend
Refused: Freedom
Various Artists: Bottom Line Archive Series: In Their Own Words: Volume 1
Various Artists: Bottom Line Archive Series: In Their Own Words: Volume 2
Various Artists: Ex Machina (soundtrack)
The Velvet Teen: All Is Illusory
Vince Staples: Summertime '06


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 (Recommended Songs for Book Lovers, The Best Songs of 2015 So Far, and more)

Paste recommended songs for book lovers.


NPR Music listed its favorite songs of 2015 so far.


AbeBooks listed essential science fiction books.


Heavy Blog Is Heavy listed the top albums of 2015 so far.


Vol. 1 Brooklyn interviewed authors Wendy C. Ortiz and Sean H. Doyle.


AC/DC's music is now available on most streaming services.


The Guardian profiled poet Claudia Rankine.


Heartless Bastards visited The Current studio for an interview and live performance.


Lit Hub shared the introduction to Haruki Murakami's Wind/Pinball: Two Novels.


The New York Times is streaming the new Sea of Bees album Build A Boat To The Sun.


BlogHer recommended graphic novels for your summer reading list.


Stream a new Mynabirds song.


Fresh Air interviewed Mat Johnson about his new novel Loving Day.


Stream a new Frog Eyes song.


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 (Mission of Burma, Jackie Greene, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Jackie Greene: Live at Infinity Hall EP [mp3]

Kissing Party: "Justine" [mp3] from Looking Back It Was Romantic But At The Time I Was Suffocating
Kissing Party: "New Glue" [mp3] from Looking Back It Was Romantic But At The Time I Was Suffocating

Neon Lights: The Blue Rider EP [mp3]

Reverieme: "Plankton" [mp3] from Or Else The Light EP

Secret Hair: Western Ceiling (demo) album [mp3]

Sentinel: "Counting Stars" [mp3] from Points of Light

Various Artists: Beautiful Songwriting Vol. 4 album [mp3]

Various Artists: Dine Alone Records Summer Sampler 2015 album [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Mission of Burma: 2015-06-26, Brooklyn [mp3]


search for more free and legal music downloads at Largehearted Boy


also at Largehearted Boy:

other Daily Downloads

covers collections
100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads

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


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

June 29, 2015

Book Notes - Wendy C. Ortiz "Hollywood Notebook"

Hollywood Notebook

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

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

Wendy C. Ortiz's Hollywood Notebook is a brilliant memoir composed of striking prose poems.

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Wendy C. Ortiz's Book Notes music playlist for his novel Hollywood Notebook:


During the initial writing of Hollywood Notebook I was influenced by the music I heard in friends’ and lovers’ cars, apartments, dj booths. This mix reflects some of those influences, sounds I integrated and made mine. This is one interior soundtrack to that time period.

"Junk Barge" – Sally Timms
This song was a refrain many days during the writing of Hollywood Notebook and after. And I don't know where I'm going to is still a constant refrain, in just this melody.

"How to Disappear Completely" – Radiohead
A friend introduced me to Kid A while on a drive to Ventura and back, when he let the CD loop and loop. It lodged in me. In my apartment, it had a completely different meaning than on a coastal highway. This song in particular was the one I related to most. Wanting to sing this to the character "Sh." but singing it to myself on hikes, sweat and tears. Wanting to erase an entire relationship because of the pain. I had never experienced that desire before, or since.

"Tightly" – Neko Case
S. introduced me to Neko Case. The first time I saw her, in a small venue in Hollywood, I couldn't stop the tears from rolling. Uncontrollable. Her voice unlatched something in me that reminded me of the music my grandmother listened to on AM radio when I was a child. The word covet repeated through the song felt prescient, deeply honest. Still does.

"Rowboat" – Johnny Cash
A friend I traded mix tapes with for years put this on a tape, since lost, that I still want to reconstruct. Though I first heard this song when I lived in Olympia, it followed me to Los Angeles. So many days and nights spent with a joint and a beer, a boyfriend with a country bent, these words an undercurrent in my life. This song is a poem I've memorized.

"Enjoy" – Bjork
My apartment, with its tiny built-in vanity, my sequins bustier showcased on the surface, a single drawer full of my collection of porn, vibrators, wrist restraints, matches, weed if I had it, a pack of cigarettes. I wanted to move through my life with this beat underneath. The lyrics seared me with the truths I felt I was living.

