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July 11, 2012

Shorties (Best Coast, Siri Hustvedt, and more)

The Boston Phoenix profiles the band Best Coast.

Best Coast have caught a lot of flack for not sounding like themselves on their new record, The Only Place (Mexican Summer). Fans of the duo's debut, Crazy for You, complain that the sophomore release — with its pretty/sad vibe and high-resolution production — lacks the fun, lo-fi charm of its predecessor, where singer Bethany Cosentino's stoned musings memorably blended the innocence of girl-group music with the wooziness of '90s indie. But wouldn't it be more fair to say that any record that features both more revealing lyrics and bigger vocals from its main creative force actually might sound more like the band in question?


The Guardian interviews author Siri Hustvedt.


Mental Floss lists 11 popular songs that reference Shakespeare.


Flavorwire interviews Karen Thompson Walker about her debut novel, The Age of Miracles.


PopMatters lists 20 of the most influential artists in underground metal today.


The A.V. Club interviews cartoonist Kevin Huizenga about his new graphic novel, Gloriana.

AVC: One of the most striking elements of your comics are the abstract interludes. There’s one in the middle of Gloriana, in a foldout section, and one of the Ganges issues begins with a lengthy wordless sequence, riffing on videogames. What do you like about kind of non-narrative cartooning?

KH: I was thinking about that today, actually. When I was in high school, there was a zine called Destroy All Comics, and I remember reading an interview with Chris Ware where he talked about comics being like music, and that really made a big impression on me. Ever since, I’ve always thought about comics in terms of musical forms. And I guess I really like the idea of music when it has form and then sort of loses its form, or becomes noise, and then comes back again. Sonic Youth is an obvious example. Or lots of other things, jazz and so forth. That’s how I think of it: structure turning into noise and coming back around again.


Amazon MP3 offers 25 summer-themed songs on sale for 25 cents each.


The Globe and Mail profiles author Pasha Malla and his new novel, People Park.

Built frankly atop an edifice previously constructed by a who’s who of prestigiously obscure masters – Robert Coover, Cesar Aires, Ferenc Karinthy, Mikhail Bulgakov – People Park is despite that a loose and friendly shaggy dog of a novel, often challenging but ever ingratiating. Much like the author, a serious-minded young man who learned early not to take himself too seriously.


Music Robot is a new UK music blog aggregator.


Granta interviews Ben Lerner, author of the novel Leaving the Atocha Station.


Paste has launched a "video vault" containing over 7,500 live music performances.


Tablet profiles literary critic M.H. Abrams, who edited the original Norton Anthology.


NPR Music is streaming the new Baroness album, Yellow and Green (out July 17th).


Tres Sugar lists the favorite books of celebrities.


Win the graphic novel Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 9 Volume 1: Freefall and a $100 Threadless gift certificate in this week's Largehearted Boy contest.


Amazon MP3 has 100 digital albums on sale for $5.

Amazon MP3 offers 667 albums for sale for $2.99.


Follow me on Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, Facebook, 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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