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January 18, 2010

Shorties (Spoon, Haruki Murakami, and more)

Spoon frontman Britt Daniel talks to the New York Post about the band's success.

CNNGo reports that an English translation of Haruki Murakami's Pinball, 1973 novel is back in print.

Now that the prices have come back down to the earth, we can appreciate "Pinball, 1973" for its literary value rather than its exchange value. The novel is important within the Murakami oeuvre in that it sets up the distance between the protagonist and 'the Rat,' which is key to understanding "A Wild Sheep Chase." Also, the novel's structure of two-separate-stories-in-one-narrative is repeated later in "Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World."

Chunklet is auctioning items this week to aid Haitian earthquake relief efforts, including vinyl test pressings by Ted Leo, the Black Lips and more..

Financial Times reviews Nick Flynn's new memoir, The Ticking Is the Bomb.

The New Yorker features a new short story by E.O. Wilson.

Under the Radar interviews singer-songwriter Neko Case.

The Chicago Sun-Times profiles Pravda Records.

Indeed, over the last quarter century, Pravda has issued outstanding discs by the experimental art-rockers Cheer-Accident, psychotic pop terrorists the C*nts, ethereal violinist Susan Voelz, Italian blues-rockers the Black Smokers and the solo debut by Feelies band leader Glenn Mercer, to name just a few. Even more stylistically diverse have been the live albums issued under the Bughouse subsidiary: gonzo documents of Hasil Adkins, Tiny Tim, Cordell Jackson and the Legendary Stardust Cowboy. But its bestseller remains the first of three volumes of its "Star Powered Explosive Dynamic Super Fantastic Rockin' Mega Smash Hit Explosions," its original tribute to the K-Tel compilations of the '70s released in 1994.

Publishers Weekly examines the commercial success of Robert Goolrick's novel, A Reliable Wife (one of my favorite novels of 2009).

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

Clashmusic has news of a possible Libertines reunion.

The Rattle Bag interviews singer-songwriter and folk music legend Pete Seeger. (via)

GM: How did you come up with the phrase written on the face of your own banjo?

PS: I made it up. Woody [Woody Guthrie, author of “So Long, It’s Been Good to Know Yuh” and “This Land is Your Land”] had on his guitar: “This machine kills fascists” in World War II. And after World War II, he kept it on, and we said, “Woody, Hitler is dead. Mussolini is dead. Take the sign off.” He said, “These fascists come along every time the rich people get the generals to help them stay in control.” I wanted to have something a little more peaceful: “This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.” While it’s true, there are still people in the world that hate, small groups here and small groups there…and the stupid scientists invented horrible things that they can do if they get the right weapons.

Drowned in Sound interviews Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne.

The Telegraph points out a Google Street View photo of Coyne in a bathtub.

Fresh Air interviews author Larry Tye and excerpts from his new biography of Satchel Paige, Satchel: The Life and Times of an American Legend.

ComicMix lists its best comics of the decade.

The Guardian examines the epidemic of book pirating in Peru via a photo essay.

Aufgemesicht! interviews the members of Beach House about the duo's new album, Teen Dream (out January 26th).

The Guardian is streaming the new Spoon album, Transference.

The Line of Best Fit interviews the members of Yeasayer.

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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