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March 23, 2011

Shorties (Stream the New Peter Bjorn and John Album, Rob Sheffield, and more)

NPR is streaming the new Peter Bjorn and John album, Gimme Some (out March 29th).

The Miami Herald interviews Rob Sheffield about his latest book, Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man's Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut.

Flavorwire lists 10 famous authors who went Hollywood.

Spin interviews John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats about his new album, All Eternals Deck.

The Nervous Breakdown excerpts the first chapter from Jen Gilmore's novel Something Red.

Cover Me Songs is holding "Moptop Madness" this March, which pits 64 Beatles covers against each other.

At The Writer's Block, Wesley Stace reads two excerpts from his novel Charles Jessold: Considered as a Murderer.

The Independent interviews author Monica Ali.

The Santa Cruz News profiles O'Death.

Comprising intricate banjo lines, tightly wound drum patterns and carnival-barker vocals, O'Death's genre mash is ever-changing. As violinist Robert Pycior explains, the original idea was "to sound like a drunk country band doing crudely performed, angular junkyard ballads. Over time we brought in some of that teenage punk rock energy we loved." The band's intense sound came out of a competitive drive among the players to continually up the stakes. "When there's a fingerpicked banjo line that’s syncopated," Pycior says, "naturally you want to incorporate that same kind of frantic approach into your instrument, whether that’s the violin or the drum."

The 80 greatest science fiction books for kids.

New York Magazine interviews the Dodos' Meric Long about the band's new album, No Color.

The Rumpus reviews Emma Straub's short story collection Other People We Married.

The unembellished writing in this collection of twelve droll stories appeals to me as the refined simplicity of Straub's language allows her short story collection to coalesce into a collection primarily concerned with character. Most memorable in Straub's stories are the people: quirky, thoughtful, resonating.

Aquarium Drunkard interviews David Barbe about the reissue of Mercyland's No Feet on the Cowling album.

The Nervous Breakdown reviews Kris Saknussem's brilliant new novel, Enigmatic Pilot: A Tall Tale Too True.

The Spectator interviews Vaccines frontman Justin Young.

Within less than a year, the buzz around this band has been tremendous, how do you explain it?

I can't really explain buzz. Bands don't start the buzz themselves. People do tend to get excited about things very quickly. It's flattering but it’s important to remember that people lose interest just as quickly. It can be dangerous. We have a lot of faith in ourselves as a band and the music we are playing, though, so it is nice to feel validation. I do think a lot of it is down to the fact that there are very few guitar bands with pop sensibilities coming through at the moment.

Tablet interviews cartoonist Ben Katchor about his latest graphic novel, The Cardboard Valise.

Pitchfork gives the new Baby Dee album, Regifted Light, an 8.0/10.

Dee has an incredible voice that has drawn unavoidable comparisons to Antony Hegarty's. In fact, it is more unusual than Antony's, and more inclined toward musical theater. A little of it goes a long way, which is why it works so well appearing on just four of the 12 songs here. The scarcity gives it an outsized, mythic quality. Dee suddenly appears, utters wisdom or metaphysical fables, and vanishes into the music again. Within a single line, her voice flickers through not just different emotions, but personalities.

The Independent lists the 50 books every child should read.

Singer-songwriter Steve Earle talks to the Telegraph about his forthcoming novel and his Harry Potter fandom.

Tablet reviews Nobel laureate Imre Kertesz's 1988 novel Fiasco, finally available in English.

Flavorwire lists the best and worst poetry by musicians.

NPR reviews Sarah Vowell's new book Unfamiliar Fishes.

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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