"Cars" – Gary Numan
Killradio, the internet station where my boyfriend DJ'd. Hearing this, one of my favorite new wave songs since I was a kid, reverberating in the dank dark little space with its window facing the street full of traffic at all hours, a cold beer in my hand, was heaven. (The song still has some power over me.)

"Physical (You're So)" – Adam Ant
I'd never heard this Adam Ant song until Sh. shared it with me. Then I probably over-listened to it. And still do. Anyone I've ever shared it with hates it. Makes it even more sexy to me.

"Warm Leatherette" – The Normal
One of the reasons I love Jumbo's Clown Room so much is because the women who work there choose songs like this to dance to. I admire anyone who even attempts to dance to this. I admired one dancer who did more than justice to this.

"You Got Lucky" – Tom Petty
Frank n' Hank. Sunlight streaming in from the doorway. Belly up to the bar. Feeding singles into the jukebox. One afternoon, he maybe had surpassed me one or two drinks and played this. When he returned to his stool next to mine and the song started I probably frowned at his selection. He didn't slur when he sang it to me. His voice was always too loud. He emoted when he sang anything. I always think of him when I hear this and remember that someone felt this way about me, wanted me to know it. And I still wince.

"Hurt" – Nine Inch Nails
I saw Nine Inch Nails play this live and sang along with thousands of others on a field in the best kind of choir I can imagine. When I think of the hole I was in for a spell, the suicidal ideation making me spin out on that fourth floor, unknown to anyone but me, I remember this song as one of my lullabies.


Wendy C. Ortiz and Hollywood Notebook links:

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

Bustle review
Entropy review
The Rumpus review
Yay! LA review

Bustle interview with the author
Electric Literature interview with the author
Forth interview with the author
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Excavation
Lunch Ticket 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)


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Book Notes - Jonathan Papernick "The Book of Stone"

The Book of Stone

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

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

Jonathan Papernick's novel The Book of Stone is a smart and engrossing literary thriller.

Library Journal wrote of the book:

"This intelligent and timely thriller is told through a Jewish prism, but ­Papernick's persuasive insights into the nature of fanaticism and its destructive consequences could be applied to any ideology."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In his own words, here is Jonathan Papernick's Book Notes music playlist for his novel The Book of Stone:


My new novel The Book of Stone deeply explores loss and faith and belonging after twenty-five-year-old Matthew Stone's father, a legendary Zionist and controversial judge dies. This is a dark novel about redemption, the heavy burden of the past and the lure of terrorism as an equalizer. The novel is set in pre-9/11 Brooklyn and my grieving, troubled narrator is desperately in search of some sort of direction to make his life meaningful. I often listen to music before writing, and sometimes while I write, though this novel took me so long I really can't remember any of the influential music I listened to. I tried to piece together a playlist as if my novel, which is quite cinematic, were to be made into a film. These sixteen songs I believe encapsulate some of the moods and tones of this complex and disturbing novel.

"Let Me On Out," by The Raveonettes
The novel opens with Matthew Stone the narrator, on the roof of his Brooklyn apartment house considering jumping to his death. His father has just died and Matthew is full of regret because he was always a disappointment to his father. From Matthew's vantage point in Fort Greene much of Brooklyn and the entire Manhattan skyline is visible as he ponders his life and whether to continue on. This song is a slow, melancholy wall of distortion which echoes Matthew's confusion. It is a moody song that perfectly captures Matthew's tortured psyche.

"It's Catching Up," by Nomeansno
In an early chapter of the novel, Matthew Stone is approached by an FBI agent at a Brooklyn bar asking questions about his father, a controversial judge who just died. Matthew has been estranged from his father his entire life and feels terrible guilt that he was somehow responsible for his father's undoing. He is well aware that answering any of the FBI agent's questions would be tantamount to betraying his father once again, so he runs out of the bar believing he is being pursued. What I like about this song is not just the literal aspect of the FBI agent catching up, but also about Matthew's father's past catching up with Matthew. The song is aggressive and full of jazzy hard-core chaos which reflects his confusion as he jumps drunk into his father's car to flee the FBI agent. He is so disturbed and disoriented that he believes he sees his father's disapproving face in the rearview mirror of the car. I love the lyric "give me asylum, let me in," which works really nicely as he ultimately ends up passing out in front of his father's now empty apartment.

