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February 8, 2010

Shorties (Shearwater, Daniel Handler, and more)

NPR is streaming the new Shearwater album, The Golden Archipelago (out February 23rd).

The Telegraph profiles author Daniel Handler.

About his family life, though, he is guarded, revealing only everyday details: he likes cooking, walking his son to school, playing music. It’s this discordance that is most intriguing about him: the shadow between the goofy, real-life Handler, and his ravaged, obsessive alter ego. Flashes of dry humour bubble up. When I ask him about the hugely successful film of the first three books, he replies: “I was hired to write eight drafts of the screenplay and then I was fired. But I have a policy that I can’t say anything nasty about a movie that bought me a house.”

BlackBook interviews author Adam Haslett about his new novel, Union Atlantic.

On sale at Amazon MP3: Yeasayer's new 10-track Odd Blood album for $3.99.

Author Daniyal Mueenuddin shares his influences at The Story Prize.

Tiny Mix Tapes is counting down its favorite albums of the decade.

The Wall Street Journal weighs in on the Apple iPad's possible effects on the publishing industry.

PopMatters interviews Yoko Ono.

The New Yorker features a new short story by Claire Keegan.

The Globe and Mail profiles singer-songwriter Owen Pallett.

Much of Heartland has a spacious, orchestral feeling – Pallett recorded the string tracks with an orchestra in Prague – though the scoring usually sounds (intentionally, I think) like an acoustic translation of something written on a synthesizer. Pallett’s high, cool voice floats over the chunky surface of the instrumental rhythms like an elfin creature flying over the sea, and he often has a good melodic zephyr to carry him along. The man has a flair for distinctive tunes – not a common thing in pop these days. The rules of classic song-writing have left their mark on Pallett, who in most other ways seems like a hipster’s hipster.

The Financial Times reviews the new Martin Amis novel, The Pregnant Widow.

This is Amis’s finest novel for a long time. It is close to a masterpiece, only undermined for me by frequent over-striving, which produces some false images and enervating repetitions; unlike his hero Saul Bellow, Amis is unfamiliar with restraint. But read it: it is hilarious, often wonderfully perceptive, uncompromisingly ambitious and written by a great master of the English language. In a time when many of our novelists are hedging their bets, Amis is gloriously undaunted.

BBC News reports that Neil Gaiman will write a Doctor Who episode.

Radiohead At Ease has new information about Radiohead's next album.

This week Five Chapters is serializing a new short story by Sam Lipsyte.

Win a $100 Threadless gift certificate 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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