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September 26, 2011

Shorties (Stream the New Ryan Adams Album, Michael Chabon, and more)

NPR is streaming Ryan Adams' new album, Ashes & Fire (out October 11th).

Michael Chabon talks to All Things Considered about his new children's book, The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man.

Read an excerpt from the book.

BBC News reports that The Narrative of John Smith, the previously unpublished first novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, goes on sale today in the UK (October 15th in the US).

PopMatters is exploring the music of 1991 twenty years later.

New York, PHEW York is a scratch-n-sniff adventure book about the city.

The Observer lists the 10 best songs based on books.

Salon recommends 10 new graphic novels.

NPR is streaming the new Zola Jesus album, Conatus (out October 4th).

HTMLGIANT readers recommend hot litmags.

American Songwriter interviews Emmy the Great.

Any other interesting stories behind the songs on the new album?

"Paper Forest (In the Afterglow of Rapture)" came from two quotes – one was at the end of Dancing Barefoot by Patti Smith, 'the promise that she is blessed amongst all women', and one was a Heraclitus quote via Sylvia Plath's diaries, "Character is fate." I was just thinking about what it actually meant to be “blessed amongst all women.” To Sylvia Plath, it was to be able to write something astounding, but the society she lived in would have it that true blessing was domestic – children, husband etc. I was kind of thinking about her, and then transferring that to my own experience in a less rigid society, with, um, a less astounding task ahead.

In honor of Banned Books Week, The Contextual Life reviews Roald Dahls' novel James and the Giant Peach.

John Wesley Harding (aka novelist Wesley Stace) walks through the writing of his song "Sing Your Own Song" at American Songwriter.

Nurudin Farah talks to Weekend Edition about his novel Crossbones.

Drowned in Sound interviews Jim Reid of the Jesus and Mary Chain.

DiS: The early-mid Eighties are't looked upon as being a particularly productive time for music so Psychocandy must have represented a serious kick up the backside to a lot of people within the music industry at that time.

JR: The fact it came out then....You know, the dire state of the music scene around that time was probably just as much of an inspiration for us to make that album as all of the good stuff. In 1985 music was dreadful, so we decided to make the record that didn't really exist for that time, you know? It seems inconceivable to think now but back then there was a general feeling that nobody was making guitar-based noise music any more.

Sebastian Rotella talks to All Things Considered about his new novel, Triple Crossing.

Win Chad Harbach's debut novel The Art of Fielding and a $100 Threadless gift certificate in this week's Largehearted Boy contest.

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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