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February 24, 2012

Shorties (Anais Mitchell, Chip Kidd, and more)

The Philadelphia Inquirer profiles singer-songwriter Anais Mitchell.

Two years after singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell released the ambitious and career-defining folk opera Hadestown - a musical retelling of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice set in Depression-era America - she's back with a decidedly different but equally ambitious effort, Young Man in America.

The Boston Globe reviews her new album, Young Man in America (out February 28th).

Anaïs Mitchell belongs to a young class of progressive musicians who are always thinking of the bigger picture. In the Americana field, Punch Brothers, Abigail Washburn, Ben Sollee, and Joanna Newsom feel like her natural peers. You admire their work for its vision and virtuosity, but it's never clear how much you're supposed to enjoy it on casual terms. It's not just music for music’s sake; it's art that requires some investment.


Chip Kidd talks book cover design with the Dallas Voice.

"Yes, a cover can be a sales tool, but it can just get your attention," he says. "The question I get asked with astonishing regularity, and have for decades now, is 'Do you read the books before you design them?' Oh my god yes! Yes yes yes yes yes!"


Shearwater frontman Jonathan Meiburg discusses books with Vol. 1 Brooklyn.


Rocks Off lists the top 10 greatest and most essential music lists of all time.


The New York Times visits the Hartford of poet Wallace Stevens.


Guardian readers recommend songs about books.


The Browser interviews Edith Grossman about translating literature, and Grossman lists her five favorite translated works.


Premier Guitar interviews Erika Wennerstrom of Heartless Bastards.


Prospero interviews Irvine Welsh about the film adaptation of his novel Trainspotting.

Could “Trainspotting” have been shot in a darker way?

Yes. In Berlin you had the film "Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo". A very worthy film. But nobody wanted to see it. If there is a welfare state and a full-employment economy, then you can take social action; you get some great social-realist films like Ken Loach's in the 1970s and '80s, guilt-tripping society and the government, saying this is wrong and let's change this. Film does not do that any more. There is no aspiration to any kind of social action. So if you show something that is about degradation and pain, then all you are doing is affirming these bourgeoisie values with people who are saying "I'm not in that position. I'm kind of smug. Nothing to do with me".


The Guardian profiles the career of the band Simple Minds.


PopMatters lists the best non-fiction books of 2011.


Drowned in Sound interviews singer-songwriter Andrew Bird.


Bookforum interviews author and critic Geoff Dyer.


The band Tennis visits The Current studio for an interview and live performance.


The shortlist for the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year has been named.


The Cranberries play a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR Music.


Pop Candy excerpts from David Hughes book, Tales from Development Hell: The Greatest Movies Never Made?.


Win two graphic novels (Keshni Kashyap's Tina's Mouth: An Existential Diary and Matthew Forsythe's Jingalo) and a $100 Threadless gift certificate in this week's largehearted Boy contest.


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


Follow me on Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, 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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