"Phosphene Dream," by The Black Angels
This is the perfect trippy mind-fuck of a song that comes as close as I can imagine to capturing Matthew, pinned to his mattress, out of his mind on his dead father's leftover morphine. In his mind he slides back into the past, a time before his mother ran out on the family, and now she has returned, but Matthew cannot distinguish the past from the present and the ominous voice of the Black Angels' singer chanting monotonously "Oh the phosphene dream, the phosphene dream," is nightmarish in its insistence against the backdrop of disembodied screams and juddering guitars. I recently had a well-known book reviewer and critic ask me if I still take drugs, and I see that as a huge compliment despite the fact that he should know better than to ask that of a fiction writer. I have never taken serious drugs and I probably could not have written this scene without this song which, when listened to in headphones in the dark really is quite terrifying and disorienting.

"In My Room," by The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys voices are almost angelic in this song as Matthew shuts out the harshness of Brooklyn outside his window for three days straight as he immerses himself in his father's books. This is the first time since the death of his father that he feels he can understand his father, this powerful, influential man who he disappointed. He feels he can see a path forward to redeem his father and himself. A certain clarity comes during these marathon reading sessions and the accompaniment of this song suggests something resembling peace of mind.

"Im Telech (If You Go,)" by The Idan Raichal Project
I like this song because of its tenderness and fragility and the fact that it is sung in Hebrew. This is the first time the reader learns that Matthew had an Arab girlfriend while living in Jerusalem and that his father disapproved of her and tells him he has no choice but to leave her. Matthew loves her deeply and resists, but the reader can see his will breaking down. I like the idea of his girlfriend Fairuza, an Arab, but not a Muslim, but rather a Christian, singing to Matthew about what will happen if he goes.

"Big Shot," by Dr. John
Matthew believes he finally has the opportunity to begin to redeem himself in his father's eyes because he holds important information that his father must be his former best friend holds. This song is sassy and upbeat, and though is out of step with Matthew's mood, it does hint at a certain possibility for lightness, to unburden himself and if not dance, at least start to move in the right direction towards normalizing his messed up life. Doctor John's voice is perfectly filthy and untrustworthy and I think that matches nicely with the deceitful Rabbi Seligman.

"Kol Nidre," by Neil Diamond
I wanted to include a song that encapsulates the awesomeness of the Jewish High Holidays and I find Kol Nidre to be really haunting and beautiful and terrifying. I find absolutely nothing terrifying about Neil Diamond except perhaps his wardrobe.

"The Only One," by The Black Keys
Matthew is smitten. Dan Auerbach's falsetto smites me. Every. Time.

"Hava Nagila," by Dick Dale
Jewy but totally rad. Dick Dale can get a corpse's heart pounding with adrenaline. If this was a movie, this would be the obligatory montage scene.

"Stay Don't Go," by Spoon
This song is sex. Or at least desire. That kind of desire that never ends well. We've all been there. It's a helpless feeling but we press on because we are so full of wants.

"I Wanna Destroy You," by The Soft Boys
Jealous much?

"Song of the Palmach"
A rousing Zionist march that never fails to make me stand up straight.

"There's a War Going on," The Brian Jonestown Massacre
This song so obviously cribs from "House of the Rising" by the Animals but is full of feedback and fuzz and chaos and confusion and it does a wonderful job at illustrating how Matthew's confused mind might look as he needs a group of Jewish extremists bent on setting up a terrorist attack against Arab dignitaries in Brooklyn. The song is heavy and intense and threatens to blow out the speakers – it sounds like it was recorded at 11. It is hard to think clearly while listening to this song, but you feel the heaviness of the song rattling your bones. It is stirring at the same time I can imagine Matthew's heartbeat speeding up as he understands it is his obligation to join this group and help carry through what he believes to be his father's final wishes.

"It Is Not Meant to Be," by Tame Impala
It's no fun to be on the outside looking in. This song still offers hope with its up tempo beat and Matthew Stone is determined to do whatever is necessary to join the group of radicals bent on destruction.

"Reach for the Sky," (live and acoustic) by Social Distortion
My heart is bursting just hearing Mike Ness's voice. I love this song so much; it is sentimental, and aspirational and sad and says everything about Matthew Stone's failed attempts to make good. And, "tomorrow may never come."

"Get Out Get Out Get Out," Jason Molina
The ultimate song of regret. "I live low enough so the moon won't waste its light on me," says it all. Jason Molina's voice is haunting, chilling and it is clear now that Matthew has lost every chance to get out of the mess in which he finds himself immersed. Molina's voice is so full of pain, his voice breaking as we understand that life as we know it is over.


