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November 4, 2010

Shorties (Syd Barrett, Tom McCarthy, and more)

Rolling Stone is streaming Syd Barrett's An Introduction to Syd Barrett album (out November 9th).

Tom McCarthy talks to CBC News about his novel, C.

What you won't find in the novel, however, is a set of Dan Brown-style answers to the codes and mysteries it sets up. For McCarthy, literature is "a meaning-machine, and it doesn't generate its own meaning." In other words, readers must do so themselves, working with the text. "And then the question is, what's just arbitrary and fanciful, and what's somehow legitimate? This is a question that doesn't have a straight answer – or at least not one that I know."

Dean Wareham talks to San Diego CityBeat about playing Galaxie 500 songs live again.

In the Guardian, author Jennifer Lynn Barnes lists the top 10 supernatural families in literature.

The Coloradoan profiles singer-songwriter Josh Ritter.

Rocks Off features a panel of Houston musicians discussing the relevance of the term "indie rock."

The Baltimore Sun reviews the new 1,200 page Simpsons World: The Ultimate Episode Guide (Seasons 1-20).

"Simpsons World" is, truth be told, nearly as overwhelming as it is impressive, like a baseball abstract but with oddly shaped yellow people as the players, and snappy lines as the statistics.

What's so dizzying is not just the small print and vibrant colors adorning each regular episode's two-page spread. It's the astonishing rush of detail and the realization that, yes, there are very many people who will care.

Stream the new Pains of Being Pure at Heart single, "Heart in Your Heartbreak" at Pitchfork.

KCRW's Bookworm interviews author Mona Simpson today.

The Georgia Straight profiles singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten.

The New York Times profiles Julie Klam, author of You Had Me at Woof.

The Chicago Tribune profiles Smith Westerns.

But right now, to borrow their own phrase, they are a blog band, their initial success launched by a handful of influential music blogs. In this, Smith Westerns — "There's no 'the' in Smith Westerns," corrects guitarist Max Kakacek, "it's just Smith Westerns" — are not unique. Far from it: "The pace that (blogs) spin out new bands can feel like a 24-hour news cycle," said Scott Plagenhoef, editor of Chicago-based Pitchfork, arguably the most influential music blog in the sphere the Smith Westerns occupy. "Smarter bands know people come back for quality, not because everyone is or isn't talking about them. But it can all seem so ephemeral."

Flavorwire lists 10 books about places you'll never visit.

At Techland, Douglas Wolk interviews Sarah Glidden about her new graphic novel, How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less.

On sale at Amazon MP3:

Bob Marley's 16-track Legend album for $3.99
Lady Gaga's 14-track The Fame album for $3.99
Mayer Hawthorne's 12-track A Strange Arrangement album for $3.99
Neon Trees' 8-track Habits album for $3.99
The Velvet Underground & Nico's 11-track Velvet Underground & Nico album for $3.99

Tablet reviews Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky's new translation of Boris Pasternak's novel Doctor Zhivago.

his new Zhivago—the first translation of the novel in 50 years—is far more psychologically subtle than that kitschy Hollywood vehicle for the emoting of Omar Sharif and Julie Christie. This post-Soviet Zhivago is the work of that tireless translating couple Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. In the last two decades they’ve rendered into English all the major novels of Dostoyevsky, Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita, Gogol’s Dead Souls and Complete Stories, a few dozen stories by Chekhov, in addition to Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, War and Peace, and The Death of Ivan Ilyich. One pities poor Turgenev—poor genius Turgenev—who awaits his reincarnation at another’s hands.

io9 lists the best television adaptations of science fiction and fantasy novels.

Drowned in Sound lists the top 10 album covers of the '00s.

At NPR, Raymond Khoury lists three books for the contemplative comic.

The New York Observer gets the real story behind Soft Skull Press's move to California.

Win a copy of the Dead Snow DVD and S.G. Browne's novel Breathers: A Zombie's Lament 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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