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March 4, 2012

Shorties (The Civil Wars, Etgar Keret, and more)

The Observer profiles The Civil Wars.

Their stripped-back duets are simple – hushed and intense Americana full of tales of heartache and hard times – but it's the interplay and rise and fall of their two voices that makes them extraordinary.

Etgar Keret talks to the Guardian about his new short story collection, Suddenly a Knock at the Door.

Suddenly, a Knock on the Door took a decade to write, partly because of Keret's increasing involvement with the world of film and partly due to writer's block. "What happened was that my life changed a lot: I got married, I had a kid, a mortgage. I kept having ideas for stories, but they were about bachelors living in a dirty apartments, trying to get laid." It took time, he says, to find a way to write that was relevant to his new circumstances.

Paste lists the 90 best albums of the 90s.

The Deseret News reviews two children's board books published by BabyLit, Little Miss Bronte: Jane Eyre and Little Master Carroll: Alice in Wonderland, by Jennifer Adams.

More Intelligent Life kicks off its "Mood Music" series with a list of eight songs that will make you smile. (via)

At the Slate Book Review, Dana Stevens reads Geoff Dyer's Zona while watching Tarkovsky's Stalker simultaneously.

For the next few days, I alternated between reading Zona and watching a few scenes at a time of Stalker. An unusual camera movement might catch my eye (as will often happen with Tarkovsky, whose framing and perspective choices are subtly unsettling), and I'd grab the book to see if Dyer had anything to say about it. Or Dyer would begin a section with a grandiose claim, like "There follows one of the great sequences in the history of cinema," and I'd feel compelled to stop reading and watch the sequence in question before returning to the book to hear him break it down. (As often as not, he would turn out to be right.) It was a disorganized and sometimes maddening mode of both reading and viewing, but a productive one too. I'd never engaged quite so intensively with a book and a movie at the same time.

Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson discusses his forthcoming book, Letters to Kurt, with the New York Times.

"It just wasn't feeling right to write a memoir-style book and this one just came out of me a couple years ago," he said. "It felt like the right way to go, but at the same time, I had a lot of hesitation. At some point it just started to click and I started to honor it."

The longlist for the 2012 Best Translated Book Awards has been released.

The New York Times notes the "seapunk" music genre and its associated fashion.

Full Stop interviews author Tupelo Hassman about her debut novel girlchild.

A lot of girlchild seems to be about how few choices there are for women in a community like Rory's. Did you come into the book thinking about feminisim?

When I was 11 my mom gave me The Handmaid's Tale to read, so I don’t know that I've never not had a feminist mindset. It's almost genetic. My mom was very vocal about that. I never remember her not talking about it. And Roe v. Wade was so fresh; it was the year I was born. I don't know how you divorce that from anything. I'm certainly not heroic enough to do it. But I do see in my classroom now, sometimes — I've taught for six years, and it seems to go in phases where students will shy away from using the word "feminism," completely not cop to it. They can't be associated with it. Then there will be phases where it's cool to talk about, and it's acceptable, and no one is afraid of copping to it. Because it's still a thing it has to be copped to, you know? I don't know if that answers your question. I don't know how to not be a woman in a culture and not think about these questions. I have no idea how it's done, and maybe I don't want to know.

Singer-songwriter Laura Gibson plays a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR Music.

Kathryn Harrison talks to All Things Considered about her new novel, Enchantments, which is about Rasputin's daughter.

Maria, called Masha in the novel, had a life almost as intriguing as her father's. "Once I discovered that he had a daughter, and that she had escaped the Bolsheviks and gone to Europe and become, eventually, a successful lion tamer who toured in the United States as the 'Daughter of the Mad Monk,' it just was irresistible," Harrison tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Jacki Lyden. "Now I had a way of seeing into that world."

Win new novels by Hari Kunzru and Heidi Julavits 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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