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October 12, 2010

Shorties (Sufjan Stevens, Nicole Krauss, and more)

Drowned in Sound interviews singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens.

DiS: I read an interview with Jonathan Franzen recently, someone who’s obviously also attracted to large-scale projects, and he said something about how after every time he's completed a novel he feels like he's completely forgotten how to even begin the process of writing the next one. Can you empathise with that at all?

SS: Well, after The BQE I felt a real lack of any grounding; I lost my bearings. And like I said I actually think that this record is a real response to all of that, and after this record I feel much better about embarking on something new. It’s allowing me to reconcile with starting over. But I understand that phenomenon – there's a kind of post-traumatic stress syndrome that happens after I make an album: it's like exhaling all the oxygen and all the life out of you, then feeling like there’s none left to breathe in. But I don't feel like that now – I feel much more optimistic right now.

Stevens' new album, The Age of Adz, is on sale for $3.99 at Amazon MP3.


Nicole Krauss talks to the Brooklyn Paper about her new novel, Great House.

"In all of my books, the characters are on the whole very solitary, and it's very hard for them to communicate with others or make themselves be seen or known," said Krauss. "I think it's no accident that my kind of solution or my hope, the place that allows for the greatest possible chance at that full communication, is literature. The effort to express oneself through writing is one that has led my life, really."


The Guardian reports that Tom McCarthy's novel C was the predominant betting favorite for this year's Booker Prize (announced today).


offBeat interviews Local Natives' Matt Frazier about the band's songwriting.

Let’s talk about your collaborative approach to making music. Can you break it down and tell me how that works?

You have a lot of bands that have one or two main people who are the songwriters, and kind of like the lead. They’re like the masterminds behind the band. With us, it's very different. Everyone is very much an equal part of this band, and we all write together. Each song is kind of a different process. Some songs, maybe one or two people will originate and bring to the band. Another song, maybe all five of us work on it together. There are no boundaries. When it comes to writing, it’s a case-by-case basis. With it being so collaborative – and it's a very democratic, new process – things do tend to be a little more drawn out, a little more tedious, because instead of one person controlling it, it's five of us in a room, trying to come together on something. But I think the beauty of it for me is at the end of the day when the song is finished, or our work is finished, it's never something that just one of us could have produced. It's always something very different than what one person could have done.


The Minneapolis Star Tribune talks to local Guided By Voices fans about their love for the band.


The Huffington Post lists 15 amazing literary tattoos.


SF Station interviews Surfer Blood's John Paul Pitts.


Author Jami Attenberg shares her travel wisdom and experiences at Jauntsetter.


Wayward Blog lists five great television theme song covers.


io9 lists eight horror webcomics to read in the dark.


Now Austin interviews Mountain Goats frontman John Darnielle.


40 years of Booker prize judges offer behind-the-scenes glimpses at the Guardian.


Drowned in Sound and the Wall Street Journal interview Trent Reznor about his soundtrack for The Social Network.


Salman Rushdie talks to Reuters about writing a memoir about his years of hiding.


At the New Yorker, Ben Greenman recommends the new Old 97's album, The Grand Theatre, Vol. 1 (out today).

Read Greenman's Largehearted Boy interview with the band's frontman, Rhett Miller.


Washington Square News reviews Tao Lin's latest novel, Richard Yates.


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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