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July 22, 2009

Shorties (Dave Eggers, Top Merge Albums, and more)

Time interviews author Dave Eggers.

The Buffalo News profiles singer-songwriter Jason Lytle.

The Washington Post's Post-Rock blog lists the top 20 Merge Records albums of all time.

The New York Observer previews fall's new fiction books.

PopMatters excerpts from the intriguing book Radiohead and Philosophy: Fitter Happier More Productive.

Radiohead seem especially attuned to this fear of the tie between violence and power. From OK Computer to Hail to the Thief, their records consistently portray a world rife with terror, despondency, and violence. Piggies squeal, bruises don’t heal, and police arrest citizens for random crimes like offensive hairdos or annoying conversational habits. Knives come out, armies are taken out, and bodies float down muddy rivers. Little men are erased, young blood is effaced, and the feeling of being strangled, beaten, and skinned-alive is never far. Radiohead seem to live in a violent world.

The National Post profiles the Rural Alberta Advantage.

The New York Times examines alternate funding sources as musicians increasingly turn away from record labels.

On sale for $1.99 at Amazon MP3: Angus & Julia Stone's 13-track album, A Book Like This.

The A.V. Club interviews comics writer Grant Morrison.

The Guardian examines the phenomenon of "literary death matches."

The Literary Death Match is the brainchild of Todd Zuniga, the affable editor of Opium, an American literary magazine now (despite the bad odds of print) going strong in its eighth year. (Full disclosure: Zuniga is a friend of a close friend, although this week was the first time I met him.) Launched in New York, but now a key event on the cultural calendar in several American cities (last night was the European debut), the Death Match runs in three rounds, like a sort of manic, jolly, literary talent competition mixed with a bit of a game of chance.

USA Today previews this year's Comic-Con.

The Baltimore Sun profiles indie rock duo Wye Oak.

The Quietus offers an alternative set of nominees to the Mercury Music Prize.

Stereogum reports that a nine-song set of demos from Coldplay's Viva La Vida recording sessions has leaked.

Monica Ali talks to NPR's All Things Considered about her new novel, In the Kitchen. An excerpt from the book is also presented.

The Guardian offers tips on arranging the books on your shelf.

Pop Candy features cartoonist Hope Larson.

Win 8 t-shirts (including 3 from Threadless) in this week's Largehearted Boy contest.

Follow me on Twitter for links that don't make the daily "Shorties" columns.

also at Largehearted Boy:

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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