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December 1, 2011

Shorties (Fugazi, Alternate Histories in Fiction, and more)

The Fugazi Live Series A-Z offers downloads of live performances by the band as well as a social network centered on the shows.

The Guardian examines the use of alternate histories in fiction.

The List of Online Year-End 2011 Music Lists was updated yesterday with Paste's songs of the year, PopMatters' best indie rock albums, Metacritic's ranked aggregation of music critics' lists, and much more.

The List of Online "Best Books of 2011" Lists was updated yesterday with 36 lists added to the master list, including the New York Times top 10 books of the year, Quickish's best sports books, Chapters Indigo's best books, and many more "best of 2011" book lists added to the master aggregation.

MTV Geek! lists 10 comic books written by comedians that aren't always funny.

Nerve lists the 25 greatest love songs of the 2000s.

Library Journal previews 25 top fiction titles published in the first third of 2012.

At the New York Times, author Jennifer Gilmore shares the poignantly beautiful story of meeting her adopted child's birth mother.

The Star Observer profiles the band Austra.

The Huffington Post lists the five most dangerous career pitfalls for writers.

Stereogum is streaming Matt LeMay's new single, his first since Get Him Eat Him disbanded.

The Awl interviews Karen Russell, author of the novel Swamplandia!.

I realize that this is the sort of horrid, pigeonholing language that critics tend to use to fill their word counts, but when I was first reading Swamplandia! I remember turning to my girlfriend on the train and saying, "This books reads exactly like what would happen if Flannery O'Connor wrote a Stephen King novel." After doing a little research and reading a prior interview that observation doesn't seem entirely off base...

(Laughing) No. I think that’s an amazing compliment. I love it when [reviewers] do that... "If Cormac McCarthy and June Cleaver got into a car that crashed into another car carrying so and so," or "If Don DeLillo and Mary Higgins Clark went on a balloon ride"... I'm always so beyond humbled by this. It’s wonderful when it's people that you have actually read and really did influence you. Flannery is someone that I always return to, her humor and her darkness. And one of my favorite Stephen King books, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to write Swamplandia! if that wasn’t percolating in the back of my mind. It's basically just like the ancient horror stories—a little girl lost in the woods. There is some supernatural menace but beyond that it's just a primordial horror story.

Nick Lowe discusses his music career with the Kansas City Star.

"The thing I strive for is to get it simpler and simpler," Lowe said. "You want to get a fantastic idea delivered to the listener very simply so it's almost a shock how simple it can be. There is nothing new under the sun. Everything has been done. In Western pop music, it has all been done for 30 years. It's all rehash now. But, hey, I've got to earn a living, so that's what I try to do with songwriting: Make it shocking in its simplicity."

Bookworm interviews Jeffrey Eugenides today about his latest novel, The Marriage Plot.

John Lydon talks to BBC 6 about the forthcoming Public Image Ltd. album.

Win Stephen King's new novel 11/22/63 and a $100 Threadless gift certificate in this week's Largehearted Boy contest.

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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