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August 5, 2011

Shorties (Guided By Voices, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and more)

James Greer shares the story of Guided By Voices being courted by Warner Brothers Records.

The publicity executive then made the mistake that resulted in Bob deciding not to sign with Warner Bros. There were other factors, sure, but this was to Bob’s mind the finishing blow. Bob had insisted to everyone, from the start, that Alien Lanes be released as is, with no re-recording, no re-sequencing, no fussing with of any kind. The publicity guy made some kind of joke about how the cassette he first got was defective, because it sounded just like mud. "I know this is supposed to be lo-fi, but this is ridiculous," is what he said, referring to the defective tape. Bob didn’t hear it that way, though. Bob thought the publicity guy was referring to the actual recording, and though he laughed and nodded at the guy's joke, I could sense a certain temperature change in the room.

The American Scholar posted a previously unpublished Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn short story, "The New Generation."

The Guardian Books Blog examines the true cost of books.

BBC News reports that box office receipts for rock and pop concerts dropped for the first time in more than a decade last year.

The SF Signal podcast interviews author William Gibson.

Stream a new Carissa's Wierd song, "Meredith & Iris".

The Poetry Foundation has released Android and iPad editions of its free poetry app.

On sale at Amazon MP3 for $3.99: The Beastie Boys' Hot Sauce Committee Part Two album.

The Wall Street Journal points out the documentary Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton As Himself.

Cincinnati CityBeat interviews Decemberists bassist Nate Query.

CB: There have been other mixed reports that I have been reading that you guys may be taking a very long break. Is there any truth to that?

NQ: We're going to be taking a long break. We don't have an end (to the hiatus) completely settled, but we were talking like three years or something like that, which is a pretty long time. Many bands take that long to put a record out, but we are making it kind of a break where we are not planning on doing shows together or anything. We are letting everybody focus on other stuff. We usually take a break in between records, but a lot of times we end up doing a few shows here or there in the summer. We're trying to make it more of a real hiatus and let everybody go to their own little corner and do their own stuff for a little bit.

The New York Observer interviews Tao Lin about his forthcoming Siddhartha-inspired novel.

Click Track interviews Archers of Loaf bassist Matt Gentling about the band's reunion.

The Guardian also profiles the band.

Help fund an Archers of Loaf live concert film.

At The Poetry Foundation, Emily Gould reviews Sylvia Plath's novel The Bell Jar, which was published 40 years ago.

The Guardian has musicians recount the worst shows they ever played.

NPR recommends three books about cannibalism.

Amazon MP3 has 100 albums on sale for $5.

Follow me on Twitter, Google+, 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 (the week's best new comics & graphic novels)
daily mp3 downloads
Largehearted Word (the week's best 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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