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May 11, 2011

Shorties (Okkervil River, Stieg Larsson, and more)

Aquarium Drunkard and The Line of Best Fit review the new Okkervil River album, I Am Very Far.

USA Today points out two new books about Swedish author Stieg Larsson, The Tattooed Girl: The Enigma of Stieg Larsson and the Secrets Behind the Most Compelling Thrillers of Our Time and "There Are Things I Want You to Know" About Stieg Larsson and Me.

The Hype Machine Radio iPhone app is live.

Dick Van Dyke talks to Morning Edition about his new memoir, My Lucky Life In And Out Of Show Business.

Crossfade shares five key moments in the chronology of "hipster hop."

New York Magazine shares a guide to Scandinavian crime fiction.

Bjork has a new website.

Design Week visits The Larkin Trail, a series of signs in Hull, England that are a tribute to poet Philip Larkin.

PopMatters interviews singer-songwriter Jason Isbell about his new album, Here We Rest.

This new record is populated by some real hard luck cases. How hard hit was your hometown by the past few years? You in a particularly depressed area of Alabama?

I don't know how it compares to the rest of the state, but it's like saying "a depressed area of Michigan," you know? I mean, we're all depressed. We're all kind of screwed right now. I think, I mean, everywhere in Alabama seems like it isn't doing so well right now. Seems like the people I saw on a daily basis while I was working on the record were having some really hard times, you know, and in some ways I was too. Those things just kind of got mixed around in my head, and I started paying attention to some of the stories that I overheard, some of the conversations I had with folks, and that’s what came out.

American Songwriter profiles Blake Sennett of the Elected and Rilo Kiley.

GalleyCat lists the top 20 Facebook apps for book lovers.

Low covers Toto's "Africa" at the A.V. Club.

Vol. 1 Brooklyn shares what your literary totebag says about you.

The Quietus reviews Bill Callahan's new album, Apocalypse.

I've been attempting for a few weeks now to unlock the exact nature of Bill Callahan's Apocalypse. It remains elusive; certainly, he appears to be using the phrase to mean a revelation or epiphany of some kind, both life-changing and extremely personal, and it's without doubt that there is a story being told here, a narrative that runs through the album like a novel, albeit one that is distinctly oblique and cryptic. But interpretations by listener or critic remain just that; assumptions, guesswork. From the inside, the subject matter may be very specific; from the outside, it's impressionistic, a mood piece. A disquieting, suggestive panorama of dusty American Gothic, the album hints at a wider world of darkness and abandonment, but remains ultimately closed-in and private. There is enough light here to make out the shadowy shapes of things, but little more.

At Blurb Is a Verb, author Emily St. John Mandel lists five questions never to ask at a bookstore reading.

My Old Kentucky Blog is streaming the new Jared Mees & the Grown Children album, Only Good Thoughts Can Stay.

Talk of the Nation interviews Chaz Bono about his new book, Transition: The Story of How I Became a Man.

The Library of Congress has launched The National Jukebox, a website that streams over 10,000 historical recordings. [via]

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 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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