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August 28, 2012

Shorties (Six Things You Didn't Know About David Foster Wallace, An Album of Songs Inspired by the Poetry of e.e. cummings, and more)

Rolling Stone lists six things you didn't know about David Foster Wallace, culled from D.T. Max's new biography of the writer, Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story.

Tin Hat's The Rain Is a Handsome Animal is an album of 17 songs based on e.e. cummings poems.

Radio Free Culture interviews several music bloggers about the state of mp3 blogs.

Frieze reviews three new books on socially engaged art.

The Quietus is streaming the new Jens Lekman album, I Know What Love Isn't (out September 4th).

Amy Sohn talks to All Things Considered about her new novel, Motherland.

PopMatters interviews Swans' Michael Gira about the band's new album, The Seer.

NPR Books recommends three books featuring clever animals.

Stream the new single by Flock of Dimes (the side project of Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner).

Harry Dolan talks to Morning Edition about setting his crime fiction series in Ann Arbor.

Paste lists the 21 most irresistible Jens Lekman lyrics.

The Guardian profiles author John Jeremiah Sullivan.

Sullivan has a knack for upending readers' prejudices and revealing an often surprising connection with his subjects – as in the opening essay on Christian rock bands where we assume Sullivan will be sneering when in fact he is rather kind. In a later essay, meanwhile, the apparently high-brow Sullivan reveals he is a huge fan of trashy reality show The Real World; in a profile of Guns 'n' Roses singer Axl Roses he draws parallels between the rock star's upbringing and his own. "A source of energy and inspiration to me in my writing is empathy," he explains. "I want to stay in touch with what I have in common with my subjects, with the places where are equally implicated with whatever is wrong with the culture. I feel more legitimate as an observer when I am in that place so I seek it out. I seek out subjects that plug into my own weaknesses and my own past."

All Songs Considered premieres a new song by Bob Dylan, "Dubuque Whistle."

Chicago Now bemoans e-readers' effect on book jacket peeking.

Fresh Air interviews singer-songwriter Regina Spektor.

Flavorwire shares the original covers of 25 classic books.

The Guardian profiles Pussy Riot's Yekaterina Samutsevich.

"What I can say for sure is that we still madly want changes in Russia – toward anti-authoritarian leftist ideas. We, along with many citizens of our country, are burning even more with the desire to finally take from Putin his monopoly on power, since his image no longer seems so total and terrible," she wrote. "In fact it is just an illusion, created by his spin doctors on government television channels."

We Wanted to Be Writers excerpts chapter one from David Abrams' debut novel, Fobbit.

Win the paperback edition of Haruki Murakami's latest novel 1Q84 and a $100 Threadless gift certificate in this week's Largehearted Boy contest.

Amazon MP3 has over 1,000 digital albums on sale for $5.

Amazon MP3 offers over 500 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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