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May 1, 2009

Shorties (Conor Oberst, Alan Moore, and more)

NPR is streaming the new Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band album, Outer South, in its entirety.

Newsarama concludes its six-part interview with comics legend Alan Moore with a series of guest questions (including one from Junot Diaz).

With the Kentucky Derby this weekend, the Louisville Courier-Journal lists horse-related bands.

Londonist interviews the creative forces behind London's latest lit mag, Nutshell.

PopMatters asks its 20 questions of Von Bondies drummer Donny Blum.

Planet Weekly offers a 2009 Bonnaroo preview.

Decider Twin Cities interviews comedian/actor/author Eugene Mirman.

D: You’re known for touring with bands like Modest Mouse and Yo La Tengo. Is this a renewed partnership between comedians and musicians, or a revival of the past?

EM: Before the late-’70s, it was really common. Comedy clubs were something that came to pass in the ’80s, but toward the end of that, in the early-’90s, people started doing comedy again in alternative spaces. So if you look at the last 50 years, it’s really the comedy clubs that are the odd thing.

The Idaho Statesman profiles singer-songwriter Thao Nguyen.

Notably - and, perhaps somewhat embarrassingly - her effervescent song "Bag of Hammers" recently began airing on a Clorox disinfecting wipes TV commercial.

"It's not like the coolest (bleeping) thing I ever did," she says, in a rare moment of grousing. "But what it did was alleviate the debt that we're in. Which is cool. It brings us one step closer to sustainable living from music."

PopMatters recaps its 2009 Coachella music festival experience.

The Believer interviews author John Crowley.

THE BELIEVER: Your novels exist somewhere between fantasy and science fiction and naturalistic fiction. Do you have any interest in the way the term slipstream has been circulating in the last few years to describe this kind of moving among genres? Would you ever think of yourself as a slipstream writer?

JOHN CROWLEY: I think this is something for critics to determine rather than for writers to do. I mean, I just write books. If they have names for them, the names can seem more or less convincing to me. I think the difficulty with slipstream and interstitial fiction and all those kinds of terms is that they tend to be used only by people who are in one of those sub-branches of fiction. They’re used by genre writers who are interested in adopting mainstream techniques or adopting mainstream values or getting mainstream readers to read their books. You will notice that it’s mostly genre writers who even use the word mainstream. Mainstream writers don’t use the word mainstream—they don’t know there’s a mainstream and these tributaries or whatever they are.

Geekdad lists the top 10 musical instruments.

Locus has announced the finalists for its 2009 fantasy and science fiction awards.

Nerve lists the sexiest frontmen in rock history.

On sale for $5 at Amazon MP3:

Metric's Fantasies
Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak
Neko Case's Middle Cyclone

All 50 editor-chosen $5 MP3 albums at Amazon

Daytrotter features mp3s from The Hold Steady's SXSW in-studio session.

Wilco is offering an mp3 download of a Woody Guthrie cover, "The Jolly Banker," in return for an optional donation to a good cause, The Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives.

Deerhoof kicks off The Bay Bridged's new monthly series, New, Imporoved, LIVE, featuring in-studio performances by bands. Download 4 mp3s from the session, and watch video of the performance as well as an interview with drummer Greg Saunier.

Causes 2, a benefit album with proceeds going to helping the crisis in Darfur, is streaming at, and features tracks by Black Moth Super Rainbow, The Decemberists, Devendra Banhart, and more.

This week's Largehearted Boy contest gives away the 3-disc deluxe edition of Bob Dylan's new album, Together Through Life, along with two of my favorite Dylan books, his autobiography Chronicles, Volume 1 and The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia.

Follow me on Twitter for links that don't make the daily "Shorties" columns.

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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