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May 10, 2011

Shorties (Yo La Tengo, Women and Fantasy Literature, and more)

Wine Enthusiast interviews the members of Yo La Tengo about their culinary experiences on the road.

Wine Enthusiast: Do you make an effort to seek out culinary experiences when touring?

James McNew: That's the reason for us writing songs and putting out albums, I think. We tour to support this and during the day when we're not legally contracted to work on stage we'll be doing that. A lot of times it's like 'Do you remember the festival you played in 1994?' No. But I remember the dinner that we had that day. I can list every course that we had and everything that we drank.

Ira Kaplan: Our tour manager is energetic about getting us things as good as possible [on the venue rider backstage], including regional or local specialties. It's rarely something esoteric but it will be of a certain quality. And we definitely tend to tour cities that are attractive to us on a cultural or culinary level.

The Atlantic examines why women love fantasy literature.

As fantasy matured as a 20th-century genre, authors began to use stories about magic and chivalry not as a way to reconcile women to waiting for better outcomes, but to imagine claiming kinds of power that were previously off-limits to them. Bravery and initiative shattered class barriers in early fantasy stories, turning poor boys and hobbits into knights of the realm and saviors of their worlds. It's only natural that fantastical settings should, at some point, apply those same meritocratic principles to gender.

On sale for $3.99 at Amazon MP3: Okkervil River's new album I Am Very Far.

Pitchfork and HearYa reviews the album.

Clash reports that Morrissey has finished recording his new studio album.

Gothamist interviews author Emma Straub.

PopMatters reviews Lloyd Cole's latest album, Broken Record.

Jami Attenberg shares the best new beach reads for summer.

Jewcy interviews Peter Silberman of the Antlers about the band's new album, Burst Apart.

The 20 essential American Indian novels.

Pop & Hissprofiles Le Butcherettes’ Teri Suarez.

Talking last week in the courtyard of downtown's recently opened museum devoted to the Mexican American experience, LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, Suarez was the shy alter ego of her stage persona, whom she refers to as Teri Gender Bender. Suarez apologized regularly for losing her train of thought, even wondering aloud if she has autism. Meet her on the street, and one would never guess Suarez is the writer of sharp and primal bursts of melodic noise, songs that share an equal frustration and fascination with American culture, and occasionally feel like the opening shots of a class war.

The 20 best books about suburbia.

PopMatters interviews Mike Watt about his latest album, a 30-song opera called Hyphenated Man.

The Magazine of Yoga interviews author Seth Fried.

Aquarium Drunkard interviews singer-songwriter Richard Buckner.

AD: So life as professional singer-songwriter in America in 2011 is…

Richard Buckner: Really rough. Not only are there fewer labels and fewer booking agents, but people are just sharing files and not buying records anymore, and people aren't going out as much anymore–or when they do they're not buying as many drinks at the club. So everyone is affected. It's more of a struggle than it was when I first started. The whole, sort of, paying musicians thing still hasn’t been figured out. The same thing is happening to the book industry now. They just haven't figured out how to pay artists for their work, how to restructure the system. So it's difficult on a lot of levels, but that makes people more inventive in a lot of ways, too. Like last year I did some house concerts with a guy named Will Johnson [of Centro-matic and South San Gabriel]. So there are alternatives, but you have to keep thinking. The only money comes from touring. There's no money in making records. This latest record that I've recorded I did entirely at my house. I would have loved to gone into the studio and bring a band in there like I did in the beginning but it's just not possible anymore.

The BBC World Service interviews cartoonist Art Spiegelman.

On sale for $3.99 at Amazon MP3: Warren Haynes' new album Man in Motion.

Wendy McClure talks to All Things Considered about her new book, The Wilder Life.

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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