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May 12, 2010

Shorties (Stream Band of Horses' New Album, The Best Children's Books of All Time, and more)

Stream the new Band of Horses album, Infinite Arms (out May 18th).

Grab a free download of the album's first single, "Laredo."

The Guardian lists the best children's books of all time.

Chuck Palahniuk talks to the Calgary Herald about his new novel, Tell-All.

The Awl reviews one of my favorite albums of 2010 so far, Sleigh Bells' Treats.

One of the things that I bemoaned about "indie" for so long was its overly mannered nature — bands that would garner accolades from critics seemed to me like music made for droning one's life away in a vaguely creative cubicle farm, full of beautiful, correctly executed moments that had zero resonance except to serve as placeholders until the next batch of aesthetes came along. Sleigh Bells feels like it was created as a direct protest against this type of music — the songs that spill out of Derek Miller and Alexis Krauss are vital and fun, maxing speakers' volume in a bone-shaking way that can't help but transfer outward to the rest of one's person.

On sale at Amazon MP3: Florence and the Machine's 13-track Lungs album for $3.99.

The New York Observer previews the New Yorker's list of the top 20 American authors under 40 (on newsstands June 7th).

PopMatters interviews Magnetic Fields frontman Stephin Merritt.

Vice interviews author Bret Easton Ellis.

DOA reviews the new National album, High Violet.

This is still that same subtle beauty that has made The National one of the best bands currently making music: they’re still referring to the same premise they’ve mastered before – bringing up ‘runners,’ living the city life, whether it’s in New York or Los Angeles, hoping that your old friends are fine (wherever they are now,) and again, how she’ll always haunt our dreams and quickly turn them into nightmares – they’ve packed the album with word after word of poignant storytelling. It’s going to get much better as time passes (can you imagine how good this will sound in the gloomy days of fall?) but for what High Violet has set out to do, I can’t imagine what else you’d want from a band: it’s exceptionally crafted, it’s gorgeously composed and it’s remarkably rendered by a band that might just be the very best we have today.

The Village Voice profiles the band.

John Lydon of Public Image Ltd and the Sex Pistols plays DJ for All Songs Considered.

Travis Nichols talks to the Chicago Sun-Times about his new novel, Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder.

Win the National's new album High Violet (CD or vinyl, your choice) and Miguel Syjuco's celebrated debut novel, Ilustrado 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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