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December 17, 2009

Shorties (Pitchfork's Best Albums of 2009, Wes Anderson, and more)

Pitchfork has posted half of its top 50 albums of 2009.

At Comic Riffs, author Michael Chabon and film director Wes Anderson discuss their favorite Christmas animated specials.

The A.V. Club interviews Bad Lieutenant frontman Bernard Sumner.

The Omaha World-Herald profiles We All Have Hooks for Hands.

We All Have Hooks for Hands describes itself as “indie gang rock,” and its songs are melodic and poppy, sounding a lot like Pains of Being Pure at Heart or Japandroids. The band also sports dueling drummers. Its songs have a driving, danceable mood.

The Sacramento News & Review profiles The Ganglians.

Singer Ryan Grubbs said the band’s always kind of been the odd band out. The guys are serious about music, but don’t implore for press, success, getting signed or making cash like so many groups. Even in Midtown’s underground music scene, their peers played strange ambient noise rock and dissonant post-punk when Ganglians explored cartoony, off-tempo, psychedelic indie rock with beautiful, Beach Boys-inspired pop flourishes.

PopMatters interviews singer-songwriter Melody Gardot.

[here] lists Christmas music that doesn't suck.

The Portland Mercury profiles singer-songwriter Brittain Ashford.

For Ashford, words are what make a song stick. A listener leaves her most recent release, 2008's There, But for You, Go I, carrying the kind of Gotham-centric imagery one finds in indie romcoms, with Manhattan valets brushing up against Brooklyn insomniacs. It's Ashford's ear for stories and situations that makes her capable of these wryly rendered scenes of lovelorn New Yorkers. Yet, it's hunched over a dulcimer that Ashford the listener becomes Ashford the writer.

Al Masry Al Youm interviews academic Rasheed el-Enany about the current state of Arabic literature.

The Cover Lovers is an mp3 blog devoted to cover songs.

Tiny Mix Tapes examines the downfall of print media's effect on web writing, the music industry, and the music consumer.

The National Book Foundation website offers videos from the finalists' speeches for the 2009 National Book Awards, along with the speeches for the 5 Under 35 authors.

P.D. James talks detective fiction with USA Today.

The Arizona Republic lists 25 songs for a rock and roll Christmas.

The Nation profiles author Lorrie Moore in depth.

The Bygone Bureau lists the best new blogs of 2009.

Autostraddle displays how Alison Bechdel foreshadowed the television series The L Word with her long-running comic Dykes to Watch Out For.

Music Ally lists 2009's digital music startups from A to Z.

My "best of 2009" lists:

favorite albums of 2009
favorite novels of 2009
favorite music of 2009 (at Urban Outfitters)

Follow me on Twitter for links that don't make the daily "Shorties" columns.

also at Largehearted Boy:

online "best of 2009" book lists
online "best of 2009" music lists
Online Best of the Decade (2000-2009) 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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