the listenerd

optimized for maximum incontinence

Tag: literature

What is Google’s place in literature?

Or Flickr’s? Or Twitter’s? Or (shudder) Facebook’s? Or any company currently functioning as media?

A month or two ago, I linked to something called “Mr. Plimpton’s Revenge,” a literary essay that takes the form of a Google Map. Novel! (It wasn’t a novel; it was just an essay. I was, there, simply remarking on how novel it was.)

A couple weeks ago in my feed reader, I noticed a few more items: One is something called Sumedicina, a “data fiction project” that takes the form of a Flickr photo set. It’s a story told through infographics, communicated by means of the popular photo-sharing site.

Another project I ran across is from 3 Quarks Daily; it’s a mini-experiment that turns Google Voice transcripts (which, if you haven’t used Google Voice, are not entirely accurate, and rarely make full sense) into poetry by formatting them and annotating them as such.

(A fourth, less experimental, though very enjoyable, recent example of this literature mashing is Coudal’s Verse By Voice project. Coudal asked people to dial in and leave a recitation of their favorite poem in a voicemail. The recordings are fun to listen to, and include poems by O’Hara, Berry, Stevens, Muldoon, Ted Hughes.)

Of course, the flavors of techno-mediated literature vary. Putting a story on a Google Map, like Plimpton’s Revenge does, takes full advantage of a useful – and, importantly, populist – new interface to get a plot across.

In the case of Sumedicina, the media’s less central. Flickr is mostly just an effective distribution channel. Sumedicina’s at heart a visual story, and could be recreated easily on paper. The infographic format is something, though, that’s succeeded online and is, if not native to the channel, at least a smart and easily understood unit of communication online.

Finally, with Google Voice Poetry, the mediation is more extreme. The technology isn’t just the distribution channel or the interface, it’s the interpreter. (That’s a trope not uncommon to poetry; as seen in avant garde poetry movments such as flarf, spoetry and l=a=n=g=u=a=g=e poetry.)

Links for 2.20.10: 101 Tips for Better Abs

*Mules: Mules come from the sexual union of a male donkey and a female horse. Hinnies are made by mating male horses and female donkeys. And no one likes them. Susan Orlean (who is terrible on Twitter) has written a very compelling story of the recent history and modern-day use of mules. And I recommend it. (Spoiler: Afghanistan and the Amish.)

*Sex: This survey answers the question that’s been on your mind since you read this sentence – what’s the sex life of MIT students like? The Chemistry Department has the largest concentration of virgins. If you’re wondering. [mefi]

*Blogging: It’s been years since I started this blog, but I still have no idea how to blog. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this deliciously meta article on how to write an incendiary blog post. Also, I think I need to work on my headlines.

*Robbery: Waxy does a rundown of decades worth of media scares that focus on innovations that allow savvy burglars to tell when people will be home and when they won’t.

*Sex and advertising: Durex uses words shaped like sex in its latest print campaign. This link is as NSFW as word shapes can be.

*Music: Codeorgan allows you to plug in an URL, then it produces the musical fingerprint of the site. Thelistenerd is lower than I was expecting it to be.

*Rules: If you want to write fiction, never open with weather and never use the word “suddenly.” At least, if you think Elmore Leonard is worth listening to. Ask me sometime to dredge up the story of a busker in an empty train station that I wrote years ago. It is as sure a cure for insomnia as is in existence today. [mefi]

*Existence: There is a dub band called Umberto Echo. Language is destiny. [neural]

*Ab progress: None.

*Today’s links: F.

Links for 4.20.09: Lego Jesus, Iron and Wine swings, Dylan on Amazon…

*Literature: The Virginia Quarterly Review releases a list of the 10 most common titles of works submitted to them. #1: Untitled. I adore this list. And I’m not kidding.

*Words: I have been playing a lot of deepleap. All I will say is that the game has a very rudimentary and amateurish dictionary and does not allow all the words to be played that it should.

*Songs: Bon Iver plays Eau Claire’s Memorial High School. I have three fingers left, and you DO NOT want to know what I’m planning on using them for. [universal]

*Movies: The Coen Brothers are going to remake “True Grit.” I love Westerns and am awash in my own testosterone. Beer me. [coudal]

*Religion: What would Lego Jesus do? [ye]

*News: The bad news is, I have been waiting for the Google News timeline for a long time. And I’m mental. [mediaeater]

*Video: Amazon has the exclusive on “Beyond Here Lies Nothin,” a new music video from Mr. Bob Dylan.

