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October 3, 2009

Shorties (Michael Chabon, The Mountain Goats, and more)

The Los Angeles Times reviews Michael Chabon's new collection of essays, Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son.

Chabon is more or less incapable of writing a boring sentence. Like Updike, he is an inveterate noticer, and the central appeal of his style lies in its lyric precision, whether he's describing a pack of stickers "scented with the sweet dust of bubble gum" or a fudge upside-down cake "floating like the earth's mantle on a glutinous brown magma." If the book has a unifying theme, it is the need to preserve our sense of wonder against an incessant tide of marketing. Chabon takes direct aim at the forces eroding our cultural imagination. He is especially good at diagnosing the neuroses of what used to be called the bourgeoisie.

The Mountain Goats have a new video for "Ezekiel 7 and the Permanent Efficacy of Grace" from The Life of the World to Come (out October 6th).

The Winnipeg Sun interviews Gogol Bordello's Eugene Hutz.

The New Yorker features new short fiction by George Saunders, "Victory Lap."

The New York Times interviews Roseanne Cash about her new album, The List (out October 6th).

On Tuesday, you’re releasing your 14th album, “The List,” a stirring leap into the past whose title refers to an actual list of 100 mostly country songs compiled by your father, Johnny Cash, in 1973 in an effort to expand your teenage taste in music beyond the Beatles.

He realized that I lacked something essential about my own musical genealogy, and he made this list for me. He said, “This is a template for excellence.” He would play the songs for me on his guitar, and I sought out therecords in the years afterward.

The Oregonian interviews author Sherman Alexie.

The Philadelphia Daily News interviews Yoko Ono about her new album, Between My Head and the Sky.

The Guardian profiles Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy novels, 30 years after the first was published.

Granta features a new short story by Dave Reidy, "Chasing Cars."

The Guardian interviews Johnny Marr about folk music.

Lizzyville answers frequently asked questions about Pitchfork's top 20 albums of the 2000s.

IGN ranks Coldplay's albums from worst to best.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reviews David Small's graphic memoir, Stitches.

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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