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May 23, 2009

Shorties (Colm Toibin, Morrissey, and more)

The Washington Post reviews Colm Toibin's new novel, Brooklyn.

Tóibín's prose is graceful but never showy, and his characters are uniformly interesting and believable. As a study of the quest for home and the difficulty of figuring out where it really is, "Brooklyn" has a universality that goes far beyond the specific details of Eilis's struggle.

Happy 50th birthday, Morrissey.

The A.V. Club interviews author Katherine Dunn.

Billboard offers Twitter tips for bands from one of the service's co-founders.

The San Francisco Chronicle interviews Rilo Kiley singer Jenny Lewis.

Q: That reminds me. Is Fred Savage still stalking you?

A: It's so funny you asked that because just today I got an e-mail from him saying, "Are you getting this?" I haven't talked to him in years, so I wrote him back and said, "Yes." It turns out he was just trying to e-mail his wife, who is also named Jenny.

The New York Times profiles Grizzly Bear and the high expectations for the band's new album, Veckatimest.

With Grizzly Bear, whose previous album, “Yellow House,” released in 2006, sold about 50,000 in part because of a tour with Radiohead last summer, the open question is what happens when that circle widens, and a potential breakthrough meets an entirely new set of standards. Priya Dewan, the label manager for Warp, based in Britain, which also released “Yellow House,” said hopes for “Veckatimest” were running high. “We’re projecting it to be our largest release in the U.S. ever,” she said.

The Walrus interviews Reif Larsen, author of The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet.

At NPR, author Alice Hoffman exlains her adoration for Ray Bradbury's novel, Farenheit 451.

I have always believed that the books of youth stay with us in a unique way. The fairy tales, nursery rhymes and novels we read when we're young become part of our DNA. Perhaps that is why I was led back to Fahrenheit 451 after 9/11. It was a brilliant remedy for restoring my faith. In returning to Bradbury territory, I was reminded of just how important books are. Stories are our personal history. In the end, they're all we have. Soon after, I began writing my own post-apocalyptic fairy tale — the tale of a girl who loses everything, yet comes back to life when she begins to tell her own story, just as I had.

The Wanderlust Festival is set for July 24-26th in Lake Tahoe, and will merge music (Spoon, Andrew Bird, Amanda Palmer, and many more) with yoga, meditation, and much more.

On sale at Amazon MP3 for $2.99 Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band 15-track dub Beatles tribute.

NPR's Books We Like recommends and excerpts from Joanna Smith Smith Rakoff's debut novel, A Fortunate Age.

Through it all, Smith Rakoff's characters — the sometimes cock-sure, sometimes appealing, often annoying but always earnest bright young things who, like so many before and since, stake it all on New York — remain deeply human. For a brief time, they live the whirligig feeling of endless potential. That glorious sense of anything-goes disappears for them, as it did for so many, when terrorists take out the Twin Towers. That devastating upheaval makes this a novel of manners that matters.

Stephin Merritt talks to Variety about his Coraline musical.

Comic Book Resources examines the new documentary about cartoonist Jeff Smith.

NPR is streaming last night's St. Vincent Washington performance.

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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