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September 15, 2012

Shorties (Tender Trap, Irvine Welsh on His Trainspotting Prequel, and more)

The Guardian profiles the band Tender Trap.

Into this indie pop revival Fletcher and Pursey have sent their most soulful record, the one that owes the most to the girl-group sound, and the one most aware of its own precursors: it's like a response to the mockery – it's too innocent, too happy – their genre used to receive. It's also a defiant announcement that they're going to keep playing upbeat music even though they're now informed adults. Tender Trap may sound fresh, even naive, but they know that the kind of songs they play have a past: "Kings' Cross Station" takes its train-track rhythm, its girl-meets-ex-boyfriend plot and the words in its chorus from the Shangri-Las' "Train from Kansas City". Another song finds Fletcher declaring her crush on a boy who "wears his hair like Roger McGuinn", sings "like Edwyn Collins" and loves the 1990s indie band My Bloody Valentine.

Weekend Edition interviews Irvine Welsh about his new novel Skagboys, a prequel to Trainspotting.

On why he decided to bring back the characters from Trainspotting in his new novel

"Yeah, I kind of did miss them, and I had original material from Trainspotting that I didn't use, and ... I sort of rediscovered that material and kind of went through it, and by going through it, I got back into the characters. And it's more of a 'why' book ... it's why did they get into heroin? Why did they fall into this subculture? And it's investigating the characters, the relationships between them, but also the bigger society [and the] ... kind of changes in that society."

A Blog Supreme reviews Blue Note Records' new Spotify app.

The new Spotify app from Blue Note Records, released yesterday, isn't the perfect guide. But as a music discovery tool, it's a huge leap in the right direction, and it's certainly the first digital music technology I've seen which begins to make sense of the dense jumble in which jazz fans happily abandon themselves.

Junot Diaz talks to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel about his new short fiction collection, This Is How You Lose Her.

"It's neither a novel, nor yet a short-story collection," he says. "That was definitely part of the plan and why the damned thing took 16 years. I was trying to line these stories up correctly so the reader would feel a circuit completed from beginning to end."

Consequence of Sound lists the best and worst dressed bands of 2012.

Underwire wraps up its interview with author William Gibson.

Flavorwire recommends 10 contemporary alt-country band you should know.

Tom Reiss talks to Weekend Edition about his new book, The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo.

Wye Oak's Jenn Wasner talks to the A.V. Club about why she hates papa Roach's song "Scars."

Michael Chabon Talks to Rolling Stone about his new novel, Telegraph Avenue.

Can you explain why you set the book in 2004?

I needed to set it in a period where the threat of a retail music/media store would be frightening. I decided rather than set it in 1999, I wanted to set it in almost the last possible moment in history where it would feel like a credible threat, and 2004 felt like about that time. I wanted there to be this irony for the reader, that all these machinations Gibson Goode is going through [in developing his megastore] are probably going to come to naught. As much as [Brokeland owners] Archy and Nat feel themselves to be what Archy thinks of as "the last coconut palm on the last atoll about to be flattened by the wave of late capitalism," Gibson Goode is on his own atoll – he just doesn't know it yet. He doesn't know what's about to hit him. As soon as I did that, all these other storytelling and thematic possibilities came into the book – including the 2004 election coming, and Obama as a rising star – that helped me tell my story.

The National Post, Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, and Vancouver Sun review the book.

Members of the band Calexico talk to Weekend Edition about their latest album, Splitter.

Burns got his inspiration for "Splitter" from a book of stark character studies by the photographer Richard Avedon, called The American West. Calexico is tied to the Southwest: It's named after a small town on the California-Mexico border. Tucson embraced the band, partly because of how often it's played there in the last few years — at the Festival En El Barrio, which benefits Tucson's oldest neighborhood, and at countless other benefits. Calexico's core members, Joey Burns and drummer John Convertino, are not from Tucson, though. Convertino fled Los Angeles in the mid-1990s.

Flavorwire recommends 10 underrated books everyone should read.

Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood talks to Weekend Edition about scoring films.

Talk of the Nation interviews Robert D. Kaplan about his new book The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate.

On the Simple Minds website, frontman Jim Kerr reflects on the 30th anniversary of the band's New Gold Dream album.

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

Amazon MP3 offers over 500 albums for sale for $2.99.

Amazon MP3 offers over 300 jazz albums on sale for $1.78.

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)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
daily mp3 downloads
Largehearted Word (the week's best new books)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
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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