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September 23, 2010

Shorties (Perfume Genius, Lego Book Covers, and more)

The Portland Mercury profiles Perfume Genius.

There is a stolen-diary intimacy to Learning, one only heightened by Hadreas' trembling voice atop a barren instrumental backdrop. His musical peers—Sufjan Stevens and Rufus Wainwright are the first that come to mind—keep a similar tempo and restrained level of volume, but the deeply personal nature that permeates Learning is hard to shake. This is a recording that is as frail as a fallen leaf, a rare moment of artistic expression built on an unwavering sense of sheer vulnerability. Learning opens with a self-titled track—fittingly the first song Hadreas ever composed, doing so on his mother's piano after his time in recovery—and its opening line of "No one will answer your prayers/'til you take off that dress" reflects the exposed fears of Hadreas, a feeling that constantly recurs throughout the ethereal Learning.

Book covers reconstructed with Legos.

The Wall Street Journal examines the stigma of books originally published in paperback.

The Chicago Tribune examines Oprah's choice of Jonathan Franzen's Freedom for her book club.

Pop & Hiss interviews Oliver Sim of the XX about winning the Mercury Prize.

West Coast Sound interviews author Tao Lin.

Aquarium Drunkard interviews Walkmen frontman Hamilton Leithauser.

Abe Books lists notable pen names in literature.

Dirty Projectors visit The Current studio for an interview and live performance.

KCRW's Bookworm today interviews Gary Shteyngart about his new novel, Super Sad Love Story.

The Christian Science Monitor profiles the online East Village Radio.

Morning Edition interviews the legendary Mavis Staples about her Jeff Tweedy-produced album, You Are Not Alone.

NPR shares three books to take you back to the Renaissance.

At All Songs Considered, Carrie Brownstein discusses her post-Sleater-Kinney life and her new band, Wild Flag.

Win a copy of Roger Ebert's new book, The Pot and How to Use It: The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker, 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:

previous Shorties posts (daily links from the worlds of music, literature, and pop culture)

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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