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June 1, 2010

Shorties (The National, James Bond's Enduring Literary Appeal, and more)

Guitarist Aaron Dessner of the National talks to the Boston Globe about the band's latest album, High Violet.

Robert McCrum examines James Bond's enduring literary appeal.

Turn It Up reviews the new Sleigh Bells album, Treats (out on CD today).

The Sleigh Bells pack their debut album, "Treats" ((Mom + Pop Music/Neet), with hooks, and then drive them into the ground with obsessive glee. Miller finds a riff he likes and then struts with it, sits back for a few bars to let things breathe, and then comes back with renewed conviction. Krauss zeroes in on a few phrases that suit her fancy, and then chants them like a cheerleader at a high school pep rally. Just for fun she’ll break things up with a well-timed squeal. The contrast between her bright, conversational tone and Miller’s trash-compactor destructiveness could become repetitive, and some listeners will find the distortion grating. But the duo never lingers too long over any one idea, and when they break up their annihilating attack with a little swing and a sweet melody, as in "Rill Rill," it's exhilarating.

This week Five Chapters is serializing a new short story by Carin Clevidence.

Digitalia writes an obituary for online music service

Author Dave Eggers talks to the Observer about expanding his literacy movement into Great Britain.

Coventry Music offers a Phish live covers compilation download.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette recommends graphic novels for teens.

Ukulele Beatles Fun! offers ukulele chords for many Beatles songs.

io9 lists 20 science fiction novels that will change your life.

Pitchfork offers a guide to summer music festivals.

The New York Times examines the diversification of music retailers.

Comics Should Be Good interviews Hope Larson about girls & comics.

Win a copy of Belle Boggs' new short story collection, Mattaponi Queen along with a jar of the author's homemade jam in this week's Largehearted Boy contest.

Follow me on Twitter and Stumbleupon for links (updated throughout the day) 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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