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December 7, 2011

Shorties (Guided By Voices, Douglas Coupland's Sculptures, and more)

The A.V. Club interviews Guided By Voices frontman Robert Pollard.

AVC: For many years, you were a real road warrior. Aside from the reunion shows, you haven't played out as much. Do you still enjoy performing?

RP: Yeah, but it will never be more exciting than the first time I stepped onstage with a heavy-metal covers band I was in in 1975 or '76 called Anacrusis. It’s been downhill ever since.

The Calgary Herald interviews author Douglas Coupland about his sculptures.

Q: You’re known as a great satirist of consumer culture. Is there a satirical statement being made with these cones?

A: Possibly. But you know how if you stare at a word on a page too long, or, if you say it over and over again in your mind, the word stops making meaning and becomes a sound effect? It’s the same thing here, except with physical objects instead of words.

The List of Online Year-End 2011 Music Lists was updated yesterday with 44 year-end music lists, including Gorilla vs. Bear's albums of the year, Stereogum's top albums, You Ain't No Picasso's favorite songs, and many more year-end music lists.

The List of Online "Best Books of 2011" Lists was updated yesterday with 28 year-end book lists, including New York Magazine's recommended books, Random House's list of the best book lists, and Flavorwire's most criminally overlooked books.

At the Guardian, Neil Gaiman interviews illustrator Shaun tan.

On sale for $3.99 today at Amazon MP3: the latest Girls album Father, Son, Holy Ghost.

Lev Grossman discusses his time in college when he dreamed of being a writer.

The Nashville Scene profiles the band The Alabama Shakes and its rise to prominence.

This is what the saga of a breaking band can look like in the age of the constantly plugged-in, accelerated news cycle. In the case of The Alabama Shakes, there really is something beneath the hype that people are viscerally responding to. Aquarium Drunkard called it "a slice of the real" — as opposed to stuff that's "fake" and "pre-packaged." NPR music critic Ann Powers noted the pre-packaging inherent in retro soul, but pointed to Howard's artistic self-determination, describing the 22-year-old singer as "a young woman living in the now, wrapping her arms around a tradition without letting it carry her away." New York Times music critic Jon Pareles celebrated the contrast between The Shakes and the typical CMJ buzz band — one that's "built around some cool-headed concept involving noise or irony or ambiguities or primitivism."

Author Adam Roberts lists his five favorite science fiction classics at The Browser.

This year's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class includes Guns N' Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Beastie Boys.

PWxyz explores the future of library eBook lending.

Press Play and Record offers downloads of every NME cassette compilation from the 1908s.

The Bat Segundo Show interviews Dennis Cooper about his new novel, The Marbled Swarm.

The Miami New Times profiles the band Au Revoir Simone.

The Chagall Position has started a new series featuring writers' toilets.

Relix shares 12 cover songs in the holiday spirit.

Jonathan Lethem interviews Geoff Dyer at BOMB.

Wild Flag's Carrie Brownstein DJ's at Trurntable .fm and talks to The Hairspray.

At TIME, author Luis Alberto Urrea lists five of his favorite things.

All Shook Down is celebrating Metallica Week with a series of articles as the band celebrates its 30th anniversary.

The Guardian recommends Haruki Murakami's novel Norwegian Wood as a hearty winter read.

Murakami can only offer a path through the frozen woods, he can't make us follow. If you find yourself wandering among the trees this winter season, I can recommend Norwegian Wood as a guidebook.

ShareMyPlaylists offers a Spotify stream of NME's 50 best albums of 2011.

The Millions recommends 12 holiday gifts that writers will actually use.

Win Lev Grossman's novels The Magicians and The Magician King 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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