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April 15, 2009

Shorties (The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Paul Weller, and more)

Newsweek interviews members of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.

But hasn't part of what's surprised you been the fact that more than the hardcore indie set appreciates this record? That it has a constituency outside the usual suspects?

Berman: With a lot of bands we draw inspiration from, none of them were super-well-appreciated during the time they were around. You know, Rocketship, Velocity Girl. Black Tambourine was very cult. The Pastels. We liked Nirvana, and they did pretty well, I guess, and Sonic Youth. But it's kind of surprising when people outside of that very small, narrow community that's always supported noisy indie-pop bands started to appreciate us and enjoy it. … We think of what we do as pop music, as not inherently limited. It's not deliberately obtuse or meant to alienate at all. I guess it's hard perceiving what you do when you're in the storm.


Seattle Weekly's Reverb blog interviews Paul Weller.


The A.V. Club interviews Dan Deacon.

The A.V. Club: Why do you think people assume music that inspires dancing lacks intellect or complexity?

Dan Deacon: Well, to get large groups of people to dance, there needs to be something accessible about the music. The beat can’t be too esoteric, but unless we’re talking about prog or etherealist composition, I think there’s something simplistic about most music. What’s completely insane to me is that people would consider music that’s simple to be dumbed-down. Couldn’t simplicity be a deliberate, smart choice? Those people aren’t really listening; they’re judging a song off of a beat, off of a pulse. I think as this generation of electronic musicians goes on, popular electronic music will be more and more accepted. It’s gonna get less confusing. You know, most people called rap stupid when it started, and it was one of the most innovative music forms of its time.


The Detroit Metro Times reviews Mary Miller's short story collection, Big World.

Miller's great at turning the mundane inside out and letting the world see its guts. She's also adept at creating natural dialogue that makes reading her characters' conversations feel a little like eavesdropping. A sad, naive disconnect runs through all the stories in the collection.


RIP, Judith Krug, librarian and founder of Banned Books Week


JamBase profiles Mastodon.

Mastodon is getting older, more mature and willing to move outside the accepted norms of metal and take more chances with their evolution. Now in their 30s, there are wives and kids and life is different than when they started nine years ago. And so is their music. Less Dirty South metal and more heavy rock, Crack The Skye not only finds the band implementing a new, more dynamic vocal approach, they've also included an array of instruments they've never offered before. Inside this album we find keyboard washes, piano solos, bass synth, some jazz drumming and even a banjo. But just because they aren't screaming all the vocals over thrashing twin-fire guitars doesn't mean they're pussying out. Crack The Skye may be more melodic, but it's just as heavy as previous efforts, only in different ways.


The New York Times reviews Yoshihiro tatsumi's graphic novel, Drifting Life.

A book like “A Drifting Life” is fairly easy to pick apart on a drawing-by-drawing or line-by-line basis. Don’t make that mistake. Its pleasures are cumulative; the book has a rolling, rumbling grandeur. It’s as if someone had taken a Haruki Murakami novel and drawn, beautifully and comprehensively, in its margins.


Coachella has announced the set times for this weekend's music festival.


The Streets' Mike Skinner is giving away three songs this week on Twitter.

"I am going to tweet 3 new songs this week. I can't be bothered with all this trying to sell you music. It wastes valuable time'. swiftly followed by 'I'm gonna be in so much trouble"


Read Monks trading cards while listening to the band's recently reissued Black Monk Time and The Early Years: 1964-1965.


Out features a road slideshow from Xiu Xiu's James Stewart.


The Minneapolis City Pages profiles former Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell.


Seattlest interviews Dr. Dog keyboardist Zach Miller.


io9 reports that Michael Chabon has signed on to write the John Carter of Mars screenplay.


The A.V. Club has started a new monthly book club.


Amazon MP3 is selling the new Silversun Pickups 10-track album, Swoon, for only $3.99.


NPR excerpts from Emily Fox Gordon's debut novel, It Will Come to Me.


Andrew Bird visits The Current studios for a streaming interview and live performance.


This week's LHB contest features a new Daniel Johnston art book as the prize.


Follow me on Twitter for links that don't make the daily "shorties" posts.


also at Largehearted Boy:

Online "best of 2008" music lists
Online "best of 2008" book lists
daily mp3 downloads
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from this week's CD releases)
weekly music & DVD release lists

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