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September 22, 2009

Shorties (Paul Westerberg, James Ellroy, and more)

Paul Westerberg released a 6-track digital EP yesterday, PW & The Ghost Gloves Cat Wing Joy Boys.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune profiles author James Ellroy, whose new novel Blood's a Rover is one of the best books I have read all year.

Ellroy's latest novel, the final installment in a trilogy about U.S. history in and around the Kennedy presidency, might have been easier to construct if he had done research on a computer (which he doesn't own), picked up tips from other historical novels (which he doesn't read) and settled for a breezy, economical tale, the kind that can be digested on a plane ride to Cleveland, instead of a 691-page doorstop with more characters than a Cecil B. DeMille epic and language that might shock a rapper. interviews singer-songwriter Todd Snider.

Express Night Out profiles Volcano Choir, a collaborative project of Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and Collections of Colonies of Bees.

Paste interviews the members of Monsters of Folk (Conor Oberst, Jim James, M. Ward and Mike Mogis) about their self-titled album (out today).

Paste: This record is all over the map, stylistically—you’ve got snatches of R&B, country, rock’n’roll, stringband music, electro-folk and more coming through. Do you feel like there are no rules for this project? What do you think makes it cohesive as Monsters of Folk?

Jim James: The only rule was that the four of us play everything on the record. So we played all the drums, all the bass—we didn’t hire any outside musicians. Conor Oberst: And we all sing on nearly every song, even if it’s just backup. M. Ward: That was a fun part of process—layering the vocals; finding common ground between vocals. Mike Mogis: That’s one of the standout features of the record. The songwriting is great, as well, but the sheer sonics of hearing these three people sing together... Oberst: It’s that old folk sound. [laughter] James: It’s just like Peter, Paul and what’s his face. [laughter]

CMJ interviews Members of No Age.

The New York Post takes a musical road trip through Alabama.

Israeli author Amos Oz is the betting favorite to win this year's Nobel Prize in literature.

The New York Times offers a video interview with E.L. Doctorow about his latest novel, Homer & Langley.

The Raveonettes are streaming their new album, In & Out of Control (out October 6th), in its entirety on MySpace.

The Montreal Gazette interviews Nick Cave about his new novel, The Death of Bunny Munro.

Newsarama offers a 24-page excerpt of Chad Kinkle and Adam Shaw's graphic novel, Harpe: America's First Serial Killers.

In the Guardian, author Umberto Eco bemoans the lost art of handwriting.

Pitchfork recaps the decade in music news.

Austinist interviews author Stephen Elliott about his memoir, The Adderall Diaries.

At BOMB magazine, Gillian Welch interviews author Lydia Peelle.

Win three Steve Keene paintings 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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