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April 24, 2011

Shorties (PJ Harvey, New York's Best Comic Book Stores, and more)

The Observer profiles PJ Harvey.

Listening to her talk about Let England Shake, it sounds less like a record than a novel or an art exhibition. "She comes from an art school ethos," says Paul McGuinness, who has been managing Harvey since she supported his other clients, U2, in 1993. "Had she not got a record deal she would have gone on to do fine art at St Martins. She did get a record deal, but in a way she's been at art school ever since. She's extremely independent. She makes a plan and then very methodically carries it out."

The New York Post lists five of the city's best comic book stores.

The Observer reviews the new Fleet Foxes album, Helplessness Blues (out May 3rd).

io9 shares its summer reading list of science fiction and fantasy books.

At the Observer, Martin Amis profiles Christopher Hitchens.

Whereas mere Earthlings get by with a mess of expletives, subordinate clauses, and finely turned tautologies, Christopher talks not only in complete sentences but also in complete paragraphs. Similarly, he is an utter stranger to what Diderot called l'esprit de l'escalier: the spirit of the staircase. This phrase is sometimes translated as "staircase wit" – far too limitingly, in my view, because l'esprit de l'escalier describes an entire stratum of one's intellectual and emotional being. The door to the debating hall, or to the contentious drinks party, or indeed to the little flat containing the focus of amatory desire, has just been firmly closed; and now the belated eureka shapes itself on your lips. These lost chances, these unexercised potencies of persuasion, can haunt you for a lifetime – particularly, of course, when the staircase was the one that might have led to the bedroom.

Weekend Edition profiles Lee "Scratch" Perry.

Author Robin Black interviews herself at The Nervous Breakdown.

All Things Considered interviews pop singer Eliza Doolittle.

Arthur Phillips talks to Weekend Edition about his new novel, The Tragedy of Arthur.

By the '70s, he was producing some 20 songs a week for hundreds of artists at his famous studio in Jamaica, the Black Ark. There, Perry pioneered dub music, using the mixing desk as an instrument to re-create new versions of songs. In one example, Perry reworked Max Romeo's "I Chase the Devil" (a song that Perry himself produced) into a stripped-down dub classic, "Disco Devil."

Live and Breathing is a new website that "captures intimate performances by musicians in unique, personal settings."

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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