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May 19, 2009

Shorties (Passion Pit, John Vanderslice, and more)

Passion Pit's new 11-track Manners album is on sale at Amazon MP3 fpr $2.99.

The Boston Globe profiles the band and reviews the album.

Ecstatic is the key word here as melodies arrive in a sugar rush; lyrics spill out in long, ornate lines full of bright imagery; and Michael Angelakos's rough-hewn falsetto vocals practically burst at the seams as he attempts to get all his points across at once.

Decider Bay Area interviews John Vanderslice.

D: So what do you think of acts like No Age—bands that intentionally shirk self-consciousness, or make a point of being shambolic?

JV: If you’d asked me what I’d wanted to do five years ago, I’d have told you I wanted to be Viktor Vaughn or The Game—I would want to be a rapper with an eight ball of coke in my pocket and a wad of hundreds. Because that kind of freedom—well, perceived freedom—is where I want to be. And that’s probably as far away from what I could do. To make a live record—something that has a lot of lice in it—is difficult. After slaving away for years in the studio, when I hear a No Age record or when I hear Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ first EP or when I hear DRI or really early punk stuff, it’s just so powerful, so raw—and I know how hard that is to create. It’s very deceptive. It’s like a Dardenne brothers film—it seems like just a handheld camera following some people around in a trailer park, but it’s incredibly difficult to do that.

The Bay Bridged also interviews Vanderslice.

The Wesleyan Argus interviews Martin Sleeman of the Morning After Girls.

Tori Amos talks to Billboard about her upcoming tour.

"I think a live shows has to be inclusive of your whole catalog -- that's how I look at them," Amos tells "The new record always sets a tone, but the catalog will be there. By utilizing the whole catalog I think you're able to tell a different story every night."

ABC News Inside Amplified blog interviews Thermals frontman Hutch Harris.

The Monolith Festival has announced its first batch of bands, and will be announcing new additions on Twitter.

GalleyCat lists literary blogs available for subscription on the Kindle.

The New York Times reviews two books concerning copyright issues in a digital era, Greg Kot's Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music and Mark Helprin's Digital Barbarism: A Writer’s Manifesto.

The Huffington Post is serializing the opening of Arthur Rosenfeld's new novel, Quiet Teacher.

The Telegraph profiles musician and producer William Orbit.

NME's In the Office blog makes a pilgrimage to Kurt Cobain's house.

PopMatters excerpts from Zachary Mexico's book, China Underground.

Teen Vogue excerpts from Lauren Conrad's debut novel, L.A. Candy.

American Songwriter interviews Curt Kirkwood of the Meat Puppets.

At NPR, author Jeffrey Eugenides recommends Saul bellow's novel, Herzog.

Bellow, the supreme realist, discovered in Herzog a new form — the self-reflexive epistolary novel — without any of the obscurantism or self-preening of so-called "experimental" novels.

NPR is streaming a Drive-By Truckers acoustic set.

This week's Largehearted Boy giveaway: the new Alina Simone/Black Swan 7" single along with a Black Swans album and Alina Simone's complete back catalog.

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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