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March 22, 2011

Shorties (The Strokes, Chef Gabrielle Hamilton's Memoir, and more)

On sale for $3.99 at Amazon MP3: The Strokes' new Angles album.

Chef Gabrielle Hamilton talks to All Things Considered about her new memoir, Blood, Bones & Butter.

The shortlist for The Authors' Club's Best First Novel has been announced.

Paste profiles The Head and the Heart.

Scruffily handsome folkies are a dime a dozen in Seattle. What differentiates The Head and the Heart from the rest of the flannel-wearing pack, beyond the band’s unnaturally speedy climb from dive bars to an upcoming mainstage spot at Sasquatch, is its penchant for mixing rootsy Americana with orchestral, chest-swelling chamber-pop. Violin and piano help elevate the songs beyond their earthy origins, and three-part harmonies—anchored by co-frontmen Josiah Johnson and Jonathan Russell, and boosted by the Cat-Power-gone-Appalachian crooning of violinist Charity Rose Thielen—sweeten the deal.

Slate profiles poet Lola Ridge.

RIP blues pianist Pinetop Perkins.

Still going strong, 69 Love Songs, Illustrated, the blog that aims to offer illustrations for every song from the Magnetic Fields' seminal album.

At NPR Books, Amy Bloom recommends Robertson Davies' The Deptford Trilogy.

Brain Pickings lists seven must-read books about music, emotion, and the brain.

NPR recommends three books to squelch stage fright.

Billboard interviews John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats.

This is the Mountain Goats' 18th album in 20 years, not counting many other side projects and releases. What drives you to write so consistently?

This is a line I've repeated so many times throughout my career: I don't think I am special. I think other people are not taking their job seriously. My job is songwriter. That's what I'm supposed to be doing with my life, right? So how many months are there in a year? Is it really asking too much of me to write one a month? If I were a brick layer and I laid one brick a month, I'd be fired by the end of my first week on the job. So I think asking a songwriter to write two songs a month... at that point you should have 24 songs a year, and 10 of them should be good. I am productive, but I think everybody should be as productive as me if they really cherish the ability to do it.

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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