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August 26, 2009

Shorties (Frank Portman, Pete Townshend, and more)

Dr. Frank (aka Frank Portman) is streaming two tracks from a single named after his new novel, Andromeda Klein.

The Guardian reports that Pete Townshend is writing another rock opera.

The musical tells the story of Walter, a pub-rock musician, who hits it big when one of his songs appears in a car advert. Suddenly wealthy, Walter becomes a "house-husband" as his wife, Floss, takes up horse riding. "When [Walter] tries to return to music after a 15-year hiatus," Townshend wrote, "he finds that what he hears and what he composes evoke the ecologically rooted, apocalyptic mindset of his generation. Shaken by this and torn by personal difficulties, he and Floss become estranged."

The Philadelphia Inquirer scrutinizes President Obama's vacation reading list.

At the Guardian, Selcuk Altun lists his top 10 Turkish books.

The Village Voice examines "the improbable return of the rock star novel."

But the musician-penned novel has made a comeback lately. Fiction has snuck into Continuum's 33 1/3 series, in the space usually reserved for deep critical thought about, well, people like Bob Dylan. Both the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle and Joe Pernice, of the Pernice Brothers, used their contributions to the series (based around Black Sabbath's Master of Reality and the Smiths' Meat Is Murder, respectively) to attempt novellas. Pernice's follow-up and proper debut novel, It Feels So Good When I Stop, is out this month from Riverhead. Nick Cave, who published his first novel in 1989, has written another one: The Death of Bunny Munro, due in September from Faber & Faber. And Momus—the Scottish songwriter and artist whose 1988 Tender Pervert LP paid explicit homage to Mishima, Gide, and Bataille—has his fiction debut, The Book of Jokes, on the way from Dalkey Archive, also in September.

Tor lists mindblowing science fiction and fantasy bu women and people of color.

Gizmodo compares wireless e-book readers.

Support 826michigan by buying a Chris Ware-designed robot t-shirt (featuring the robot from Ware's graphic novel Jimmy Corrigan).

Free at Amazon MP3: Brandi Shearer's 5-track Live at the Soiled Dove EP

100 awesome social sites for bookworms.

eMusic lists songs for hard times.

Buy a Bob Dylan hand-signed harmonica for only $5,000 (or a set of 7 for only $25,000).

At Jacket Copy, heavy metal writers share their most hair-raising stories.

Author Matthew Quick talks about football and his his novel, The Silver Linings Playbook, with Philadelphia Daily News sportswriter Stan Hochman.

Granta posted a new essay by Mary Gaitskill, "Lost Cat."

Entertainment Weekly interviews Animal Collective's Panda Bear.

Aquarium Drunkard has posted an end of summer mixtape.

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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