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August 7, 2011

Shorties (Islamic Punk, Albert Camus, and more)

The Guardian examines how Michael Muhammad Knight's novel The Taqwacores and its film adaptation inspired the rise of Islamic punk music.

Just as the novel Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk spawned actual fight clubs, The Taqwacores spawned real-life Muslim punk bands. Bands such as The Kominas from Boston, the all-girl Secret Trial Five from Toronto, Al Thawra (The Power) from Chicago and even a few bands out in Pakistan and Indonesia. They took Knight's book as a manifesto for a new kind of Islamic youth culture that respects women and gay people and isn't afraid to challenge Islam where necessary. A tour was organised in 2007 in which the bands – along with Knight – travelled through America and Pakistan. That tour became the 2009 documentary Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam.

Was Albert Camus killed by the KGB?

The Hollywood Reporter examines the current state of the film soundtrack compilation album.

The Winnipeg Free Press reviews Tracy Daugherty's new Joseph Heller biography, Just One Catch.

New York Daily News music critic Jim Farber chronicles his transition from vinyl to digital music.

Stylist lists the 100 best closing lines from books.

At Interview, Maria Shriver interviews Gloria Steinem.

Writers No One Reads, the Tumblr.

The Hype Machine is streaming the new Pepper Rabbit album, Red Velvet Snowball (out August 9th).

The A.V. Club recommends entry points int the discography of Ween.

Dialect reviews Vanessa Veselka's excellent debut novel, Zazen.

Vanessa Veselka’s addictive debut novel Zazen tackles modern counterculture (though without the Shape of the previous titles). A firestorm of rage, dark humor, and so-real-it's-surreal observation, Zazen poses difficult questions on the future of the First World. Don’t expect easy answers.

All Things Considered profiles the band Fool's Gold.

On its debut album, the L.A. band Fool's Gold presented an unusual marriage of influences, pairing African melodies with Hebrew lyrics. The record won over legions of fans and caught the attention of critics, who described it with words like "beguiling" and "joyous."

Write Place, Write Time features author Alan Heathcock describing his writing quarters.

Weekend Edition profiles singer-songwriter Gillian Welch.

On their latest album, it's difficult to parse who's singing what part. The new sound didn't come easy — Welch says that during their eight years away from the studio, they reached a point where they thought they might never make another record. In the end, though, she says all that trying made their partnership even stronger.

The Boston Globe recommends four books by Ray Bradbury.

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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