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November 4, 2009

Shorties (Nurses, Essential New York Albums, and more)

Paste profiles Nurses.

The result is a whimsical collision of memorable melodies (such as the eminently hummable “Caterpillar Playground” and “Lita”) and eccentric, cut-and-paste arrangements dominated by a whistled bridges, treated pianos and rattletrap percussion. Along with Chapman’s decidedly Brian Wilsonesque vocals and guitar work, it’s a charming combination that—again, like the band’s hulking white van—doesn’t seem much concerned with where it’s headed next.

Time Out New York has musicians name their "essential New York album."

AfterEllen interviews Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara.

Reuters reports that President Obama's brother, Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo, has launched a novel in China.

Ndesandjo's book details how the protagonist, David, made an improbable journey to China in 2001 just after the September 11th attacks, inspired by his "growing love for a beautiful Chinese woman and a young orphan", and reflects Ndesandjo's own marriage to a young Chinese woman and his charitable work for Chinese orphans.

At the Guardian, Howard Jacobson lists the top 10 novels of sexual jealousy.

The Vancouver Sun examines how independent artists are harnessing new media to promote their music.

Paper Cuts shares a music playlist by author Adam Langer.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reviews Nick Hornby's latest novel, Juliet, Naked.

PopMatters interviews author Nicholson Baker.

Neatorama lists 13 examples of literature in song.

On sale at Amazon MP3: the 12-track Tori Amos album Little Earthquakes for $1.99.

Jeff VanderMeer talks to the San Antonio Current about the soundtrack Murder By Death produced for his novel, Finch.

The San Antonio Current also reviews the book.

All Scandinavian previews Finnish musical artists to watch in 2010.

Drowned in Sound reviews the recent Feelies reissues, Crazy Rhythms and The Good Earth.

At All Things Considered's blog, Bob Boilen defends the indie rock bias of the NPR program.

The Herald Scotland profiles former Suede frontman Brett Anderson.

“My pop instincts are still there,” he sighs. “I just wish I could get rid of them.” Huh? The former Suede singer is clearly a very different man from the one who burst onto the indie scene in 1992, singing of chemically-fuelled sex in council houses and admitting that he wanted to “make his mark on pop history”. Ask him now what he hopes to achieve with his new solo record, Slow Attack, and he replies, “Absolutely nothing. I don’t have the same sets of goals I once had.”

The Aquarian interviews Peter Moren of Peter Bjorn And John.

Spinner lists the top 10 music cliches. offers a primer on the music of the Mountain Goats.

Flavorpill examines the trend of "writers who sing and singers who write."

WHYY's Fresh Air interviews Mary Karr about her new memoir, Lit, and also excerpts from the book.

They Might Be Giants visit The Current studio for an interview and live performance.

Win Peter & Max: A Fables Novel and Fables: The Deluxe Edition, Book One 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:

online "best of 2009" book lists
best of the decade (2000-2009) online music lists

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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