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September 4, 2011

Shorties (Paul Westerberg, Marjane Satrapi, and more)

Sound of the City interviews Paul Westerberg about the songs he wrote on Glen Campbell's new album. (via)

Both your contributions to his album, "Ghost On The Canvas" and "Any Trouble," sound like they were written just for Glen. Especially after you heard the news about him having Alzheimer's. They both seem to be about death and where you might go afterwards. Was that deliberate?

No, not at all. One song is about two years old. The other is from the late '90s. Glen did my tune "Sadly Beautiful" on his last record, but I'm still surprised when anyone wants to do something of mine. Even if I tailor a song, it rarely works out how I planned it. Like, I'd love to tell you that "Dyslexic Heart" was written for [the Cameron Crowe movie] Singles, but it was just a nice accident. Like this.


Variety reviews Marjane Satrapi's new film, Chicken With Plums, adapted from her graphic novel of the same name.

The same winning balance of seriousness and humor that made "Persepolis" such a hit works equally well in "Chicken With Plums," whose visual flair proves that helmers Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud have a career in live-action as well as in animation. Largely set in 1958 Tehran, the story, adapted from Satrapi's graphic novel, is a fail-safe tale of lost love leavened with panache, incorporating past and present with sweet and sour flavorings. It's a rich, enjoyable repast certain to grace screens worldwide, where many will come back for second helpings.


Guardian readers create a list of the best television theme songs.


At the Guardian, Neil Gaiman discusses writing his novel American Gods.

I do not know how American Gods looks from the outside. I've never read it, not to find out what happened next, anyway. I wrote it to find out what happened next, and that's a very different thing.


Salon profile's Beirut's Zach Condon.

Zach Condon is an unlikely heartthrob. The band he fronts, Beirut, features neither dance beats nor electric guitars, and sells neither sex nor rebellion; its main influences are French chanson and Balkan and Mexican folk music. Onstage, he moves little, playing trumpet and ukulele and singing in the theatrically melancholic baritone of a pre-rock 'n' roll crooner. And yet, when he steps up to the mic, young girls scream, white-haired folks beam and everyone thrusts their arms into the air.


The Guardian lists the 20 best post-9/11 books.


VH1 is polling its audience to find the favorite song of the summer of 2011.


The Los Angeles Times visits the homes of Edna St. Vincent Millay, Edith Wharton and Emily Dickinson.


The Observer lists fall's most anticipated albums.


The Observer interviews Chuck Palahniuk about writing his new novel, Damned.

Rather than your usual homeland settings of the Portland/Seattle area, your latest, Damned, is set a little further afield – in Hell. And you write in the voice of a 13-year-old girl. An easy job?

It sucked. It was absolutely a misery because I was writing the book while taking care of my mother who was dying of cancer. On her medication she became much more herself as a child; a child I never would have known. I was playing in effect the role of parent. It was a terrible time and perhaps that's why Madison's such a glib person. She's covering up a bunch of horrible circumstances and pain.


33 Days lists the top 10 rock movies.


A literary agent responds to the author depicted in the Beatles' song "Paperback Writer."


Streaming through noon (Chicago time, of course), the new Wilco album, The Whole Love (out September 27th).


At The Browser, historian Lloyd Gardner recommends five books about America's involvement with Egypt over the past sixty years.


Flavorwire lists 10 albums you need to hear this month.


Joshua David and Robert Hammond talk to All Things Considered about their new book High Line: The Inside Story of New York City's Park in the Sky.


Glen Campbell talks to All Things Considered about his new album, Ghost on the Canvas, which includes Guided By Voices and Paul Westerberg covers.


Justin Torres talks to Weekend Edition about his new novel, We the Animals. Read an excerpt from the book.


Weekend Edition examines the film Purple Rain as an homage to the Minneapolis music scene of the time.


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, books, 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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