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May 31, 2009

Shorties (Danger Mouse, Summer Reading, and more)

The Observer's CD of the week is Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse's Dark Night of the Soul.

It's not an elaborate prank, even though the involvement of master surrealist David Lynch makes it seem like one. Lynch provides the coffee-table book of sinister photographs that accompanies this intriguing collaboration between mercurial producer Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton and fragile songwriter Mark "Sparklehorse" Linkous. Inspired by the album's lyrics, the photos are billed as providing a "visual narrative". There are only 5,000 copies, sold through for $50 (a redux version consists of CD and poster for $10). The punchline? The CDs are blank.

PopMatters interviews Jared Swilley of the Black Lips.

Newsday, Miami Herald, and the Erie Times-News offer summer reading recommendations.

The Winnipeg Free Press examines the musical output of actors.

AlterNet examines the sexist world of the Twilight novels.

At Drowned in Sound, Ed Droste and Daniel Rossen discuss the new Grizzly Bear album, Veckatimest track-by-track.

MusicOMH interviews the band's frontman Ed Droste.

Wired's Beyond the Beyond blog lists 18 challenges in contemporary literature (from a publishing perspective).

The Detroit Free Press profiles cartoonist Art Spiegelman, who currently has an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

"Art was really the first cartoonist who thought of himself as an artist, but he doesn't think of his work as art that hangs on walls," says Croquer. "His object is the book. He's committed to his medium and moving it further. In that sense he's in sync with the other people we show here."

The Times Online profiles author Joseph O'Neill.

The Times Online reviews Steve Knopper's new book, Appetite for Self-Destruction: The Spectacular Crash of the Record Industry in the Digital Age.

The Times Online explains why "poetry is the hip new way to express yourself."

According to the Telegraph, JD salinger is considering legal action to stop publication of 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, an unauthorized sequel to his novel, The Catcher in the Rye.

In the New York Times, author Ha Jin explains his choice to write in English instead of his native Chinese.

Rebecca's Pocket is aggregating summer reading lists.

Enter this week's Largehearted Boy contest for a chance to win Osamu Tezuka's 8-volume Buddha graphic novel series.

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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