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May 11, 2012

Shorties (Alison Bechdel on Writing Memoir, Billy Bragg on Woody Guthrie, and more)

ArtsBeat interviews Alison Bechdel about her new graphic novel, Are You My Mother?.

You say that your mother referred to this project as a "meta book." Agree?

Well, it's a memoir about writing a memoir. That's pretty meta. And it's also a book that's about its own progress, about its own creation. And it's a book that’s about a lot of other books. I'm on an airplane right now, so can't Google "meta book." Maybe there’s a strict postmodern sense of it that I am unaware of. But in the sense I just described, I think my mother is right.

The Madeleine Brand Show also interviews Bechdel.

Billy Bragg talks to The Australian about putting Woody Guthrie's lyrics to music.

LA Weekly interviews the members of Best Coast.

At Underwire, author A.J. Jacobs defends literary stunts.

Amon Tobin talks to the Independent about his influence on grandiose light shows at concerts.

"I'm a bit bewildered by the whole rush to massive productions and light shows this seems to have triggered, in most cases it's not needed because they are still dance acts where you'd think the focus would be on the dance floor rather than on stage," he said. "I have a feeling we’re going to see a sort of funny AV arms race for a while and then there will be an inevitable backlash. From my own perspective the show will always follow the objective of the record. I'm not an entertainer after all; I’m just trying to find a legitimate way to share the things that fascinate me.”

Far Beyond Reality interviews author Lev Grossman.

FBR: Before I read the novels, I only knew you as Time Magazine's literary critic, and I'm sure other people were in the same situation. Do you think that may have colored perceptions? Maybe in future editions the author photo should be one of you in full Dumbledore cosplay regalia?

Lev Grossman: Oh, sure. It’s been a big problem for me. Or at least it feels like one. People have all kinds of ideas about who I am — like I'm this 60-something bow-tied Ivy-educated condescending asshole who's making fun of fantasy fans. I don’t blame them, I'd probably think that too. But it changes the way they read the books, which is a shame.

The Florida Times-Union interviews Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy.

The New Yorker's art editor talks to Salon about choosing cover artwork for the magazine.

Producer and musician Steve Albini answered questions at Reddit.

The New York Times examines who owns e-books when you die.

Music Ruined My Life lists the best musical adaptations of Woody Guthrie's lyrics.

BBC News interviews Hilary Mantel about her new novel, Bring Up the Bodies.

The New Yorker's art editor talks to Salon about choosing cover artwork for the magazine.

Peter Hatch talks to All Things Considered about his new book, "A Rich Spot of Earth": Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden at Monticello.

The A.V. Club offers entry points into '90s electronica music.

The Kitchn shares a list of 10 famous fiction writers' favorite cocktails.

Jonathan Lethem talks to The Record about his new 33 1/3 book on Talking Heads' Fear of Music album.

The shortlist for The Ondaatje Prize, which rewards the book that evokes the "spirit of a place" best, has been named.

Congratulations to Largehearted Boy Book Notes contributors Rahul Bhattacharya and Teju Cole.

NPR is streaming a recent Spiritualized live performance.

Lit Reactor lists the 10 gay men's novels "you should already have read if you consider yourself even semi-literate."

Bill Kreutzmann, the Grateful Dead's original drummer, has signed a book deal for his memoir.

Win a copy of Alison Bechdel's new graphic novel Are You My Mother? and a $100 Threadless gift certificate in this month'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)

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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