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October 20, 2011

Shorties (Daniel Clowes, The Civil Wars, and more)

The A.V. Club interviews Daniel Clowes about his new graphic novel The Death-Ray.

The Washington Post Express profiles the band The Civil Wars.

Now, the Civil Wars have emerged as one of the most surprising grassroots successes in recent years, with a best-selling debut album, February's "Barton Hollow," and a track that made the rounds on "Grey's Anatomy" (the single "Poison & Wine"). They're at the forefront of a new group of artists looking to old-time country and folk music for inspiration. Yet their influences are diverse, and their music largely unclassifiable.

The Nashville Scene profiles Screaming Females.

Since Screaming Females first started generating attention in the New Brunswick garage scene back in 2005, pint-sized frontwoman Paternoster (notably the only screaming female in Screaming Females) has been the obvious focal point. Quirky, shaggy-haired and shy, Paternoster is almost the living embodiment of the loud/soft dynamic pioneered by one of her early influences, Pixies. Onstage, the quiet, awkward girl morphs into a shrieking, shredding tornado of a performer — critically admired as much for her technical prowess as her energy.

Fresh Air interviews Nathan Wolfe about his new book, The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a New Pandemic Age.

theartsdesk interviews Claire Tomalin about her new book, Charles Dickens: A Life.

The Georgia Straight profiles the band The Head and the Heart.

Yes, the Head and the Heart did record its eponymous debut album a mere month after solidifying its lineup. And yes, it wasn't long before the band’s first gig—in an 80-seat Emerald City space—gave way to high-profile support slots for acts like Vampire Weekend and Dave Matthews. Other highlights of what's been a generally charmed and rapid ascension include a deal with iconic Seattle record label Sub Pop, an appearance on Late Show With David Letterman, and salivating press in tastemaking outlets that range from the Onion’s The A.V. Club to America's National Public Radio.

Bookworm interviews Harold Bloom about his new book, The Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary Appreciation of the King James Bible.

The Guardian Fashion Blog reviews the Stone Roses reunion press conference from a fashion perspective.

The Washington Post and London Evening Standard review Haruki Murakami's new novel 1Q84.

On sale for $3.99 at Amazon MP3: the new Jayhawks album Mockingbird Time.

NPR recommends three books about murder.

The I Love Music community has created two "pre-cover" albums to the forthcoming Metallica and Lou Reed collaboration LULU, ILX Pre-Covers LULU I and ILX Pre-Covers LULU II.

NPR is streaming last night's Zola Jesus concert.

Win the Anthology Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! and 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)

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
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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