Discover more from Largehearted Ledger
Literary List Season Begins in Earnest
A playlist of the week's best new albums, interviews with Brittney Howard & Lexi Freiman, PJ Harvey's Tiny Desk Concert, an excerpt from Celina Baljeet Basra's debut novel, and more
This week I posted Largehearted Boy’s list of essential and interesting year-end book lists, and will be updating it daily through mid-January (at least). So far lists from Publishers Weekly, TIME, the Washington Post, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and others have been added, with many more to come.
Also, thank you to everyone who sent birthday wishes my way. Between work and school, this week was busy, but I appreciate all the friends and aquaintances who either sent good words or made the time to hang out and celebrate another loop around the sun. I am lucky to be surrounded by such special people.
Largehearted Ledger is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support the work that goes into Largehearted Boy, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
A Playlist of the Week’s Best New Albums (14 albums, 188 songs, 12 hours and 33 minutes)
This week’s best new music includes albums from MJ Lenderman, Ali Sethi & Nicolás Jaar, Frog, Thandi Ntuli & Carlos Niño, The Polyphonic Spree, Juliana Hatfield, Bob Dylan, Juan Wauters, Soft Covers, Autogramm, Daniel Bachman, Free Range, Mo Troper, and Kurt Vile.
So excited to start Justin Taylor’s new novel, Reboot.
David Small’s comics collection The Werewolf at Dusk is stunning.
Bennett Sims on writing his new story collection
Part of the drafting process for me involves figuring out what a character’s inner monologue or mind voice sounds like: basically, what their style of thought is.
Brittney Howard on her new solo album
Not everybody knows that I engineer and I produce and I play a lot of these instruments. It's not necessarily something I need people to know, but maybe for the young women out there, [I want to show], "This is something we can do. We can dominate in this field."
Marc Masters profiled the iconic band Meat Joy
Meat Joy’s try-everything approach wasn’t just productive, it was efficient, too. “It made things go faster,” says band member Mellissa Cobb. “If an idea wasn’t going to work, we would know right away.” The results on Meat Joy never sound over-thought or overworked, though the band could be quite precise in its twists and turns. But all their songs have an exciting immediacy, without a lot of distance between thought and actualisation.
Lexi Freiman on her novel The Book of Ayn
When I’m starting a book, often it starts with this kernel of rage or frustration. That’s the driving force to write. Usually the first draft is bad, because it’s too much of that. It gets better as you calm down and look at all sides.
MJ Lenderman on his favorite live albums
What makes a good live album?
I think it’s energy. A lot of energy goes into it. When I mean “energy,” I’m talking about, “Was the audience having fun? Was the band getting along?” Stuff like that. Because some of my favorite live albums are not necessarily played the best. The band’s not playing their instruments the best, or it’s not in tune. So I think it’s a lot of, “Does it sound fun? Do you wish you were there?” That kind of thing.
At first, a lot of our instrumental factions were indulgences. This song was the indulgence of all indulgences. It was an exercise in self-indulgence. But when you’re doing a song that has lyrics and a lyrical theme you have to adhere to, there’s a very strict script you have to stick to. But with an instrumental song, you can do whatever you want, you can go wherever you want, you can indulge any mood, and you can make it all about mood.