*Twitter: The Twitter-Brain interface – measuring brain activity. God, I want that helmet. Is there a specific term for a helmet that’s soft? I’m deadly serious. [waxy]

*MP3s: Listen to some Neko Case MP3s here (“Middle Cyclone” and “Phony Revolutions”) and one of my favorite Iron and Wine songs (a 10-minute opus, “The Trapeze Swinger”) here.

*Today’s links: C-. We break the C’s today due to links to some good MP3s. And that VQR thing. Other than that, horseshit.

Links for 4.7.09: Zappos’ map, Subservient birthday, Baracklava…

*Warning: These links aren’t that musicky. But here’s a list of albums that are best listened to in their entirety. To soothe the savage beast. And by that, I have no idea what I mean.

*Retail: The web object of the moment is a real-time map of what people are buying across the country from Zappos. Zappos is like the Nate Silver of shoes. Also, it looks like people are ordering really ugly shoes all the time, like forever.

*Economy: Read A Tale of Two Depressions for a comparison of the Great Depression and our current financial meltdown. Situation: Bad. Reaction (this time around): Better? [3quarksdaily]

*Birthdays: It’s the 5th anniversary of the launch of Subservient Chicken. You know you’re really getting on in years when INTERNET BULLSHIT from yesterday is turning five years old in front of your eyes.

*Dessert: A restaurant in Turkey made Barack Obama’s face in pastry – Baracklava. I find the dish too flaky for my tastes. FYI.

*Literature: Site-specific fiction – some short stories were commissioned for the Royal Parks in London. Readers are meant to walk about the scene as they read. DUDE: Maybe there’s something to be written about a guy sitting on a bus? Reading about a guy sitting on a bus? (I don’t know where it ends.)

Links for 3.23.09: Beckett, The Wiggles, abandoned big boxes…

*Empties: Is there a tumblr of abandoned things? And has it gotten a book deal yet? Here’s a photo essay from Time about abandoned big box stores. Cue the solitary man onstage crying into his own cupped hands. [eyeteeth]

*Photo: Your daily Chris Martin. He is seen here posing with The Wiggles. Submitted without comment.

*Apparel: The Recession is being merchandised. [urlesque]

*Words: If there are two people I like, they’re Anthony Lane and Samuel Beckett. I am a retarded nerd.

“For a man of few words, Beckett wrote an awful lot of them. To date, some fifteen thousand letters have been found.” Fake story: My dad made me memorize “Krapp’s Last Tape” when I was five. Do you understand me now???

*Twitter: Twitter begins placing advertising on the platform with ExecTweets. Also, Salesforce integrates twitter.

*Video: Hey Paul Krugman (a plea). A song.

*Today’s links: D-. Pathetic and nearly wholly without merit.

Quick links for 3.7.09: Lit, tweets and melody

*Literature: The book the most people lie about having read is 1984. Why lie about a book so short? For this, I would go with Pynchon. Just one man’s opinion.

*Advertising: Ads will appear at the end of Tweets written by people being paid for their placement? This sounds weird. Pepsi. [murketing] Related: Oh, and this is supposedly Mark Zuckerberg‘s account. [sai]

*Music: Melody and its place in the world. I like the subject, but find the post to be wandering. Is that rude? I’m sorry, Suzanne Vega.

*Today: F

Non-music links for 3.1.09: David Foster Wallace, the Dunbar number, That’s What She Said…

*Reading material: Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letters over the years. [daring fireball]

*Friends: Read this post on Facebook, the evolution of social networks and the Dunbar number, which states, “that the upper limit on the number of other people that any human can maintain as a stable network is around 150.” The average number of friends for Facebook users is around 120.

*The Economy: It’s Worse Than You Think It Is.

*Reading: The New Yorker takes on David Foster Wallace’s unfinished novel, “The Pale King.”

*Rule of law: Do you want the opportunity to read a bunch of boring bills before they’re voted on? Read the Bill. [huffpo]

*Twitter: That’s what she said. Aggregating the tweets that received the reply “That’s what she said.” [buzzfeed]

*Warning: Avoid black mead.

