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February 5, 2012

Shorties (Liz Phair on Lana Del Rey, John Hodgman on Writing, and more)

At Speakeasy, Liz Phair weighs in on Lana Del Rey.

Rolling Stone asked me to speak about Lana Del Rey. I wanted to know how big my participation in the piece would be–was it substantial or just a quote? Just a quote, they said, to which I replied that I wasn’t super interested. Which was a lie. I have a lot to say about her, but no sound bites. You see, Lana Del Rey is exactly what I was hoping to inspire when I took on the male rock establishment almost twenty years ago with my debut record, "Exile In Guyville."

The Morris Sun-Tribune interviews author/actor John Hodgman.

Sun Tribune: How did you make the jump from literary agent to writer and comedian?

John Hodgman: I was a literary agent, but I always wanted to be a writer. I always wanted to write sincere short stories. I appreciated that no one wanted to really buy those things, so I took a job in book publishing in order to work with writers.

As I was working in book publishing and representing people, I got an e-mail from Dave Eggers who was starting a literary journal on a website, McSweeney's. I started to write little missives from the world of book publishing in which I portrayed a completely deranged literary agent who was not very far from the truth. I really enjoyed writing these things because book publishing was and is an extremely bizarre, backward, tie-bound industry with a lot of eccentrics in it, and I got to enjoy being one of them.

All Things Considered interviews Sharon Van Etten about her new album, Tramp (out Tuesday).

Just Like Honey is covers compilation (of versions of the Jesus and Mary Chain's "Just Like Honey) that benefits a good cause, Breast Cancer Care.

The Los Angeles Times profiles Best Coast.

Best Coast's untitled new album is set for a mid-May release on the Mexican Summer label and will include deeply personal songs by Cosentino, balancing the kind of sunny, fuzzy tunes that dominated the debut with quieter ballads of melancholy and reflection on the whirlwind of the band's last two years as fast-rising indie-rock stars.

At the Huffington Post, creative writing professors answer questions about their craft.

The Independent asks members of four bands (Wilco, The Black Keys, The Alabama Shakes, and EMA) about the future of guitar rock.

The Observer examines the recent resurgence in interest in the works of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

RA previews March's top 10 music festivals worldwide.

Scotland on Sunday interviews the man behind the fake Cormac McCarthy Twitter account.

Pretty Much Amazing recaps January's best albums and singles.

Weekend Edition looks back on 200 years of Charles Dickens.

On sale for $3.99 today at Amazon MP3: Madonna's greatest hits collection Celebration.

Author Henry Miller's 11 commandments.

Weekend Edition interviews singer-songwriter Ruthie Foster.

Pop Culture Happy Hour interviews NPR Books editor Parul Sehgal.

Amazon MP3 has 100 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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