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January 31, 2012

Shorties (Stream the New Heartless Bastards Album, Literary Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels, and more)

Stream the new Heartless Bastards album Arrow (out ) at NPR.

Damien G. Walters recommends seven literary science fiction and fantasy novels. (via)

Tablet profiles singer-songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen.

Rolling Stone interviews Cohen about his new album, Old Ideas (out today).

The Millions interviews Ben marcus about his new novel The Flame Alphabet.

Shirley Manson of Garbage talks to Pop & Hiss about her new record label.

Releasing an album on your own label: scary or liberating?

Free at last! Free at last!! Collectively and individually for that matter, we probably have more experience making records and releasing them than 99% of people working at labels these days. Nor do we have anyone to answer to other than ourselves. People at record companies live in fear of being wrong. Music cannot thrive in that environment. It is an unruly art form. You can’t keep treating it like sausage meat. You have to let it morph and move and breathe. So are we scared? Not a jot.

Dankland lists pothead novels.

Drowned in Sound interviews Bryce Dessner, guitarist of The National.

Advice to Writers, the blog.

The Pines visit The Current studio for a live performance and interview.

All Things Considered interviews Susan Cain about her new book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking.

"Many people believe that introversion is about being antisocial, and that's really a misperception. Because actually it's just that introverts are differently social. So they would prefer to have a glass of wine with a close friend as opposed to going to a loud party full of strangers."

Morning Edition profiles Philip Glass on the composer's 75th birthday.

At NPR, author Margaret Fragoso recommends Margaret Atwood's novel Cat's Eye.

There is so much to savor in Cat's Eye's lushly imagined landscape where sorrow and beauty merge. This novel is as philosophical as it is emotional, as poetic as it is psychological. It's the story of Elaine and her best friend Cordelia, a histrionic, well-to-do girl who puts a defiant blond streak in her hair and refers to her mother as "Mummy." Although she's only 9, Cordelia plays vicious emotional mind games and conducts rituals that resemble hazing — like telling Elaine to stand out in the freezing cold for hours. Like a surgeon going straight for the valves instead of the heartstrings, Atwood expertly conjures how doubly disorienting and painful it is when the proverbial mean girl also happens to be your best friend.

The Record profiles pop singer Lana Del Rey.

Lana Del Rey is a particularly polarizing figure for two reasons. Her persona relies on classic femme fatale allure, but without the usual "girl power" update — the sassy shake of the finger that makes a phrase like "put a ring on it" seem almost feminist. So women find her troubling; she embodies the worst part of being a girl. And her music — well-constructed and catchy, but also strangely incomplete, with lyrics that feel slapdash sung by an unpolished voice — is neither fish nor fowl, too awkward for corporate pop and too distant-feeling for indie.

More Intelligent Life shares tips on how to write like Shakespeare.

Paste lists the top 10 solo albums by members of the Beatles.

TS Eliot award-winning poet John Burnside discusses poetry's life-changing power at the Telegraph.

Win Sara Levine's debut novel Treasure Island!!! 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+, Tumblr, 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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