Links for 10.27.08: Hope posters, Twitter rising, a Bowie cover…

*Hope and beyond: A delicious collection of images inspired by Shepard Fairey’s Barack Obama “Hope” poster. Includes: dope, nope, pope, hope, grope, type, marxism, viva!, soup, chope, mime, cope, rope, chaos, damn, fuck it, arab, dupe, honey, chump, dunk, and more. [obeygiant]

*Lazyblog request: Did the Cat Power cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” that appeared in that Lincoln commercial ever come out as a legit MP3? If so, could someone please send it to me? You and the rights holder will be properly remunerated. Regards. {Hello, Cat?}

*CMJ: Read The Daily Swarm’s rundown of New York Times coverage of CMJ over the years. The biggest disappointment for me is that 2009 was not included. [spincity]

*Interviews: Peefork interviews Randy Newman: “Don Henley is always teasing me, asking if I’ve written another little novelty song.” Short people, indeed.

*When Music Blogs Attack: Listening Post vs. Idolator. It’s like Kanye vs. 50 Cent, but without anyone falsely promising to retire. THE LISTENERD WILL RETIRE IF DEFEATED IN BLOGGING BY ANY MUSIC BLOGGER. [Also, who defends Boing Boing?]

*Microblogging: While you were sitting on the toilet, Twitter went mainstream. This is why I quit, people.

*Apps: Nabbit is an application that allows you to get info on songs playing on the radio by playing them into your cellphone. Or you can just work on your memories, people. I mean, really. [mashable]

*Metaphor: Stanley Fish on why Obama and McCain’s campaigns are like John Milton’s “Paradise Regained.” This is the kind of political analysis I could get into.

*Avoid: Black mead. At all costs.

Links for 10.7.08: Weezer’s records, Rock Band merch and dead mammals…

*Merch: T-shirts for Rock Band bands. You can upload your own band logo. I have never played Rock Band, and in fact, I might be retarded. [pop candy]

*Nerds: You can now put Pandora on your Chumby. Wait. Pandora is still around? It’s not illegal yet? WHAT? (Also, that was not supposed to be a euphemism.)

*Video: Kanye rolls out his “Love Lockdown” music video.

*Videos: Weezer rounds up a bunch of world record wannabes for their latest video, for their song “Troublemaker.” Also, that Weezer dude has a MOUSTACHE and doesn’t seem to be embarrassed about it.

*Gear: Would you like a guitar amp in a toaster? Also, it’s decorated with flames.

*Fashion: Oh, and Sasha Frere-Jones is thinking up his own Neighborhoodies. [twitter]

*Books: Thomas Pynchon has a new book coming out in August 2009. I haven’t even finished not reading “Gravity’s Rainbow” yet.

*Also: Oh yeah, and one in four mammals faces extinction. Side note: HOLY SHIT, I AM A MAMMAL OH NOOOO!!!!!11

Links for 9.20.08: Blink crash, Jay-Z’s label, Saramago’s movie…

*Crash: DJ AM and former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker were in a South Carolina plane crash on Friday that killed four people. They’re both being treated for burns and are in critical condition.

*Business: Jay-Z is starting a new record label, StarRoc. Jay-Z also things 360 deals are the future? Hm. [licensing plate]

*Video: Daft Punk song “Something About Us” on Nintendo DS and theremin. [waxy]

*Launched: DJ History is an online store for rare vinyl. I’m telling you people: garage sales. [nme]

*Mixes: Is Favtape a “Muxtape on steroids”? (Muxtape was shut down by the RIAA last month.) [techcrunch]

*Literature: Holy WTF?? Nobel Prize-winning Portuguese author Jose Saramago’s “Blindness” is being made into a movie starring Mark Ruffalo, Julianne Moore, Gael Garcia Bernal, Danny Glover and Sandra Oh. WTF? (I used to have sort of a thing for Saramago, and especially enjoyed his explorations of identity – and his own literary heritage, of course, through the channeling of Fernando Pessoa – in “The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis.”

*Hope: Barack Obama’s face in Lego’s. The Internet effing loves Lego’s. [buzzfeed]

Links for 9.16.08: Yo Gabba guests, Internet meme attack, vinyl spins again…

*Social networks: The New York Times talks MySpace Music, including offering brief comparisons to Last.fm and Imeem.

*Video: Internet Meme Scratch Attack – a sampling of internet video cuts to soothe your savage work day. Also applicable if you are bored at any other time. [buzzfeed]

*Strokes: Nate Dogg had another stroke. He is now in stable condition. Two strokes, a car chase and an arrest this year. It’s time to regulate. It has to be.

*Vinyl: The WSJ talks records, saying “World-wide sales of LP records doubled in 2007.” And thus it is decreed: there will be a major media story about the revival of vinyl every two weeks until Armageddon. Or until AIG goes bankrupt. Whichever comes first.

