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October 14, 2011

Shorties (Bjork, New Book on 80s Singles Design, and more)

Studio360 interviews Bjork about her new album, Biophilia. (via)

Matthew Chojnacki talks to ArtsBeat about his new book, Put the Needle on the Record: The 1980s at 45 Revolutions Per Minute.

Was there a band whose cover art was ahead of its time, something that we would look at today and be shocked by?

I think the Smiths' sleeves were very ahead of their times.They took vintage imagery and attached it to their music. Morrissey and the Smiths spoke through their single covers, especially for "What Difference Does It Make?" The original cover used a still from the 1965 film "The Collector," but it was used without permission. Terrence Stamp, who was in the movie, objected to it. So Morrissey re-shot the cover in the exact style using his image instead of Terrence Stamp's. He mimicked the sleeve and bucked the system. These days the label would have just deleted it.

The Boston Phoenix interviews Karen Russell about her novel Swamplandia.

The Pitch interviews Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor about his solo project, CANT.

Author Rebecca Skloot talks to the Chicago Sun-Times about living in the Windy City.

Prefix interviews Jon Langford about the new Mekons album, Ancient & Modern.

At the CBC, author Adam Gopnik lists his favorite winter books.

DCist interviews Deer Tick frontman John McCauley.

At the Telegraph, Patrick DeWitt reads from his latest novel The Sisters Brothers and answers questions about the book.

Aquarium Drunkard shares a mixtape of live soul recordings.

The Guardian interviews Haruki Murakami about his new novel, 1Q84 (in stores October 25th).

"I don't think of myself as an artist," says the author more than once in the interview. "I'm just a guy who can write. Yeah."

The Guardian profiles singer-songwriter Roy Harper.

His songs were longer and more complex than other guitar-toting singer-songwriters; a result, he says, of his love of jazz and Keats: "Endymion is the poem I love and that is 4,000 lines long, so …" Their humour was more scabrous, their explorations of love more barbed and difficult, their politics more pronounced. Other musicians loved them. It's a legal requirement when writing about Harper to mention (a) Led Zeppelin's fond 1970 tribute Hats Off to (Roy) Harper, (b) Paul McCartney's cameo role on his 1977 album Bullinamingvase, (c) Kate Bush's relentless cheerleading for him, and (d) his guest appearance singing Have a Cigar on Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here. "It's been a millstone," he says, "although those guys didn't mean it to be that. They thought that at any minute people would pick up on the stream of what I've got and turn it into a river, or whatever, but it never happened. So we're all stuck with a tinge of embarrassment. Or not really," he chuckles, "because we're still right. It's just not worked out the way it could have."

Steve Inskeep talks to All Things Considered about his new book, Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi.

The A.V. Club interviews cartoonist Kate Beaton about her new comics collection, Hark! A Vagrant.

Damon Albarn talks to All Things Considered about his new album of Congolese music, Kinshasa One Two.

Win Wye Oak's album Civilian (or a $25 Amazon gift certificate) along with a $100 Threadless gift certificate in this week's Largehearted Boy contest.

Amazon MP3 has 100 digital 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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