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October 6, 2011

Shorties (Dum Dum Girls, How to Write Like Haruki Murakami, and more)

The Georgia Straight profiles the Dum Dum Girls.

As emotionally attached as Gundred is to Only In Dreams, she's also proud of how the Dum Dum Girls have taken a dramatic step forward musically. The record positions the four-piece as a band that's determined to evolve artistically, the lo-fi stylings of I Will Be giving way to songs here that draw on everything from post-apocalyptic surf ("Always Looking") to cloud-bursting dream pop ("Bedroom Eyes"). In a marked departure from this past spring’s EP He Gets Me High and earlier singles, Gundred's vocals are no longer buried underneath six layers of reverb and smothering blankets of distortion, this thanks to the excellent production team of Richard Gottehrer (Blondie, the Go-Go's) and the Raveonettes' Sune Rose Wagner.


GalleyCat shares tips on how to write like Haruki Murakami.


CultureLab recommends literature with medical themes.


The Georgia Straight interviews Simon Reynolds about his new book, Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past.

GS: The heart of the book is your argument that the pop culture and music of the 2000s have added up to a kind of creative plateau, a point of exhaustion where artists simply jump from one long-established style to another, in what you call "dressing-up games".

SR: I was trying to write a kind of history of the present—in a weird way, trying to make the last decade as interesting as possible. Unfortunately, that required being a bit negative. I tried to make it seem like it was an interesting time, even if there were a lot of downsides to what happened, and that a lot of what was interesting was more about the distribution modes. Changes in listening habits were the big revolution, if you could call it that, in music. It wasn't so much what we actually listened to. It was the way we listened to it.


Bookworm interviews Kevin Wilson about his debut novel, The Family Fang.


American Songwriter interviews singer-songwriter Jeffrey Lewis and streams his new album, A Turn In The Dream-Songs (out October 11th).


Stephen Malkmus talks to the Vancouver Sun about the Pavement reunion and his latest album, Mirror Traffic.


Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer has been awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize for Literature.


Fresh Air interviews Ken Ballen about his new book, Terrorists in Love: The Real Lives of Islamic Radicals.


Jeffrey Eugenides talks to All Things Considered about his new novel, The Marriage Plot.

"When you write a novel you divide yourself into two or three different parts, and each of these people has many of my experiences and many of my thoughts," he says. "But on the surface, unquestionably, Mitchell Grammaticus resembles me. I could have done things to disguise it — made him blond, Italian or something — but it seemed beside the point."


Deadline.com reports that Fox will adapt Lev Grossman's fantasy novel The Magicians into a television series.


Star Wars actor Mark Hamill talks comics collecting with Geek Out!.


On sale for $3.99 at Amazon MP3: the latest album by the Mountain Goats, All Eternals Deck.


Fictionaut interviews author James Whorton, Jr. about writing.


Imelda May visits The Current studio for an interview and live performance.


Stream the video trailer for Chuck Klosterman's new novel The Visible Man.


Win a copy of Craig Thompson's new graphic novel Habibi 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)

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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