Did You Hear? Hard Times

New music! Sometimes old music. Music that we love!

Who is this guy, what microphone is he using, and how can I steal his voice like Ursula in The Little Mermaid? This song makes me think about how much a first impression matters: On his 2012 album Sundark and Riverlight, I first heard him arranging and performing in this acoustic, organic style. If I had come across any other album first, I would have had a significantly different frame of reference. (Case in point, here is the same song done… differently. Yeah, I’ll bet you didn’t expect that.) Any time I hear a new band, my expectations and comparisons are forever based on the first thing I hear, which means it’s always a bit strange to go further back into earlier work, like coming in at Kid A and then skipping back to Pablo Honey, or first hearing Abbey Road followed by Help!

- Brook Reeder

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The Black Cat at Coalesce Book Store

FA

If you’re out there in the real world, you can find J.M. Geever’s award-winning The Black Cat at Coalesce Book Store in Morro Bay, CA.

And if you’re lucky enough to be stuck on the internet, you can buy the paperback and e-book here.

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The Glass Family Tragically Loses Another Sibling: Google

JD_Salinger

Google Glass is doomed, according to reports from Silicon Valley.

It joins a long line of Glass family siblings who, having been scarred by high expectations and public cruelty, are forced to retreat into their own failure and depression.

“The future of technology.” — David Pogue, The New York Times, September 2012

“I’m not afraid to compete. It’s just the opposite. Don’t you see that? I’m afraid I will compete — that’s what scares me.” — Franny and Zooey and Google

“I don’t know what good it is to know so much and be smart as whips and all if it doesn’t make you happy.” — Franny and Zooey and Google

“I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.” — Franny and Zooey and Google

J.D. Salinger’s fans still hold out hope that he is working on a new manuscript about the only remaining Glass sibling who has not met a tragic end: Ira.

- Brian Hurley

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Did You Hear? Fitta Happier

New music! Sometimes old music. Music that we love!

Today’s post combines Radiohead, a marching band, and a hip-hop supergroup. It’s just the kind of mash-up I enjoy most, where all the disparate parts combine into something altogether new and interesting in its own right. So often with remixes and mash-ups I’d rather be listening to the original instead, but this track blows right past that objection. And in case marching-band/pop crossovers are your thing, be sure to check this video of a marching band raging

- Brook Reeder

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University Mottos That More Accurately Describe My College Experience

UPenn

COGNITIO NON RESIDENT IN HOC LOCO

Knowledge does not reside in this place.

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OMNES EDUCATORES CONTEMNET EORUM ALUMNI

All educators despise their students.

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STULTO EST BELLUM FACERE CONTRA ATHLETAE

It is foolish to make war against the athletes.

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ABSTINENTIA A EBRIETAS EST QUEDAM EXILIUM

Abstinence from drunkenness is a kind of exile.

.

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NOW READ THIS: A Muse and a Maze

A Muse and a Maze

Is writing like cartography? Definitely. We’ve said it before, and people who are much smarter than us – like Peter Turchi, author of Maps of the Imagination – have written about the (ahem) overlapping terrain between stories and map-making.

Is writing like a puzzle? Sure, why not. That’s the premise of Tuchi’s latest book, A Muse and a Maze. It’s full of lush illustrations, embedded puzzles, and notes on Harry Houdini, Alison Bechdel, tangrams, labyrinths, and sudoku. Turchi argues that anything with a plot is like a puzzle with a solution: to make one, you have to carefully divulge and withhold information to lead people toward a “state of wonder.”

Start by solving the puzzle in the title.

- Brian Hurley

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Did You Hear? On the Regular

New music! Sometimes old music. Music that we love!

“Hi hi, howdy howdy hi hi.” Oh man, this track is pushing the boundaries of genre, style, taste, and probably a few more, but it’s all done so casually! The vibe is like some carefully calculated apathy, at least until we fly into the cowbell. Then it gets a little dark. In any case, I can’t stop listening to it, and so I’ll pass it along to you. ‘This is me on the regular, so you know.’

- Brook Reeder

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HITTING SHELVES #13: Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter

Ugly Girls

Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter comes out today!

Lindsay Hunter, author of Daddy’s and Don’t Kiss Me, is a natural successor to brilliant writers like Mary Gaitskill and A.M. Homes who chronicle the damage, both physical and psychological, that we do to women, and that women do to themselves. If you haven’t read “Three Things You Should Know about Peggy Paula,” you are MISSING OUT and you need to read it right now.

Ugly Girls is Hunter’s first novel. Told in little bursts of flash fiction, it introduces Perry and Baby Girl, two thick-as-thieves girlfriends who discover they’re being stalked by a dangerous man. Like all of Hunter’s writing, it’s urgent and raw and garishly compelling.

We asked the author one question.

How are you celebrating the publication of Ugly Girls?

Lindsay Hunter: I’ve thought about this a lot, actually. I’ve scoured Etsy and anthropologie and Pinterest, trying to find the perfect thing to buy myself to mark what feels like a momentous, emotional moment in my life. Something I want to remember and celebrate. But I always end on eh, I have so many necklaces that I never wear! And if I buy a special sweater or something, my dogs will just eventually claw it to pieces. I’ve considered a commemorative tattoo, but that feels like too much work. What would I get? Who would do it? Ugh, I have to drive somewhere to get it done? So, that’s out. Then I considered buying myself a piece of art. I love Andrea Heimer’s work and feel that it speaks to me on a deep, deep level, and I have come very close to buying one of her pieces. She is affordable in the broad sense of buying art, but not so affordable when you feel guilty about spending money on a nice sweater your dogs will maul. So, I always end up closing my browser window before clicking “Complete Purchase.” What I think will happen is that the day of my novel’s release will kind of come and go, without me doing anything to mark the occasion, and I’ll think back and go, Gawd, I couldn’t even buy myself a nice bottle of wine?!

Lindsay Hunter (photo by Zach Dodson)

Lindsay Hunter (photo by Zach Dodson)

But maybe what is actually happening is that I’m hoping that there are more books in my future. More things I’ve created being deemed publishable. Maybe it feels like, if I mark this occasion too fervently, that’ll be the peak. Like the prom queen never feeling as happy as she did the night she was crowned. And maybe the thrill is in the possibility and not the purchase. The endless what-iffing that can remain endless as long as I don’t allow an end. And, I was recently able to upgrade to an iPhone 6, and there’s a brand new Olive Garden down the road from my house, so maybe the universe is celebrating for me, around me.

- Brian Hurley

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