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October 19, 2009

Shorties (Astro Boy, Japandroids, and more)

Shanghaiist wonders about the legacy of Astro Boy after the new 3D film is released.

It's not like Astro Boy and its adaptation or its marketing carousel is a new phenomenon, or even specifically bad... But maybe it just gives us a good opportunity to raise the question: how should we best treasure our original cult classics? And when can a movie just be left as a movie, as an artwork in itself, and not as a profit opportunity?


Express Night Out profiles Japandroids.


The Telegraph explores the burgeoning Chinese comics scene.


Five Chapters is serializing a new short story by Mark Jude Poirer this week.


Time interviews Jonathan Lethem about his new novel, Chronic City.

There are many surreal elements in Chronic City: a mysterious fog, snow in the summer, a giant tiger. Is there something about Manhattan that makes it an unreal place in your mind?

It's both real and unreal. The pressure of money and ambition and the forces of aspiration and yearning that make up that island also make it into kind of a virtual reality. There's something about Manhattan that's half a concept. People are living inside this concept as much as inside the real territory. But it is also real, and I wanted to capture the texture and the material sense of it — what it is to be on the streets and what it is to enter someone's apartment.


The Columbia Spectator bristles at the appropriation of world music by western musicians.


With e-books becoming more popular, BBC News examines the threat of massive book piracy.


The Next Web reports that mp3 blog aggregator The Hype Machine is planning an iPhone app.


The Los Angeles Times shares a previously unpublished Kurt Vonnegut short story, "Look at the Birdie."


PopMatters is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a series of essays on how culture has changed in the past 10 years.


Paste lists five great (and strange) musical origin stories.


Stream both tracks from the forthcoming Frightened Rabbit single, Swim Until You Can't See Land (out December 8th).


R. Crumb talks to USA Today about his new graphic novel, Genesis Illustrated.

"If people of faith say what I've done is blasphemous or profane, I'd shrug my shoulders and say, 'I just illustrated what is there,' " Crumb says. "I'm not ridiculing it, just illustrating the exact words that are there. I restrained myself. I really didn't want to make visual jokes about it. I hope people see it for what it is."


Pitchfork reviews the new Kings of Convenience album, Declaration of Dependence.

The songs on Declaration of Dependence reveal everyday tensions with a cool, undemonstrative reserve. You can hear the spare but descriptive verses as about romance, the band itself, or global politics, depending on your preference.


Drowned in Sound interviews Robbie Furzer of The Big Pink.


io9 offers entry points for young adult science fiction.


The New York Times profiles San Francisco's literary culture.


Nick Hornby talks to the Sydney Morning Herald about his new novel, Juliet, Naked.


The New York Times reviews Michael Chabon's new essay collection, Manhood for Amateurs.

As in his novels, he shifts gears easily between the comic and the melancholy, the whimsical and the serious, demonstrating once again his ability to write about the big subjects of love and memory and regret without falling prey to the Scylla and Charybdis of cynicism and sentimentality.


Feeling nostalgic for MTV's 120 Minutes? Check out this archive of playlists & videos, interviews, and overview of the show.


The New York Times magazine profiles Pandora's "song decoders."


io9 lists the top 5 dinosaur fights in comics.


On sale for 99 cents at Amazon MP3: The Avett Brothers 8-track The Second Gleam EP.


Win one of five gift packs (including Josh Bazell's novel Beat the Reaper and a Brooklyn Industries t-shirt) 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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