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December 10, 2011

Shorties (Craig Finn, Diablo Cody, and more)

Austinist interviews Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn about his forthcoming solo album.

You've been influenced by everyone from The Band to Nas, but the solo album has a distinct country influence. What's your personal history with country?

It's not a super deep history; I mean I came up in punk rock. But the older I get the more I find myself listening to classic songwriters. Going from Bob Dylan to Warren Zevon and Randy Newman. Lyrical-driven things, songwriting in the classic sense. With The Hold Steady I'm singing in a rock band, which I think is a little different from traditional songwriting.


The A.V. Club interviews screenwriter Diablo Cody.

The A.V. Club: Young-adult literature turns out to be more of a thematic backdrop to Young Adult than a major part of the plot. What's your own history with YA? You've been working on a Sweet Valley High movie for several years.

Diablo Cody: The reasoning was twofold. First of all, I was working on Sweet Valley High at the time I was writing Young Adult, so I was in that world and I was thinking about the people who actually produce that content, the people who are hired to write these young-adult novels, and what their inner lives must be like. But I was also thinking about myself, and why I had spent my career writing about teenagers. Like, what's wrong with me? Why am I totally fixated on adolescence? Honestly, when I thought about it, it seemed like a pretty fucked-up area of interest. I thought to myself, "Am I some kind of stunted woman-child that’s living vicariously through her characters?" And then I thought, "Stunted woman-child—that’s a character."


The List of Online Year-End 2011 Music Lists was updated yesterday with 40 lists including Magnet's top albums, Consequence of Sound's top songs, and many other year-end music lists.


The List of Online "Best Books of 2011" Lists was updated yesterday with 22 year-end book lists added to the master aggregation yesterday, including best books lists from the Macleans.ca, Salon, and NPR's indie bookseller recommendations.


Author Jonathan Franzen lists some of his favorite recent books at Speakeasy.


NYU Local interviews Antlers frontman Peter Silberman.


Book publicist Gabrielle Gantz offers publicity advice for writers at SFWA.


Billboard.biz recaps the music industry in 2011.


At TSP, author Sabina Murray explains the merits of the short story.

The issue with short stories is that, as a narrative, a short story really can't compete with an equally well-executed novel. But that's not the point. My argument, that the short story is really a unit of a book, would lead us to pit the short story against a more reasonable unit of narrative, I suggest a chapter. Sitting ringside at that event, I would put my money on the short story: having written both, I feel certain that the short story would knock out the chapter in the first round.


The Hype Machine offers an interactive tool to list and share your favorite albums of 2011.


Inspired by a 1939 Partisan Review questionnaire, Full Stop is interviewing writers about the state of American writing.


The Guardian talks to the music producers of hit television shows about popular music placement.


Jewcy offers an infographic representation of Tablet's list of 100 great Jewish films.


WXPN is streaming yesterday's live performance by singer-songwriter Laura Marling.


More Intelligent Life celebrates the dying art of handwriting.


Amazon MP3 has 100 holiday albums on sale for $5.

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)

List of Online "Best Books of 2011" Lists
List of Online Year-End 2011 Music Lists

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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