Jonathan Papernick and The Book of Stone links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry

Jweekly review
Shelf Awareness review
The Times of Israel review

About.com interview with the author
CarolineLeavittville interview with the author
Dead Dearlings 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)


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

Shorties (The Original Alice in Wonderland Manuscript, Soccer's Influence on the Clash's London Calling Album, and more)

The New York Times shared pages from the original manuscript of Alice in Wonderland.


EightByEight examined how soccer influenced the Clash's London Calling album.


The Rumpus interviewed author Christine Sneed.


NPR Music is streaming the new Matt Pond PA album The State of Gold.


The Rumpus interviewed author Austin Bunn.


NPR Music is streaming Neil Young's new album The Monsanto Years.


Quartz recommended Latin American authors to read this summer.


NPR Music is streaming Joy Williams (of the Civil Wars) solo album Venus.


The Globe and Mail and Omnivoracious interviewed Jami Attenberg about her new novel Saint Maizie.


The Smart Set explored unlikely places the Confederate flag pops up in popular music.


The Los Angeles Times listed classic works of gay literature.


NPR Music and The A.V. Club listed the top albums of 2015 so far.


Author Karen Joy Fowler listed her favorite books about "almost magical" women at The Week.


Flavorwire listed the best movie theme songs.


The Rumpus interviewed Sarah Hepola about her memoir Blackout.


Paste listed the 10 most disappointing follow-up albums.


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 (Jenn Grant, Woods, and more)

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


Today's free and legal mp3 downloads:

Guthrie: "Calgary" [mp3]

Jenn Grant: Free EP for Good People EP [mp3]

Jillian Kay: Dead Flowers album [mp3]

Leena Culhane: The Reckoning EP [mp3]

Lesser Strays: <em>Funeral Tropicana album [mp3]

The Silent War: "Same As You" [mp3]

Various Artists: Escape To The Lake 22-Track Sampler (2015) album [mp3]

Various Artists: German Gothic Isn't Dead compilation album [mp3]

Various Artists: Revolution - The Shoegaze Revival album [mp3]


Free and legal live performances at other websites:

Woods: 2015-06-15, Brooklyn [mp3]


search for more free and legal music downloads at Largehearted Boy


also at Largehearted Boy:

other Daily Downloads

covers collections
100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads

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


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

June 28, 2015

Largehearted Boy Weekly Wrap-Up - June 28, 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)

Ben Tanzer for his short fiction collection The New York Stories
Christian McEwen for her book Sparks from the Anvil: The Smith College Poetry Interviews
Ethan Nichtern for his book The Road Home
Jonathan Galassi for his novel Muse
Laura Dave for her novel Eight Hundred Grapes


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
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June 26, 2015

Book Notes - Laura Dave "Eight Hundred Grapes"

Eight Hundred Grapes

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

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

Laura Dave's Eight Hundred Grapes is a compelling novel of relationships, family, and love.

Booklist wrote of the book:

"A charming summer read with depth."

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In her own words, here is Laura Dave's Book Notes music playlist for her novel Eight Hundred Grapes:


My new novel Eight Hundred Grapes focuses on love, marriage, family, wine, and the treacherous terrain in which they all intersect. Georgia Ford is having a pretty terrible week. Eight days before her wedding, she discovers her fiancé has a child he never told her about. Seeking perspective, she heads home to her family's vineyard in Sonoma County only to discover that her romantic woes are the least of her problems. Her siblings are at war, her parents are separated, and her father is selling the beloved family vineyard to a massive winemaking corporation. As the Ford family sucks her into their struggles, Georgia wrestles with longheld beliefs about what matters most to her, what she's willing to let go, and what she never really did.

I always listen to music while I write. Several of these songs I listened to while working on Eight Hundred Grapes. All of them, in surprising and eloquent ways, speak to feelings of longing and love, of forgiveness, and of finding a place you belong.

"When I Drink" – The Avett Brothers

My love affair with the Avett Brothers is long and true. This song from The Gleam belongs on a jukebox at a tavern at closing time. Eight Hundred Grapes opens at The Brothers' Tavern at closing time, so this feels like an ideal open for this playlist. It's groovy and slow-moving and it takes you a place where you're singing along before you even know the words.

