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August 11, 2009

Shorties (Stone Roses, Bat for Lashes, and more)

Stone Roses bassist Mani talks to BBC Radio 1 about the band's seminal self-titled debut album. The 20th anniversary legacy edition of The Stone Roses is out September 8th in the US.

What would a 20-year-old find in the album?

It's an honest piece of work, it's from the heart, has great integrity, great songs and tremendous lyrics. Everything came together in one hit, like when the planets align and something special happens, that's what happened back in May 1989. I can walk down any street in any city in the world and get stopped five times a day by people wanting to shake my hand and say thanks for the album. I say thanks for buying it and getting me off the dole!

The Boston Globe interviews Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes.

Q. What’s with all the Kate Bush comparisons you’re getting for this new album?

A. Well, I love Kate Bush, but I feel like I loved her when I was younger and she kind of seeped into my DNA. When I was 12, I was listening to “Hounds of Love’’ a lot. It was almost like my schooling in sounds, in some ways. But I equally was listening to Michael Jackson, Prince, and Madonna and then getting really into Nirvana and grunge. I’m sure there are [Bush comparisons] because we’re both English women. We’re both into mystical, beautiful things. But I don’t think she more than anyone else has influenced me. I was obsessed with Steve Reich for three years. I just hope that people see my music as my own thing.

A.V. Chicago interviews Kim Deal of the Breeders and the Pixies.

The Telegraph reviews Greg Milner's new book, Perfecting Sound Forever: the Story of Recorded Music.

The New York journalist Greg Milner’s detailed and engaging book examines the rich relationship between music and the eureka moments of invention. His narrative takes us from the day in 1877 when Thomas Edison first recorded “Mary Had a Little Lamb” on a piece of tin foil, to the Red Hot Chili Peppers heard as an MP3 file through an iPod on bud earphones. Though alive with figures and information, it’s a work of great stylistic charm, one that never loses its pleasing balance between facts and human interest.

The Quietus interviews Peter Hook, formerly of New Order and Joy Division.

How do you look back at those days in the band?

PH: We had a great time. We didn’t worry about money or position. We were really four people - five with Rob Gretton - against the world, pointing in the same direction. That was the wonderful thing about Joy Division. From its inception to its demise, we never earned a single penny. We started it broke and finished it broke. There were no arguments about publishing, no arguments about money. It was very straightforward. It was just four kids loving playing, loving music, against the world. I’ve never had such an easy relationship as the one in Joy Division. It was when we started New Order that it got very complicated.

PopMatters asks its 20 questions of pianist Christopher O'Riley.

LiveDaily interviews Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche.

PopMatters delves into author Dave Eggers and the "American nonfiction novel."

NME reports that Morrissey is urging fans not to buy the forthcoming box set reissues from his back catalog.

The former Smiths singer claimed in a statement issued to fan site, which he often communicates through, that he wouldn't receive any money from the reissues, released on November 2, and that he was not asked for approval for their release.

At Drowned in Sound, Mum breaks down its new album, Sing Along to Songs You Don't Know (out September 20th in the US), track-by-track.

Richard Russo talks to the Cape Cod Times about his new novel, That Old Cape Magic.

The Los Angeles Times shares photos from Lauren Dukoff's book, Family, which collects photographs of singer-songwriter Devendra Banhart and his friends. interviews cartoonist Johnny Ryan, who is drawing the first issue of Strange Tales, where "in which some of the brightest stars of alternative and indie comics present their takes on the Marvel Universe." Read an excerpt from Ryan's contribution.

Happy 1st anniversary to Minnesota Reads, stop by and enter their contest for the staff's favorite books by Minnesotans.

NPR reviews and excerpts from Ron Currie, Jr.'s excellent novel, Everything Matters!

Needless to say, Currie is walking a fine line here between the portentous and the twee; he succeeds because Everything Matters! is a small miracle of tempo and tone, filled with heartfelt moments that open into satire. Throughout, Junior is haunted by the question, "Does anything I do matter?" — a dilemma that turns out to have a more ambiguous, even heartbreaking resolution than the title's cheeky exclamation point would suggest. Currie isn't offering up a blithe affirmation of life. In Everything Matters! the title holds true not in spite of the void, but because of it.

Read Currie's Largehearted Boy Book Notes music playlist for the book.

The Silversun Pickups visit The Current studios for an interview and live performance.

CNET's Digital Media blog examines the "short, troubled life of a music startup."

A Journal by Tigerstripe lists its favorite albums of 2009 (so far).

The Daily Beast lists every book President Obama has been seen with since the beginning of the presidential campaign.

At, Thomas Pynchon has created a music playlist for his new novel, Inherent Vice.

The wiki for Inherent Vice is up at

Win two of the year's best graphic novels (Johnny Hiro by Fred Chao and George Sprott by Seth) 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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