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April 25, 2010

Shorties (Anais Mitchell, Willy Vlautin, and more)

The Times Online gives Anais Mitchell's new album, Hadestown, 5 of 5 stars.

On the Vermont musician’s latest album — a multi-layered, sensationally good and endlessly absorbing “folk opera” that reworks the story of Orpheus and Eurydice as an allegorical saga set in depression-era America, where hell is an alluring but ultimately entrapping post-apocalyptic gated community — she slots herself in alongside Ani DiFranco, Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, the singing Haden triplets and the Iowa folk veteran Greg Brown, among others. The result is a chamber ensemble of vocal and instrumental textures, an approach that proves crucial to the album’s success: each character is convincingly discrete and occupied, and Mitchell and Michael Chorney’s arrangements thrum with a similarly inventive and distinctive stamp.


The Oregonian reviews Richmond Fontaine frontman Willy Vlautin's new novel, Lean on Pete.


The St. Louis Post-Dispatch interviews a member of a traveling Beatles tribute band.


Jewcy interviews author Michael Muhammad Knight.


Powell's interviews author William T. Vollmann.


The Observer interviews Zooey Deschanel about her film and music careers.


Critical Mass interviews Andrew Altscul, books editor of The Rumpus.


Flatmancrooked's latest book is James Kaelan's We're Getting On, and the first editions are printed on 100% green, super-post-consumer paper with covers of seed paper with birch tree seeds impregnated into the paper.


All Music Site lists the 10 worst rock operas.


Deborah Eisenberg talks to Tablet about the recently released The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg.


NPR is streaming a recording of Hot Chip and The XX's Saturday night Washington concert.


Win a copy of The Essential Wonder Woman Encyclopedia 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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