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May 5, 2009

Shorties (Jason Lytle, Maria Taylor, and more)

NPR is streaming former Grandaddy frontman Jason Lytle's new album, Yours Truly, The Commuter, in its entirety (the album is released May 19th).

Threadless Tee-V interviews singer-songwriter Maria Taylor.

MTVu's Ahead of the Curve features live video from Passion Pit, Blitzen Trapper, Chairlift, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and more.

Decider Denver interviews Thao Nguyen.

D: You also have fairly strong opinions about female guitarists?

TN: If you’re a woman musician, that is your qualifier. I’ve had people come up to me and say, “You’re good for a girl.” My only issue is, when that stereotype and stigma already exists, sometimes it’s perpetuated by people who may not really play guitar. You somehow need to transcend that division of gender. I mean, do whatever you have to do, you know?

Author Marc Fitten is visiting 100 indie bookstores to promote his new book, Valeria's Last Stand, and blogging about the experience.

Decider Austin interviews Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner.

USA Today reviews Arthur Phillips' latest novel, The Song Is You.

There's much to love here: the dozens of song titles (some slightly altered) by the likes of U2, The Pet Shop Boys, The Cranberries, Miles Davis, They Might Be Giants and Jane's Addiction, which are incorporated into the book. Musicphiles and pop-culture junkies will be drawn to the novel for this alone. It also will attract those fascinated by the growing role that text messaging, cellphones, e-mail and websites play in our everyday lives.

Read Phillips' Largehearted Boy Book Notes music playlist for the book.

The Montreal Gazette lists the best driving songs of all time.

The Boston Globe profiles author Reif Larsen and his inventive debut novel, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet.

The result is a book that Larsen likens to "exploded hyper-text" with arrows directing readers to the marginalia that are crucial to his storytelling. It is a novel with graphics, not a graphic novel. Its 255 scattered maps and diagrams and drawings illuminate its main character rather than illustrate its plot.

The Young and Hungry interviews author Jonathan Safran Foer about food. (via)

On sale at Amazon MP3:

the 11-track Ben Harper And Relentless7 album White Lies for Dark Times: $3.99

At Pitchfork, Fluxblog's Matthew Perpetua gives St. Vincent's new album, Actor, an 8.5.

The songs on St. Vincent's second album, Actor, are primarily sung from the perspective of women who feel stifled and restless in their safe, orderly lives. Her characters worry about the judgment of neighbors and strangers, struggle with boredom and complacency, attempt to sublimate or defuse their anger, and, in one of the record's darkest selections, fantasize about disappearing completely into a new identity. Her lyrics are sympathetic observations rendered with clear, economical language focused on a specific moment of conflict or epiphany, occasionally undercut with self-deprecating asides and subtle humor. Even when the music is at its most dramatic, as when songs slip out of placid, Disney-esque string accompaniment into jagged, distorted guitar passages, Clark consistently understates her characters' angst, and buries their negative emotions under layers of denial, stoicism, and subservience to the desire of others.

IGN lists the top 100 comic book villains.

The Daily Cross Hatch interviews comics artist Gene Yang.

NPR's Books We Like recommends Ariel Schrag's graphic novel, Likewise.

Read Schrag's Largehearted Boy Book Notes music playlist for the book.

LaudroMatinee features mp3s and video from Arizona's in-studio performance.

Daytrotter features in-studio mp3s from Illinois.

This week's Largehearted Boy giveaway: three Harvey Pekar graphic novels, including his latest, The Beats: A Graphic History.

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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