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March 14, 2012

Shorties (Stream the New Shins Album, John Steinbeck's Writing Tips, and more)

Stream the new Shins album, Port of Morrow (out March 20th).


Brain Pickings shares six writing tips from John Steinbeck.


Paste makes NCAA basketball tournament predictions based on the colleges' musical alumni.


Comic Book Resources interviews Denise Mina about adapting The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo into a graphic novel.


The Guardian profiles the Japanese band Taffy.

Apparently, the Japanese have been fetishising this brand of Brit-indie for a while now with bands such as Clams and Hotel Mexico, and maybe that's why Caramel Sunset is so easy on the ear. Taffy haven't fallen into this because it's a safe career move, as one got the impression some of the Thames Valley and Britpop bands did. They've been studying this music for a while, poring over it, honing and finessing it, and have come up with an idealised version that actually improves on what it's designed to be copying. They've perfected something that was deeply flawed.


Lit Reactor recommends 10 graphic novels for the literary minded.


Pitchfork offers a guide to SXSW Music.


Fresh Air interviews Lucy Worsley about her new book, If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home.


The New Yorker lists 10 video collaborations between photographers and musicians, with comments from many of the artists.


Punknews reports that the film adaptation of Frank Portman's novel King Dork has signed on a director, Matt Piedmont.


Wikipedia's list of shoegazing musicians.


At the Guardian, author Jeffrey Archer lists 10 good examples of multi-volume storytelling.


At A Blog Supreme, Ann Powers and Patrick Jarenwattanon discuss Theo Bleckmann's new album, Hello Earth! The Music of Kate Bush.


The Browser interviews George Dyson, author of , who recommends five books on the origins of computing.


Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo talks to the Village Voice about his forthcoming solo album, Between the Times and the Tides (out March 20th).

"I've always been moved by individual people putting out a real personal statement about where they are, whether it's Bill Callahan or Chan Marshall or Joni or Neil. I always wanted to make a record like that," Ranaldo continues. It's earnest music and not pushing any boundaries but his own open-minded ones. It's as unforced three-decades-too-late solo debut as one can imagine, framed by a distinct texture—lots of acoustic guitars chiming among the electrics, plus John Medeski's organ.

Stream the album at Rolling Stone.


15 books that should be on every grammar geek's bookshelf.


Win Geoff Dyer's new book Zona, a DVD of Andrei Tarkovsky's film Stalker 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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