Last Call: What I read on my Mexican vacation

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Sunflower Bean

I don’t see brand new live music very much, but last year a friend dragged me out to see the New York trio Sunflower Bean, and I hadn’t been rocked like that in awhile. Now a new single is out for the band’s sophomore release, and I’m very much addicted to it. Unlike the triangular fierceness on Sunflower Bean’s first album, “Crisis Fest” finds the power in the pop, even as the band’s three young twentysomethings rant against an older generation that is hopefully on its way out: “If you hold us back you know that we can shout / We brought you into this place, you know we’ll take you out.” A worthy, deceptively sunny anthem for a long-overdue new age of rebellion. [Gwen Ihnat]

Because I Wanted To Write You A Pop Song


While on vacation this past week, I quickly devoured Kara Vernor’s Because I Wanted To Write You A Pop Song, a collection of memorable short short stories. Some are only a page long, a handy length when you’re bopping between buses and lunches and airports and hotels. Reading her stories is like riding a roller coaster (which figures prominently in one of them): You’re heading head-first downward before you know it, then there’s a fast adrenaline rush, and then you want to do it all over again. [Kate Bernot]