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October 20, 2009

Shorties (Most Popular Funeral Pop Songs, Zombie Books, and more)

The Daily Mail lists the top 20 most popular funeral pop songs in 2009 (and one clergyman's reaction to the trend).


NPR's Weekend Edition examines the popularity of zombie books, and talks to author Scott Browne about his novel, Breathers: A Zombie's Lament.

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


The Guardian profiles Fleet Foxes, and explains why the band will never be as big as America.

Will Fleet Foxes be as big as America? No. Not until they write radio-friendly hit singles. But then Fleet Foxes are more about the music-as-album experience, and less the big-hit-song experience. What is your favourite America album? You'd be hard pressed to get an answer. But ask someone what their favourite America single is and you just know you've got an easy answer.


Clash Music interviews singer-songwriter Devendra Banhart.

You’ve been labelled psychedelic-folk, avant-folk, freak-folk…How would you describe yourself?

Yeah, I certainly wouldn’t use any of those. I think it transcends laziness. They think we play folk music and they watch a show where I play a synthesizer and electric instruments - playing garage rock and Brazilian samba, and it still ends up being folk. But let’s harken back to a time where you ask me a question and I actually answer it.


BSCreview lists the top 50 novels of the decade (2000-2009).


BBC News interviews singer-songwriter Imogen Heap.


What did the Nobel laureates read when they were young?


BBC News ponders the future of online music with music industry executives and journalists.


Rolling Stone interviews Dave Eggers about adapting Where the Wild Things Are into a film.


PopMatters reviews Derf's new graphic novel, Punk Rock and Trailer Parks.


Pop Tarts Suck Toasted lists today's must-see CMJ shows.


The New York Times' ArtsBeat blog interviews John Ortved, author of The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History.

Q. How would you describe “The Simpsons” in a sentence to someone who has never heard of it?

A. It’s a cartoon sitcom about a family and their town that better than any live-action show satirized the American way of life.


Up on the Sun interviews Dave Longstreth of Dirty Projectors.


This Flickr set collects images of show flyers from this year's CMJ music festival.


Time Out Chicago reviews Jonathan Lethem's new novel, Chronic City.

Part of the joy of reading Chronic City is watching Lethem build this alternate Manhattan in his gorgeously constructed sentences (and a nice side game to play consists of counting the myriad adjectives Lethem trots out to describe Perkus’s wayward eyeball). If Fortress was a book about the seriousness of childhood and adolescence, then Chronic City is about the absurdity of adulthood.


NPR's Morning Edition profiles R. Crumb and his new graphic novel, The Book of Genesis Illustrated.


Eye Weekly's sports blog lists the best baseball books (I may have to update my own list of favorite baseball books).


The Vault interviews cartoonist Alex Robinson.

1. Your adaptation of the L. Frank Baum story A Kidnapped Santa Claus is coming out next month, just in time for Christmas. What can you tell us about this book and what do you have planned for your next project?

Harper-Collins was doing a project in which they asked cartoonists to adapt some classic public domain Christmas short stories into comics form and it seemed like something I would never do on my own so I said yes. The idea of adapting someone else’s short story, keeping it family friendly and working with a major publisher were all enough out of my comfort zone that I figured I had to do it.


Deckfight lists its top albums of the decade.


Zoo Animal visits The Current studio for an interview and live performance.


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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