"Start A War" – The National


Georgia arrives home to Sebastopol, the way many of us arrive home, seeking comfort. Instead, she finds mayhem: Parents splitting, family home being sold off for the parts. Georgia dives in, trying to fix her family's problems. This goes about as well as you would expect when anyone tries to force their family to face dirty truths they'd rather run from. The National provides the lyrics to match.

"Better Days" – Bruce Springsteen


There is something about going home again that reminds us how we often feel like we don't have a home anymore. Georgia bumps up against this truth early and hard, lying on the twin bed in her bedroom, staring at the teenage posters on her ceiling. If it had been my ceiling, Bruce Springsteen would have been front and center. I still adore "Better Days," an uncharacteristically hopeful number about finding the person (and place) who takes you somewhere pure.

"Girl From North County" – Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan

Something I love about spending time in Sonoma County is that it feels a little country: there are winding hills, apple orchards, vineyards as long as far as you can see. The Cash and Dylan version of this song is a perfect accompaniment to those back roads. It's happy and sad at once. And it feels like they're singing directly to you. Which is pretty much the greatest thing there is.

"Sweet Thing" – Van Morrison

Georgia is unhappy that her father is selling the family vineyard. Even though she left home years ago, the vineyard is still the place she associates with happiness, with work that has been earned. I spent a good amount of time thinking about the Ford family vineyard, while Sweet Thing was in the background, helping me figure out where Georgia was going.

"Shooting Star" – Bob Dylan

There is a theme here of boozy, late-night tunes. And that's how I think of this song. It works any time of day, but it feels like it should be reserved for moonlight, midnight, driving home with no one on the road. I'm writing the screenplay for Eight Hundred Grapes and Bob Dylan's songs play a funny role in the harvest—this one especially.

"So Much Water" – M. Ward

The song feels like a soundtrack to a party, at least a party I'd want to go to—like the harvest party, which turns the Ford Family on their head. I like the surprising speed of the song and how it turns on its own head: revealing itself to be the opposite of the cheerful ditty it's almost mascaraing as the first time through.

"What's Been Going On" – Amos Lee

Strumming and low, this song is a stunner. Every time I listen, I get lost in it. And, many nights, the Fords pick grapes in the vineyard. I like to think that Amos Lee is playing in the background, slow like this, while they get a little lost themselves.


Laura Dave and Eight Hundred Grapes links:

the author's website
the author's Wikipedia entry

Kirkus review
Publishers Weekly review

CarolineLeavittville interview with the author
City Lights interview with the author
CT Style interview with the author
Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for The First Husband
SheaKnows 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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Book Notes - Christian McEwen "Sparks from the Anvil: The Smith College Poetry Interviews"

Sparks from the Anvil: The Smith College Poetry Interviews

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

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

Sparks from the Anvil: The Smith College Poetry Interviews is an inspiring collection of thoughtful interviews with sixteen poets, including Maxine Kumin, W.S. Merwin, and Rita Dove.

Stream a playlist of these songs at Spotify.


In her own words, here is Christian McEwen's Book Notes music playlist for her book Sparks from the Anvil: The Smith College Poetry Interviews:


1. Sarah Bauhan: My publisher, Sarah Bauhan, plays both the whistle and the flute, and I would like to begin with a track from her CD, Lathrop's Waltz. The piece itself is called "Calum's Road" and was written by Donald Shaw. It's about a man called Calum MacLeod, who lived on the Isle of Raasay in the Hebrides. When the County Council refused to build a road to his house, Calum built it himself, though it took him a full ten years.

Clearly there are some parallels here with what it means to write -- or indeed, to publish -- any substantial piece of work. It can be a long hard road...

This piece also pays tribute to Annie Boutelle, who founded the Smith College Poetry Center, and who herself grew up in Oban, on the west coast of Scotland. Her interview is the first one in my book.

2.The second piece I'd like to play is from a CD called Wings & Shadows, in which Steve Gorn plays the bamboo flute and the clarinet. I'm especially drawn to a short piece called "Invisible World," which reminds me obliquely, of the poet, Jean Valentine. Last fall, Jean and I spent some time together at the Rubin Museum in New York City. It was a chilly November afternoon, with the rain pelting down. We sat and talked over tea for a couple of hours, and then made our way to the shrine-room, where we sat in silence, looking at the big gold Buddha. "Invisible World" reminds me of that day, and of Jean's poems, which so often draw on worlds beyond our own.

