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June 29, 2011

Shorties (Death Cab for Cutie, Top Literary Historical Novels, and more)

Undertheradar interviews Death Cab for Cutie bassist Nick Harmer.

You mentioned seeing the album as a bigger picture. If you were to describe Codes and Keys as a bigger picture how would you? Are there any themes? Anything you were particularly exploring, musically?

There’s a level of fiction and poetry in the lyrics that I think are going to mean different things to different people. I think the record is very balanced emotionally, compared to how we made the last album. The songs on Narrow Stairs – we’re all very proud of them – but it was a dark time, for both Ben as a songwriter and for all of us in the band. We were all growing and learning and trying to figure out what our career was and what it meant, and where we wanted to go and what the future was going to look like and there was a lot of insecurity on that level, thus the title Narrow Stairs. We felt like we were in a precarious position moving forward, or at least in that point of our career.

The Guardian lists the top 10 literary historical novels.

PopMatters lists the best 13 Smiths songs.

In Ritter's case, the leap to writing fiction is hardly surprising, as many of his songs take the form of short stories set to music. Not surprisingly, the novel displays Ritter's abundant lyrical gifts. It's rich in metaphor and surprising moments of humor. But "Bright's Passage" is ultimately a dark parable in the southern Gothic tradition of Cormac McCarthy.

The Boston Globe reviews Josh Ritter's debut novel, Bright's Passage.

Willamette Week interviews singer-songwriter Nick Jaina about his new album The Beanstalks That Have Brought Us Here Are Gone that features a variety of female vocalists (including Laura Gibson and Jolie Holland) singing his songs.

Lagniappe lists the best and worst film adaptations of books.

Actor Nick Offerman, who plays Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation, shares his favorite music with Pop & Hiss.

So So Gay interviews singer-songwriter Roxy Rawson.

Is an album in the works? If so what can we expect?

My album will hopefully out in September. It will feature raw, savage strings, big sounds, but be small and intimate too; it’s about extremes and opposites. It’s going to be emotional. But hopefully fun and light too, in places.

The Millions interviews Ayelet Waldman about the HBO television series Hobgoblin, which she is o-writing with Michael Chabon.

TIME NewsFeed lists six contenders for 2011's song of the summer.

Flavorwire creates a literary mixtape for Captain Hook.

Stereogum's Haunting the Chapel lists the top 26 metal albums of the year so far.

NME reports that Throwing Muses are preparing a "best of" compilation to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the band's debut album.

Fresh Air interviews Barry Estabrook about his new book, Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit.

At All Songs Considered, Heavy Metal Parking Lot filmmaker Jeff Krulik talks about the surprising success of the film.

Stream Heavy Metal Parking Lot at Snagfilms.

Aquarium Drunkard interviews Mike Watt.

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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