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October 11, 2011

Shorties (Jennifer Egan, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and more)

The Huffington Post interviews author Jennifer Egan about growing up in San Francisco.

How did living in San Francisco shape your work?

I grew up in the 1970s, and my friends and I felt very keenly that we had missed the 60s. We were bummed out about it. I grew up feeling like I wanted to grow up ten years earlier, and I wanted to construct every sense of what that moment was like. I made a study of what the counterculture consisted of, and it led me into other quarries, like the impact of mass media on peoples inner lives, the longing for transcendence as a basic human yearning, the human tendency to wish ourselves in other times and places.

Rolling Stone interviews Jon Spencer about new Blues Explosion music.

What's the new material like?

It's still coming together and the way we're playing a song now could inevitably change, and what we do with it in the studio that's a whole different variable in the equation, but a lot of the material seems to be quite, I don't know, aggressive. It seems a bit like we've gotten back to some of the aggression, the confrontational nature of the earlier material. It's not as crazy as the stuff we did in the first two or three years, but there seems to be a little flavor of that.

The Irish Independent profiles author Richard Ford.

Watch the trailer for the documentary, Nothing Can Hurt Me: The Big Star Story.

Ms. readers list the top 100 non-fiction books of all time.

Joe Henry talks to Pop & Hiss about his new album, Reverie.

Cartoonists Daniel Clowes and Seth talk comics with the Chicago Tribune.

Pop & Hiss interviews one of the people convicted of posting unreleased Ryan Adams songs online in 2005.

What exactly happened after your track-posting incident in 2005? Did you end up facing fines or legal ramifications?

The case ended with my co-defendant and I accepting a plea deal. We were originally charged with felony counts, but were able to plea it down to a misdemeanor. We both received two months of house arrest and two years of probation. I was able to have my ankle bracelet removed a few days early due to good behavior, and my probation ended a few months ahead of schedule for the same reason. There was no restitution to be paid to the record label, as they were unable to prove that they suffered any monetary loss due to the leak of the four tracks.

The Calgary Herald interviews Lev Grossman about his latest novel, The Magician King.

Q: A common theme in many of the reviews for your work is that you are somehow subverting the fantasy genre. Is that fair?

A: Subvert is a fair enough word. Although, that sounds like I’m hostile or critical of the genre and nothing could be further from the truth. I ask a lot of fantasy, I’m fantasy’s loyal opposition. One of my formative readings experiences of my life was reading Watchman, the graphic novel by Alan Moore. He really, frontally attacked superheroes and the idea of superheroes. He questioned it’s most sacred conventions and assumptions. Rather than destroying the genre, he ended up writing the greatest superhero story that had every been written. If you question the basic assumptions of a genre, it doesn’t fall apart it just gets stronger. That’s what I hoped to do for fantasy.

My Band T-shirt is a Tumblr that recounts the stories behind concert shirts.

Author Melissa Febos shares a week of her life with Lambda Literary.

Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason discusses the band's new 16-CD box set, The Discovery Studio Album Box Set, with Speakeasy.

Stylist interviews poet Carol Ann Duffy, whose latest collection The Bees is out this week.

Is poetry the most succinct form of expression?

It’s the place in language we are most human and we can see ourselves fully – far more than prose in fiction. A poem is able to hold so much in so little space. It’s a time capsule, a Tardis so much bigger on the inside than it seems on the outside.

All Things Considered profiles Murfie, a business that will store, digitize, trade and/or sell your CD collection.

This month Comics Should Be Good! is listing the scariest comics of all time.

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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