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August 24, 2009

Shorties (Radiohead, Steven Hall, and more)

The New York Times examines Radiohead's decision to no longer release albums from a business perspective.

Steven Hall is giving cryptic hints to his forthcoming novel Hula Hoop via a song playlist in his official forum.

New York Magazine examines the career paths of middle-aged rappers as part of its fall preview.

The Quietus interviews Jello Biafra.

Independent Weekly interviews John Cook, author of the oral biography Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, The Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small, and includes a downloadable PDF excerpt of the first chapter of the book.

The book seems as much a history of Superchunk as a history of Merge.

There was initially going to be just a chapter on Superchunk, but I realized soon that it couldn't be that way. There was so much to talk about with them, and most of it fell in with the arc of how the label progressed and the way things were at the timeā€”the things all bands dealt with, the way majors and indies were interacting, things like that.

CNN profiles Vampire Weekend and interviews frontman Ezra Koenig,

We Have Signal continues to stream taped live performances from Birmingham's Bottletree Cafe. Recent performances include Deerhunter, The Duke Spirit, and The Sword.

Marvel lists their 70 best comic book covers (in honor of their 70th anniversary).

Pitchfork examines the social history of the MP3.

Designer Daily lists the worst album covers of all time.

Marc and Angel Hack Life list 40 nonfiction books everyone should read.

The New York Times reviews and excerpts from Josh Neufield's graphic novel, A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge.

Grasping for the Wind has put together a large list of blogs that review science fiction/fantasy/horror books.

The A.V. Club lists 23 fictional schools that might kill you.

The Australian profiles author Tracy Chevalier.

As she describes turning these historical figures into fiction, Chevalier's irritation with modern life bubbles through. "I don't want my characters to be overly analytical because to me that's a very modern sensibility. We are just constantly self-referential. We do something and then we write about it, we blog about it; everything's so second-hand," she says wearily. "You know, Mary and Elizabeth went out on a beach looking for fossils and that is what they did." She punctuates each word with a gentle bump of her forearm against the table. "They weren't saying, I'm on a beach and I'm going to text my friends, 'Guess where I am?"'

gdgt reports that the Rhapsody streaming music service will soon be available on the iPhone.

Five Chapters' "fifteen stories in fifteen days" kicks off with new short fiction by Lauren Grodstein.

The Bat Segundo Show lists the 300+ authors interviewed on the podcast, with links to the corresponding episodes.

Elle lists the greatest female electric guitarists.

The Guardian profiles Topic Records, Britain's oldest independent label (and possibly the world's).

Win the book Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label That Got Big and Stayed Small plus three Superchunk and Portastatic albums 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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