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May 5, 2011

Shorties (Cass McCombs, Daniel Clowes, and more)

The Los Angeles Times profiles singer-songwriter Cass McCombs.

As meandering as McCombs might be in letter and in life, his album, about three years in the making and recorded in homes and studios around the country, reveals a more meticulous resolve. In a sealed-off suite of eight brooding songs of confessional folk, McCombs presents an introspective mind grappling with romantic failure, personality upheavals and a preoccupation with formality more akin to 19th century poetry than a musician touted by Stereogum. A musician's musician, his fans include Fleet Foxes' Robin Pecknold and fellow pop craftsman Andrew Bird.

Speakeasy interviews Daniel Clowes about his new graphic novel, Mr. Wonderful.

Speakeasy: “Mr. Wonderful” is the name of a Matt Dillon movie, a boatload of romance novels, a “Fleetwood Mac” album, a musical about Sammy Davis, Jr. and it’s the title of a gay erotic romance novel by author Stormy Glenn. Which one influenced you?

Clowes: “Stormy Glenn” was my only influence. Actually, I was mostly influenced by romance comics from the 50s, which are sort of a distillation of the Harlequin romance, the Sandra Bullock, Ashton Kutcher movie thing which are pure teenaged girl fantasy for 12-year-old girls. But instead of an innocent girl on her first date, it’s a completely beaten down old man on his last date, which I find to be more dramatic.

Rookcases are iPad cases made from recycled books.

My Old Kentucky Blog is streaming the new This Will Destroy You album, Tunnel Blanket (out May 10th).

amNY interviews Kip Berman of The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.

Why do you think alt-rock stumbled while hip-hop took off?

I think the answer is that pop is good, and hip-hop embraced and mastered pop when alternative rock treated the term like a leper. [Also], alt-rock is inherently hypocritical on the issue of commercial success. No alternative band could "succeed" and admit they [had], or even admit that success was good.

Fracture Compound interviews Mac McGaughan of Superchunk about his love for the Misfits.

Girl Talk's Gregg Gillis talks music and basketball with ESPN.

Sound of the City interviews Radical Dads about their song "New Age Dinosaur."

PopMatters profiles blues legend Robert Johnson.

Sound of the City interviews Henry Owings about the new Chunklet book, The Indie Cred Test.

Aquarium Drunkard and HearYa review the new Fleet Foxes album, Helplessness Blues.

The Dallas Observer interviews the band's frontman, Robin Pecknold.

The Atlantic lists 100 fantastic pieces of journalism from 2010.

The Utne Reader interviews Steve Earle about his new album, debut novel, and acting career.

NPR reviews and excerpts from David Albahari's new novel, Leeches.

The Utne Reader shares a May mp3 music sampler.

Fresh Air interviews Adam Hochschild about his new book To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918.

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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