Arts Desk

Arts Roundup ~ Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Elizabeth Gilbert, Sort Of Edition!

Morning, readers.

*The New Republic launches The Book, a new blog dedicated to video games! Just kidding. It's about books. And whether or not you agree with Exec. Editor Isaac Chotiner that "the absence of any site for the serious consideration of serious books is also a fact of the web" (hey, Isaac—what about excellent personal blogs by former CP arts editors?), the first day's offerings contain plenty of chin-stroking material. (Louise Glück? Check. Philip Roth? Check. Oh, and a Joan of Arc bio.)

*Simon Cowell leaves American Idol, starts something else I won't watch.

*Jimi Hendrix pulls a Tupac.

*New (free!) music from Dirty Projectors. [Note to LA Weekly: You're calling Longstreth "the Meatloaf of the Indie World"? Really?]

*The Elizabeth Gilbert PR Game: Which quotes are from a newspaper, and which from a jacket blurb? Scroll down for the solutions!

  1. "With this book, she gracefully, brilliantly transitions from personal memoirist into social historian."
  2. "Gilbert’s memoir is ultimately a clear-eyed celebration of love with all the complexity and consequence that real love, in the real world, actually entails."
  3. "It's a charming narrative that ends, Shakespearean-fashion, with a happy-hearted wedding. What's not to like?"
  4. "Committed should be required reading for the one-half of the American populace that can’t stay married."
  5. "Elizabeth Gilbert is still with the Brazilian. I just wanted to get that out of the way, for those of you who have read her juggernaut of a memoir, "Eat, Pray, Love," and are worried the sequel will have her hooking up with a Canadian."
  6. "Keeping things in perspective is not Gilbert’s strong suit."
  7. "[The ending] is as sweet and satisfying as the end of any movie where Hugh Grant plays the groom."
  8. "Note to book clubs: Discuss."
  9. "Told with Gilbert’s trademark wit, intelligence and compassion."

*Tonight in City Lights: Ugly Purple Sweater at DC9. Fischer calls the group D.C.'s "answer to the Avett Brothers":

[L]ike that NPR-baiting North Carolina outfit, Ugly Purple Sweater makes rootsy folk pop that’s playful, emotive, and occasionally bleak. For almost every bitter note, there’s a sweet, disarming counterpoint, like a chorus of whistlers and kazoos, or a whimsical falsetto in the background. If the band were a little less silly, it’d be in Richard and Linda Thompson territory. A little more? Think Raffi.

Plus: The group has a song called "Jumbo Slice."

***

Solutions!
1. Dallas Morning News
2. Jacket blurb.
3. The Washington Post
4. Mike Riggs
5. The Oregonian
6. The New Yorker
7. The New York Times' second review.
8. The New York Times' first review.
9. Jacket blurb.

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