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January 11, 2010

Shorties (Bands as People, Vampire Weekend, and more)

Jeph Jacques, the cartoonist behind the webcomic Questionable Content, lists more "bands as people."

Radiohead is the girl who was absolutely stunning back in college and you pretend you don't still have a crush on her but every time she comes in to Starbucks your heart skips a beat.

On sale at Amazon MP3: Vampire Weekend's new 10-track album Contra for $3.99.

The Boston Globe reviews the album.

“Contra" is a different breed - and a superior one, too. Where "Vampire Weekend" was exalted (and derided) for its carefree exuberance and cross-cultural mash-ups, the New York band’s sophomore release gives us more to think about besides comparisons to Paul Simon’s “Graceland.’’

The Independent, the Scotsman, Consequence of Sound, and DOA also review the album.

This past weekend's final updates to the year-end and end-of-decade book and music lists included:

Buddyhead's best & worst albums of the year
The Stylus Decade's top singles& albums of the decade
Discover magazine's best books of the year
Nerdage's best graphic novels of the decade

American Songwriter interviews singer-songwriter Matthew Ryan.

The Standard lists five superhero songs.

The Dartmouth profiles the founders of the music blog Big Green Beats.

The New Yorker features a new short story by T. Coraghessan Boyle, "A Death in Kitchawank."

This week Five Chapters is serializing a new short story by Doug Dorst.

Read Dorst's Largehearted Boy Book Notes music playlist for his novel, Alive in Necropolis.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reviews Anne Tyler's new novel, Noah's Compass.

The Rambler points out 5 new music blogs you should subscribe to now.

The Louisville Courier-Journal lists five winter books to watch out for, including Largehearted Boy contributor Jami Attenberg's The Melting Season.

“The Melting Season” by Jami Attenberg (January). Attenberg is a brave, honest writer with scary talent, and this novel about a young woman heading west to escape a failing marriage and a small town is her best yet.

At the Barnes & Noble Review, music critic Robert Christgau lists his best albums of 2009.

Justine Larbalestier discusses the importance of book cover design.

NPR is streaming the new Spoon album, Transference (out January 19th) in its entirety.

Publishing Perspectives examines why more foreign writers aren't published in the United States.

nyctaper presents a list of 2009 live concert recordings available as mp3 downloads on the site. I recommend the Mountain Goats and Sharon Van Etten performances.

HTMLGIANT is kicking off Live Giants, its online reading series, on Thursday, January 28th with author Heather Christie.

My "best of 2009" lists:

favorite albums of 2009
favorite novels of 2009
favorite nonfiction of 2009
favorite short story collections of 2009
favorite graphic 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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