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October 14, 2010

Shorties (Sleigh Bells, Mary Timony, and more)

The Santa Barbara Independent interviews Sleigh Bells' Alexis Krauss, a former teacher.

Who's got the tougher gig, teacher or musician?

Oh man. They’re very different. I think in terms of day-to-day responsibility and work, teaching is more difficult. I taught in a really low-income school, so I had to give 200 percent every day. But I think they share that common sense of responsibility; trying to do something that is going to be really good. Certainly when you’re making music you are committed to doing something that is hopefully exciting. They're different, but challenging. The daily grind of being in the van every day is hard, but I’m not a morning person, and I never have been. I do not miss waking up at 5 a.m. [Laughs.]

Click Track interviews Mary Timony about her new band, Wild Flag (which also features Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss of Sleater-Kinney and Rebecca Cole of the Minders).

Newsweek reviews Dinaw Mengestu's excellent new novel, How to Read the Air.

The narratives we tell and believe about people who come to this country are the subject of How to Read the Air, the new novel by the Ethiopian writer Dinaw Mengestu. The author was one of The New Yorker’s "20 Under 40," a list that also includes writers from Nigeria, China, the former Yugoslavia, Russia, and Latvia, as well as several American-born children of immigrants. At a time when some of our most powerful, and popular, stories are narrated by foreigners (and some of our most contentious public debates concern foreigners' rights to be in this country), Mengestu's novel keenly explores our complicated relationship with the idea of the immigrant experience.

How to Dress Well's Tom Krell talks to the Chicago Reader about the success of his music career (and subsequent attention).

"It sucks," he says. "It's no fault of any of the people in the industry, but music is not the main focus of my life. I never really planned on it being that way. When I meet people on the business end of this music-industry thing, they tend to really gross me out. I'm not trying to make money through this."

The Guardian lists the 10 best cycling novels.

The San Francisco Chronicle lists 11 music festivals that matter(ed).

The San Jose Mercury News profiles the Morning Benders.

It's likely that most of the band's fans are more taken with the album's rich and detailed sound than its philosophical underpinnings. "Big Echo" possesses grand, Phil Spector-like production values. It also has the instrumental nuances of an old Beatles record. The Morning Benders' principal songwriter as well as its lead singer, Chu grew up with an infatuation with classic '60s and '70s era rock. Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Neil Young and the Beach Boys are among his influences.

The Telegraph profiles singer-songwriter Imogen Heap and her use of social media to connect to her fans.

Communicating via Twitter and her YouTube channel, Heap has invited her fans (to whom she is invariably 'Immi') to play an unprecedented role in her work. She asked her Twitter followers to write her press biography (she received 1,500 suggestions from fans from across the world, and it was assembled from 81 tweets), she requested fans to submit photos inspired by her lyrics to the photo-sharing website Flickr for her Ellipse album artwork.

Congratulations to Largehearted Boy Book Notes contributor Lee Rourke and Matthew Hooton for winning the Guardian's Not the Booker prize.

KCRW's Bookworm interviews Charles Yu today about his novel, How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe. is a wiki for concert setlists.

AbeBooks lists the shortest book titles from A to Z.

Clickit Ticket shares an infographic about "money, music, and piracy."

DCist interviews Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub.

Fresh Air interviews actor/author James Franco.

KEXP interviews Kristin Hersh about her memoir Rat Girl, and shares videos of Hersh reading from the book and performing.

Jacket Copy lists 2010 National Book Award finalists.

Sounds of the Camper Van records live videos of bands performing in a Volkswagen van.

Condoleeza Rice talks to Morning Edition about her new memoir, Extraordinary, Ordinary People: A Memoir of Family. An excerpt from the book is also presented.

NPR is streaming Avey Tare's new album, Down There (out October 25th).

Win a copy of David Sedaris's new book Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk 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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