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June 21, 2011

Shorties (The Decemberists, Why Men Should Read Jane Austen, and more)

At NPR Music the Decemberists play a Tiny Desk Concert.

Her.meneutics explains why men should read Jane Austen.

The Book Bench interviews author Heidi Durrow.

World Cafe: Next profiles singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler.

CarolineLeavittville interviews author Emily Gray Tedrowe.

Brainiac shares the history of haiku.

RIP "Wild Man" Fischer.

San Diego CityBEAT profiles the Rosebuds.

The Rosebuds have always had a passion for trying new things—their music has ranged from delightfully messy pop-rock to New Romantic-style synth-pop. But Loud Planes, their fifth album, is their strongest and most complex yet. Embellishing their infectious hooks with lush and sometimes overwhelming arrangements, they temper their trademark romanticism with heartrending realism. In the hard-rocking anthem "Woods," Howard sings about a utopian forest that's consumed by flames. You can hear the pain in his voice as he cries out, "Oh good God."

More Intelligent Life profiles author Sloane Crosley.

At Pop & Hiss Tune-yards' Merrill Garbus shares some of her current favorite songs.

The New York Times tours Hemingway's Madrid.

FACT interviews Simon Reynolds about his new book, Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past.

At NPR, Kate Christensen shares her love for Joyce Cary's novel The Horse's Mouth.

John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats answers questions from the Reddit community.

Heard Mentality also interviews Darnielle.

What writers, fiction or nonfiction, have held your interest most this year, whether in capturing the stresses of the present historical moment or providing a lens to consider the moment through?

I'm reading Gogol! That kind of answers your question. This has been my position for ages, which I would address in songs - I don't consider a historical moment unique. People will argue that technological changes make this time unique but all that stuff is window dressing. You necessarily feel your time is unique because it's yours. The whole reason I don't keep current on writers is that continuum, so I'm reading Gogol, a lot of stuff in translation. The rest of the world can reads stuff in translation all the time, in the English speaking world we tend to mistrust it. If more people would read translated literature the result would be a broadening of knowledge and experience.

NPR commenters recommend the best science fiction and fantasy books.

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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