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May 31, 2011

Shorties (My Morning Jacket, Robert Coover, and more)

Esquire interviews My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James about the band's new album Circuital and future solo projects.

The Big Issue interviews author Robert Coover.

When your work was first published in the mid-sixties, you were among a small group of American writers – John Barth, Donald Barthelme, Thomas Pynchon – who seemed to be picking fiction apart and having fun with it. Was there a guiding spirit behind all the playfulness?

It began with a desire to renew things. There was a feeling of literature coming to a dead end, or at least that was our perception of it. It was curious, because we didn’t talk to each other about this, it was just a generational awareness that it was time to do something new. There were a lot of different ways you could do that. Many were tried. For some of us, part of the impetus was to look at abandoned forms and see if they had any validity. Things that had been erased from the how-to-write textbooks after the Cervantes revolution. So the forms that pre-date the novel were interesting for their own sake, something to think about and see if they could be revitalized and made relevant.

At Write Place, Write Time, author Jon Clinch shares his writing area.

At the A.V. Club, Sharon Van Etten covers Fine Young Cannibals' "She Drives Me Crazy."

The Day interviews author Francisco Goldman about his novel, Say Her Name.

The Guardian explains why 19th century literary classics appeal to filmmakers.

On sale for $5 at Amazon MP3: My Morning Jacket's new album Circuital.

A;ways worth reading: AL Kennedy's columns on writing in the Guardian.

The Irish Times shares an excerpt from Simon Reynolds' new book Retromania: Pop Culture’s Addiction to its Own Past.

PopMatters profiles the Moondoggies.

Tidelands is, by any definition, a huge improvement over the Moondoggies’ 2008 debut Don’t Be a Stranger, a tighter, more cohesive statement from a band that is still carving out its particular niche in rock and roll. The album was written during the darkest months of the post-meltdown recession, as friends and family were struggling to keep jobs and houses and put food on the table. Yet it is by no means a depressing album. Listen to it from beginning to end and you’ll begin to get a sense of endurance, of persistence in the face of deep discouragement and even of joy.

Rocks Off lists the best albums of 2011 so far.

The Chicago Tribune profiles author Ivan Brunetti.

He is a Chicago cartoonist and illustrator, swooned over by peers, beloved by his students at Columbia College, revered by a fervent cult of admirers, and coming into his own. At the moment, though, he's cringing. He's cringing at this story, at the picture, at what you think of him, at the nice things people say about him. He doesn't think he deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as his peers: His best friend is the celebrated cartoonist Chris Ware; another good friend is cartoonist Daniel Clowes ("Ghost World"), who, like Brunetti, spent some formative years in Hyde Park. When I mention these guys, he cringes.

Rocks Off lists the best

Brain Pickings recommends 10 essential books for cognitive sunshine.

Time Out London lists the city's best record shops.

At NPR, independent booksellers recommend books for summer reading.

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 (news and links from the worlds of music, literature, and pop culture)

Atomic Books Comics Preview (highlights of the week's new comics & graphic novels)
daily mp3 downloads
Largehearted Word (highlights of the week's new books)
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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