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March 22, 2012

Shorties (David Mitchell, Cults, and more)

Author David Mitchell talks to the Galway Advertiser about literary genres.

"I view genre as a range of colours a writer has in his/her paintbox, rather than genre being the paintbox itself," says David. "While most books occupy only one genre there is no reason you can't use genre in a more diverse way and as an ingredient rather than allowing it to dictate the terms of the world of the book. Genre exists. It's there to be used, why not give it a go?"

The Santa Barbara Independent profiles the band Cults.

In the wake of much Internet buzzing, Cults released their self-titled debut in June of last year. Following on the heels of "Go Outside," the record is brimming with Follin's sugary sing-song, Oblivion's moody guitar licks, and a whole lot of insanely catchy hooks. Stylistically, the comparisons to Phil Spector's famous wall-of-sound production treatments are numerous, and more often than not Follin sounds like an eager youngster miming along to the Supremes. But rather than sounding trite or forced, Cults plays out as a sunny and sparkling debut that’s at times downright infectious.

The Wall Street Journal sees The Hunger Games soundtrack as reviving the genre financially.

Mr. Lipman believes "Hunger Games" fans will gravitate to the album. "The two and a half hours in the theater, it's not enough," he says. "They want something to help remember the experience, whether it's a T-shirt or a lunchbox or the soundtrack."

The Village Voice weighs in on new music discovery at SXSW (more social media and streaming services, less mp3 blogs).

Author Cheryl Strayed is guest blogging this week at the Powell's Books Blog.

Reverb recommends five songs for "soon-to-be hipster" quarterback Tim Tebow as he moves to New York.

Melville House lists 10 marijuana loving authors.

PopMatters interviews Jimmy Tamborello of Dntel and the Postal Service.

Women's Fiction Writers interviews author Jael McHenry.

The Record explores the influence of reggae on modern British music.

Library Journal recommends 30 graphic novels for Earth Day.

Rob Ricketts has created a poster series of Roland TR-808 Drum Machine sequences from notable electronic songs.

The Other Word (a new podcast) interviews Paris Review editor Lorin Stein.

Nialler9 lists the top 20 Irish albums from 2007-2012.

Fresh Air interviews Jonah Lehrer about his new book Imagine: How Creativity Works.

The Quietus interviews singer-songwriter Sharon Van Etten.

John Cale's Fear: apart from the cover, what is it about that album that spoke to you?

SVE: With John Cale in general, every record he does sounds different – yet when you hear his voice, there's no question who it is. I don't think I sound like him and I don't think this record sounds like him, but he inspired me to take chances production-wise and to always let your voice be the main thing. I'm not a strong guitar player and although my lyrics are confessional and autobiographical, I don't think they're my strength either. I think it's my vocals. And for him too, I think. It's what identifies him: his delivery and how raw he keeps it. It's pretty much there all the time. I wanted to keep that. No matter what was around me, I wanted the vocal to stand on its own. But Fear was in constant rotation the last few years when I was working on [Tramp], both writing and recording. He has a full band sound but you can still hear every instrument separately. He's able to shift from being really delicate and vulnerable to an in-your-face rock song, letting himself go from end to end like that.

Win a copy of A Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel: Volume One 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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