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February 15, 2010

Shorties (Clem Snide, Beach House, and more)

NPR is streaming the new Clem Snide album, The Meat of Life (out February 23rd), in its entirety.

Pitchfork interviews the members of Beach House about the band's new album, Teen Dream.

The A.V. Club lists fictional characters assigned questionable taste in music.

7. Nick Sobotka loves TVT artists indiscriminately, The Wire

David Simon’s The Wire has been praised for many things, including its remarkable veracity. At first glance, it looks like that attention to detail extends even to the posters on the wall of dockworker Nick Sobotka in season two: He’s got images of anger-spreading bands Disturbed and Filter decorating his dreary bedroom. But nerdy Guided By Voices fans noticed another poster up there, for the Ohio indie band’s Universal Truths And Cycles—a disc Nick Sobotka would likely never have heard of. (He probably isn’t reading Magnet while waiting to see whether he’s managed to get scheduled for a dockyard shift.) But maybe, just maybe, Sobotka somehow found a kindred spirit in Robert Pollard. After all, they both love to pound beer and whiskey.

New York Magazine reviews two new books, Terry Castle's The Professor and Elif Bautman's The Possessed: Adventures With Russian Books and the People Who Read Them.

Castle’s The Professor and Batuman’s The Possessed are both examples of what you might call the personal-academic essay—a hybrid that cross-breeds two oft-critiqued genres: memoir (engaging but shallow) and literary criticism (deep but dull). These troublesome genres, it turns out, make an excellent pair. A good personal-academic essay blends the best qualities of each tradition: the charm, humor, digressions, and confessions of personal writing with the intelligence, curiosity, and analytical boldness of lit crit. Batuman and Castle both get the ratios pretty much exactly right.

At the A.V. Club Milwaukee, music critic Jim DeRogatis lists the worst rock movies ever.

Ars Technica examines Google's recent shutdown of several music blogs.

Jonathan Lethem talks to the Dallas Morning Newsabout his latest novel, Chronic City.

PopMatters interviews XTC's Andy Partridge about the Dukes of Stratosphear reissues.

The Free Music Archive now contains 16,776 free and legal mp3 downloads.

The Rawking Refuses to Stop! shares live Elliott Smith covers.

At the Huffington Post, Michael Glitz lists the best albums of 2009.

The New York Times reviews the remake of "We Are the World."

Stream the final album by Yellow Swans, Going Places (out March 2nd).

RIP author Dick Francis.

Win copies of Peter Straub's new novel A Dark Matter and Emma Straub's novella Fly-Over State 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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