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February 26, 2010

Shorties (Chuck Klosterman Interviews Stephen Malkmus, Joe Hill, and more)

At GQ, Chuck Klosterman interviews Stephen Malkmus about the upcoming Pavement reunion.

The A.V. Club interviews Joe Hill about his new novel, Horns.

The Chicago Tribune profiles singer-songwriter Laura Veirs.

While the Portland singer-songwriter has a handful of solid albums holding up her back catalog, July Flame--named for some particular peaches she spotted at her hometown farmers market—is truly the sum of a steady course: a tidal wave of adoring press, guest appearances from ardent fellow musicians, and an album that is nuanced and masterful.

At Stacked Up, writers show off their bookshelves.

Charlotte Gainsbourg talks to the London Evening Standard about her latest album, IRM.

GalleyCat examines the books featured in the sixth season of Lost and their possible relevance.

The A.V. Club offers entry points to bronze-age comics.

Speakers in Code interviews singer-songwriter Brandi Shearer.

Autostraddle recommends lesbian literature for spring 2010.

The UCSD Guardian lists four up and coming 2010 bands.

DCist interviews Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers.

At The Browser, Aleksandar Hemon discusses his five favorite books.

The Independent profiles singer-songwriter Beth Jeans Houghton.

Houghton is anything but boring. Words trip off her tongue and her energy is infectious. It's quite a different energy from the serenity of her delicate folk-infused songs, and her September- released EP Hot Toast Volume One. From Newcastle, and despite only picking up a guitar three years ago, Houghton has an impressive number of plaudits to her name. Her debut single, "Golden", produced by folk star Adem, quickly sold its limited run of 500 copies. The first run of her EP sold out on the day of release. She has made a name for herself within a burgeoning folk scene, supporting King Creosote, Bon Iver and Tinariwen. No wonder that she is being hailed as the psych-folk singer to watch.

The Wall Street Journal interviews Joanna Newsom.

Where do you think your music is situated in the landscape of pop music?

When I first started making music I didn't think what I was doing was weird. Then the first wave of responses was like, 'This is the craziest thing you'll ever hear.' I acknowledged it and kept doing what I was doing, operating on the assumption that what I do would be considered too strange. Over the years there's been a gradual movement where slightly more people are interested in what I'm doing.

Today's reviews of Joanna Newsom's new album, Have One on Me:

Guardian (4 of 5 stars)

At two-hours-plus, it's a record that demands concentration to appreciate its splatterings of beauty. But pour yourself a glass and listen, because they don't make them like this too often. Grand, long and bold – Newsom makes it sound like the first word she sings here: easy.

The Georgia Straight (2 1/2 of 5 earphones)

Times Online (4 of 5 stars)

Muso's Guide
Tufts Daily (2 of 5 stars)

The Guardian explores the current state of "pop tribes," and lists five great British pop tribes.

Perhaps the biggest change to the pop tribes, though, is that they are no longer the preserve of youth. Today, tribes embrace all ages, although sometimes this leads to blinkered nostalgia – "Like mod in the Fred Perry, Paul Weller sense," says Kulkarni. "It's now a dead-end of slack-wearing, Vespa-riding, laddish retro, ­fearful of black music beyond the 70s, scornful of makeup, and utterly antithetical to everything that ever made it ­interesting." He believes that subcultures stop being creative as soon as they become aware of themselves.

Vanity Fair examines the latest resurgence of Leonard Cohen's song "Hallelujah."

NPR's Talk of the Nation interviews Margaret Regan about her book, The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona-Mexico Borderlands. An excerpt from the book is also presented.

St. Vincent plays a short set for WXPN's World Cafe.

Heart Break Beat Records has remastered the first Beach House album and is reissuing it on vinyl.

Win Seth Grahame-Smith's new novel, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, 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:

Atomic Books Comics Preview (highlights of the week's comics & graphic novel releases)
daily mp3 downloads
Largehearted Word (highlights of the week's book releases)
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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