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May 7, 2009

Shorties (John Vanderslice, The Thermals, and more)

NPR is streaming the new John Vanderslice album, Romanian Names.

At the A.V. Club Thermals (and All Girl Summer Fun Band) bassist Kathy Foster puts her iPod on shuffle.

The Guardian reports that Bob Dylan wants to collaborate with Paul McCartney on an album.

Paste interviews Depeche Mode's Andrew Fletcher.

NBC News reads into President Obama's choice of reading material (currently Joseph O'Neill's novel Netherland).

These are the folks and this is the thinking that Obama wants to reward and encourage: good-hearted people who work hard, make do with little so that their kids can do better, and who deserve a “boots” government that can help provide education, college tuition, health care, and tax cuts.

If you want to see whom Obama thinks he’s working for and inspired by, read this book.

PopMatters pitches its 20 Questions to School of Seven Bells guitarist Benjamin Curtis.

USA Today shares paperback summer reading suggestions.

Drowned in Sound interviews singer-songwriter-cartoonist Jeffrey Lewis.

Congratulations on surviving 'The Quotes Section.' Do you see yourself as a comic book artist that makes music, or is the music an extension of what you do as a comic book artist?

I never quite see myself as "making music", just as making songs. I'd say I'm a comic book artist that makes songs too. Though in actuality I guess my "job" is being a performer, since that's what I primarily get paid to do. No one pays me to sit at home and write songs, or draw comics.

Perry Farrell talks to Billboard about the new Jane's Addiction album and upcoming tour.

The New York Times profiles St. Vincent.

She dismisses the notion that shredding can’t be girly. “Growing up, I was never made aware of the idea that because I’m anatomically female, my fingers and brain don’t work as well,” she said. “I never did feel like I was constantly having to overcome, ‘I’m a girl but I can play.’ That’s just silly.” She proudly calls herself a pedal nerd, having invented a “stomp board” to simulate drums when she’s playing solo.

FACT lists the top 20 post-punk albums.

The Arkansas Times interviews singer-songwriter Richard Buckner.

You hadn’t put out a record in nearly three years. All your fans want to know: What have you been up to?

I scored a film. It’s [“Dream Boy”] is finally coming out this fall. The score will probably coming out then, too. I spent like a year and a half working on a score after I finished by last one. Since then, I’ve also done some one-off projects. A song for a PBS documentary on sacred harp singing.

The Houston Chronicle profiles Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears.

Lewis’ vocational fortunes have changed because his band, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, has become the most exciting live band on the road today. They play a gritty, funky style of old soul that sounds authentically soulful after more than two decades of pristine R&B.

The Quietus interviews Bob Mould.

The San Jose Mercury News interviews cartoonist Gene Yang.

"American Born Chinese" and "The Eternal Smile" meld reality and fantasy. What attracts you to using that plot device?

Gene: Honestly, I think I've been using that plot device a little too much. But it's part of being a geek, you know? And as society at large becomes "geekified," escapist fantasy becomes more and more mainstream. Also, I think escapist fantasy can be used for more than just pure escapism. I think it's possible to learn something about yourself through fantasy comics and movies and videogames, and I think it's possible to take what you've learned out into the real world and apply it to your real relationships in your real life. That \'s some of what I wanted to explore in "The Eternal Smile"

CNET's Digital Media blog interviews X's John Doe about

What do you think of the efforts by Trent Reznor and Radiohead to find a new model for the music industry?

Doe: I think they're dozens and dozens of people who are doing that on a small level and on a big level. It's catering to the super fan. All the value-added stuff is worthwhile. I don't have the discipline or the organizational skills to have my own label but I take my hat off to anyone who does. Radiohead does that. Aimee Mann does that. Dozens of punk bands do that. It's a good idea, especially if you have a fan base that's going to pay for that stuff.

Minnesota Reads reviews my favorite graphic novel, David B.'s Epileptic.

The San Francisco Chronicle interviews Ayelet Waldman about her new essay collection, Bad Mother.

Walgman has also posted a second video reading from the book.

Wigleaf lists the top 50 very short fictions of 2009 (so far).

Jacket Copy reviews the short fiction anthology written by musicians, Amplified.

Daytrotter features in-studio mp3s from Dawes.

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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