*Videogames: Guitar Hero is the game played most by teens. The game I played most as a child was a miniature arcade version of Qbert. Usually in a moving car. FYI. [ypulse]

*Television: Whacked out kids’ show “Yo Gabba Gabba” (which I covered for the day job a bajillion years ago) will feature The Roots, MGMT, Mates of State and Jack Black, among other guests this coming season. [daily swarm]

*Literature: David Foster Wallace appears on Charlie Rose in 1997. I had respect for Mr. Wallace’s ability to make any topic its own intricate, interesting world. However, I have always been skeptical of dudes who wear head coverings.

*Food: I haven’t mentioned this in a while, so I feel I should say something a public service. Avoid black mead. Really, mead in general. It is an alcoholic beverage that tastes like mushrooms (in a bad way). AVOID. Thank you.

Links for 8.6.08: Bowling and rock, vinyl resurgence, accordion love…

*Questions: What do you get when you cross bowling, Brooklyn, and a small rock-and-roll concert venue? Probably Pabst Blue Ribbon and a lot of beards, but who am I to even guess? NO ONE. That’s who. Or whom. Or whatever. [wiredset]

*Once again: Indie rock vinyl is on the rise. The vinyl edition of Fleet Foxes “Fleet Foxes” costs $16. I don’t know if that’s a good price or not.

*Some say the accordion is making a comeback. I say it never went away.

*Compilation: The Rap Up offers its analysis of best and worst hip-hop videos of 2008 so far.

*Showtime: Joss Stone will play Anne of Cleves in The Tudors. Anne of Cleves was known as the ugly one. Not kidding. (Sad.)

*Video: Paris Hilton responds to John McCain on Funny or Die. Will her energy policy work? [mefi]

*Literature: Hamlet’s Facebook newsfeed. WTF? Everyone knows normal pokes don’t show in a newsfeed. GAWD. [spin city]

Links for 7.20.08: Avril’s “Girlfriend,” Improving Shakespeare, Girl Talk in the Times…

*YouTube: It is done. Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend” has passed “The Evolution of Dance” on YouTube’s all-time most-watched list. The oligarchs are on top again and all is right with the world. Some boring, related money matters from Listening Post here. Let us hope the grass-roots effort to put “Evolution” back on top fails, as I am just starting to get used to the world as it should be.

*Retail: Unsigned musicians will now have more opportunity to sell their music through Best Buy. [koar]

*Literature: Ryan Adams has signed a book deal. It will hit shelves in 2009. No one knows what it will be about, but I know this: I will not read it, no matter what happens on this Earth. [absolute punk]

*Projects: Rufus Wainwright is setting William Shakespeare’s sonnets to music. Huge improvement? [largehearted boy]

*Law: Should music copyright last 5 years? I ask you this because I care.

*Britney has ceded full custody of her kids to K-Fed. This makes me sad.

*Jail: DMX got arrested again. For identity theft. Seriously, are you trying to depress the fuck out of me?

*Mashups: The New York Times‘ Consumed column (by Rob Walker) is about Girl Talk this week. If you need me, my head will be in the toilet.

*Tattoos: Neutral Milk Hotel. Goodbye, forever. (Wait. Should this have been in that list of misspelled tattoos? Or not?) [Also: this is not my arm.]

Links for 7.8.08: Metal real estate, bikini bloggers, Nickelback’s triumph…

*Metal Real Estate: A fabulous report on the homes of the heavy metal stars from Metal Inquisition. [metal sucks]

*Wear: A JUSTICE fashion line. [psfk]

*Memory loss: I swear this was previously mentioned on the listenerd. EMI is wading into the world of vinyl reissues.

*Literature: The Indie Rock Coloring Book, Colour It Red, benefits the (RED) campaign. Also:The Indie Rock Connect the Dots book includes homages to Elliott Smith and Sleater-Kinney. [p-fork]

*Deals: Nickelback has signed a 360 deal with Live Nation for between $50M and $70M. Personally, I am not a fan of the band Nickelback. [getty images]

*Stats: Everybody hates music critics. (For me, it’s all the big words they use.) But we’ll take music recommendations from our friends!

*Listen: NPR posts a live set from a Fleet Foxes gig in Washington, DC. [music slut]

*Mental health: There are people paying to see Bon Jovi play in Central Park, even though it’s a free concert.

*Off topic: Urlesque gathers a linkbaiting list of 20 bloggers they would like to see in bikinis. WITH ONE GLARING OMISSION.

*Question: Who does not want a GUN for a CHANDELIER?