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April 6, 2011

Shorties (David Bowie, Sarah Vowell, and more)

The Guardian's Apps Blog reports that David Bowie will release an iOS app for his 1975 single, "Golden Years."

Chicagoist interviews Sarah Vowell about her new book, Unfamiliar Fishes.

C: Your tone has been described as deadpan, wry and witty. How did your voice mix with such a heavy subject?

SV: I’ve always written pieces that are like this book, it’s just even in the books I’ve written that have a lot of jokes, they are still ridden with murders and massacres and epidemics and babies being burned alive.... there’s a lot of that stuff in American history. It just seems like when people remember the books and talk about the books, they only remember the amusing parts. It’s kind of like child birth, people only remember the joy of the child, not the pain of the birth. It’s kind of like selective remembrance.

Pitchfork reviews the new Alela Diane album, Alela Diane & Wild Divine.

In other words, those pesky comparisons to old friend Joanna Newsom no longer apply. Diane trades fraught freak folk for dusty country-rock that recalls the rough-and-tumble outlaw hits of Jessi Colter and Rita Coolidge, if they were backed by the Flying Burrito Brothers. Like those two singers, there's something both slick and scuffed up about Diane's vocals; rather than otherworldly, she sounds deeply rooted in our own world, with a soulful delivery that illuminates the galloping "White Horse" and opener "To Begin". "Heartless Highway" (with its subtle reference to 1970s underground Nashville documentary Heartworn Highways) is a lonely tour song written in Germany, and while there are literally hundreds of songs about this subject, Diane imbues it with a tough-minded homesickness, as if she's working through the heartache to get to the next show.

The Faster Times interviews Blake Butler about his new novel, There Is No Year.

HearYa interviews singer-songwriter Jason Isbell about his new album, Here We Rest (out April 12th).

Birmingham Weekly also interviews Isbell.

Flavorwire shares photos of famous authors and their typewriters.

Aquarium Drunkard revisits the soundtrack to Pump Up the Volume.

Kirkus Reviews lists 10 can't miss science fiction and fantasy books of 2011.

J. Mascis visits The Current studio for an interview and live performance.

Albums on sale for $3.99 at Amazon MP3

Badly Drawn Boy's It's What I'm Thinking: Photographing Snowflakes
OK Go's Of the Blue Colour of the Sky
Robbie Robertson's new album How To Become Clairvoyant
Tom Tom Club's Genius of Live
TV on the Radio's Dear Science
TV on the Radio's Return To Cookie Mountain album

Susan Sulley of The Human League talks to Drowned in Sound about the band's reunion album, Credo.

The Awl delves through David Foster Wallace's personal books and papers at the Ransom Center at the University of Texas.

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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