3. The next piece I'd like to play is from a CD called Chant, sung by the Benedictine monks of Santo Domingo of Silos. Its title, in Latin, is "Media vita in morte sumus," which is to say, "In the midst of life we are in death," and I associate it with the poet and translator, Patrick Donnelly, who himself lives with AIDS, and who has written so beautifully about his mother's death, and the deaths of so many of his friends. It is perhaps not accidental that Patrick intended at one point to be a priest, and at another, to be an opera singer. He knows both the depths and the heights out of which the monks are singing.

4. My fourth choice is from Nina Simone's CD Baltimore: it's called "Balm in Gilead." Paul Robeson has sung this too, in his deep basso profundo, but I particularly like Nina Simone's rendition, which I associate it with the African-American poet Nikky Finney. In the course of our interview, Finney spoke to me at length about the kind of deep, attentive listening she used to practice as a child, and also about her father's magnificent jazz collection, which ranged from Nina Simone to Billie Holliday to James Brown and on to what she called "the arresting intonations of Sarah Vaughan." So, this one is for Nikky Finney.

5. My next piece is from Frank London's marvelous CD Invocations. I'd like to play the first track, "Hod:T'kias Shofar" which is a trumpet solo, "blown to signal the end of exile." When I interviewed the poet, Edward Hirsch, he spoke of how it felt to grow up as a Jewish child in the United States, "constantly othered," and how much it meant to connect with the poetry of Eastern Europe as an adult. "I'm not a Russian-Jewish poet," he told me. "I'm not a Hebrew poet. I'm an American-Jewish poet. So that means I try to be in touch with something very deep and resonant in Judaism, which has a long history, and also in touch with what it means to be American." My sense is that Frank London is doing very much the same thing here, braiding together his Jewish and American selves, "to signal the end of exile."

6. Next I would like to play an excerpt from Meredith Monk's impermanence: an astonishing piece of work which faces mortality head on, as every one of us will have to do some day. Maxine Kumin died in March 2014, just three years after we spoke together. So this one is for Maxine Kumin.

7. I would like to end with a piece by the Tibetan flute-player, Nawang Khechog. His CD is called Music as Medicine, and this is the very first track. It's called "Healing through Kindness."

Talking to these many poets, and editing their interviews, as I did over the last six years, I came to see how much healing could be found in the act of listening, in the act of conversation, and in the practice of a very simple, unpretentious kindness. So this piece is my thank you to the poets themselves, and to all of you who are listening here today.


Christian McEwen and Sparks from the Anvil: The Smith College Poetry Interviews links:

the author's website

Grecourt Gate interview with the author
Story Circle Book Reviews 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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Atomic Books Comics Preview - June 26, 2015

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

Benn Ray is the owner of Atomic Books, an independent bookstore in Baltimore. The Mobtown Shank is his blog, and his comic Said What? is syndicated weekly in the Baltimore Sun's B-Paper.

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


Firebrat: My Family Thrives On

Firebrat: My Family Thrives On
by Mike Diana

The controversial comics art of the infamous Mike Diana get the deluxe treatment here in this over-sized, limited edition hardcover collecting a number of his extremely graphic stories (horrific, disturbing and funny at the same time).


Robert Crumb's Sex Obsessions

Robert Crumb's Sex Obsessions
by Robert Crumb / Dian Hanson (editor)

Over the years, Crumb put a lot of his sexual fantasies down on paper. In this Taschen hardcover, he has personally selected a number of them to share with readers.


Rumble Volume 1

Rumble Volume 1
by John Arcudi / James Harren

This is one of the weirder and more entertaining comics I've read in a long time. It involves a magical rivalry between a couple of godlike beings that happens to drag a dive bar into it. It reminds me a lot of The Maxx.


Wytches Volume 1

Wytches Volume 1
by Scott Snyder / Jock

In this volume, collecting the first story arc of the dark horror series, we find the Rooks family, a family with secrets and power, moving into a secluded, wooded house to escape a trauma. The problem is, they've moved right into the heart of a waiting evil.


Questions, concerns, comments or gripes – e-mail benn@atomicbooks.com. If there’s a comic I should know about, send it my way at Atomic, c/o Atomic Books 3620 Falls Rd., Baltimore, MD 21211.


Atomic Books & Benn Ray links:

Atomic Books website
Atomic Books on Twitter
Atomic Books on Facebook
Benn Ray's blog (The Mobtown Shank)
Benn Ray's comic, Mutant Funnies


also at Largehearted Boy:

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

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


Posted by david | Permalink | Comments (View)

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