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January 18, 2012

Shorties (Pico Iyer, Porcelain Raft, and more)

On Point interviews author Pico Iyer about the value of unplugging from the digital world.

Stream Porcelain Raft's new album, Strange Weekend (out January 24th).

Paste lists 10 great albums recorded at home.

The Village Voice's Pazz and Jop 2011 music critics poll results are in.

The Guardian lists the top 10 popular mathematics books.

The Boston Phoenix profiles the band Cults.

Their reverb-laden '60s Girl-Group-pop is one part sunny sheen of a hipstamatic California beach party, one part big-city crime noir. It sounds like roller skating down the boardwalk and tripping over a murdered wannabe Hollywood starlet, then falling in love with her anyway.

Imprint interviews graphic designer Paul Sahre about collaborating with They Might Be Giants.

Connect Savannah profiles and interviews singer-songwriter Dare Dukes.

This week Dukes releases his second album. Called Thugs and China Dolls, it’s a finely–etched work of indie–folk, full of charming melodies, sharp lyrics and delicate acoustic arrangements.

The Wall Street Journal profiles the Cabinet of Wonders variety show conceived by author Wesley Stace (aka singer-songwriter John Wesley Harding).

Turns out John Wesley Harding, already a gifted songwriter, singer and novelist, has another appealing skill. He's a convivial host, as he demonstrates as ringleader of Cabinet of Wonders, a reading, writing and folk-rocking descendant of vaudeville that's now touring the U.S.

Jennifer Wiener breaks down books reviewed in 2011 by the New York Times by author gender.

Pop Candy interviews singer-songwriter Jessie Baylin about her new album, Little Spark.

Rosamond Bernier talks to Morning Edition about her book, Some of My Lives: A Scrapbook Memoir.

Drowned in Sound interviews Faris Badwan of the Horrors.

Ben Marcus talks to All Things Considered about his new novel The Flame Alphabet.

"I've always thought of language as extremely potent," Marcus tells NPR's Audie Cornish. "It seems to change us at the chemical and biological level. When I think of it like that, it's as though it's a drug — and what would happen if we took too much of it, if it overwhelmed us and started to make us sick?"

Philebrity also interviews Marcus.

Morning Edition profiles Washington's MAGFest, the Music and Gaming Festival.

Every year, thousands of video-game fans flock to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area for a unique music festival called MAGFest. It's short for "Music and Gaming Festival," and it's designed to celebrate the music of video games.

All Things Considered recommends three edgy memoirs.

On sale for $3.99 today at Amazon MP3: Bill Frisell's John Lennon tribute album All We Are Saying...

Win four of my favorite books of 2011 and a $100 Threadless gift certificate in this week's Largehearted Boy contest.

Amazon MP3 has 1,000 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 (daily 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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