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September 6, 2012

Shorties (Zadie Smith, Yeasayer, and more)

Granta Interviews Zadie Smith about her new novel NW.

This is your first novel in eight years, during which time you've published regularly as a critic, written a book of essays, edited a collection of fiction and taught classes at several writing programmes. Does this more critical work make immersing yourself into the long haul and in some ways subconscious process of writing a novel more of a challenge or does it enrich it?

It's my feeling that the process of being edited by American journals improved my sentences. It was like going back to school. And with a tighter sentence I was able to writer a tighter book.

The Austin Chronicle interviews Yeasayer guitarist Anand Wilder.

AC: Seems like the figures on your album art are somewhat obscure. Is that usually symbolism for something?

AW: I think it's consistent with the way we like people to experience our music. You're not really sure where the sound is coming from or whether the sound is organic or synthetic. It's hilarious to me this idea that somehow, at some point, we were really organic. That we were making a lot of campfire sounds. We've always been sampling.

The University Star interviews author Kevin Brockmeier.

AG: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

KB: The one piece of advice I think every published writer would offer to every aspiring writer is to read. Read as much as you can, and fill your head with other people's books. I think that is where you will learn. Not only will that inspire to you want to write, but that is where you will learn many of the elements of your craft.

Flavorwire lists the most prolific artists in music.

USA Today interviews Norwegian novelist Jo Nesbo.

American Songwriter interviews Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers about his new solo album, Heat Lightning Rumbles in the Distance (out September 11th).

You were working on a relatively dark, semi-autobiographical book when this album took shape. How fresh and vivid are the memories from which you were drawing upon as you wrote?

Well, I know I can retrieve those darker memories and feelings, but I'm not sure I want to. That's why they ended up in only a couple of songs on an album instead of becoming an entire book. For me, now isn't the time that I want to be in that head-space for a long period of time. It's like method-acting, really. I could definitely find the part of my brain where dark or troublesome memories live, but I just don't want to spend so much time in that space right now. I have small kids and I don’t want to be that crazy. I did get some great songs from the original book concept, though, like "12:01" and "(untold pretties)," so that’s some good that came out of some things that weren't so good. Those memories are still there if I ever want to go back and finish the book. The last thing I want to do is write an entire book and then have it suck.

Flavorwire lists 10 of the best makeovers in literature.

PopMatters profiles the band Animal Collective.

Infinite Atlas is an interactive map featuring locations from David Foster Wallace's novel Infinite Jest.

At NPR Music, musicians including Yoko Ono and Lou Reed discuss the importance of composer John Cage.

Bookworm interviews author Neal Stephenson.

Rolling Stone is streaming the new Raveonettes album, Observator (out September 11th).

Tablet and Entertainment Weekly review Michael Chabon's new novel Telegraph Avenue.

Rolling Stone interviews Peter Gabriel about his 1986 album So, which is being released on October 23rd in a 30th anniversary edition and box set.

Do you think the famous John Cusack scene in Say Anything has played a big role in keeping that song alive over the past 20 years?

I think it definitely gave it a second life, because now it's so often parodied in comedy shows and it is one of the modern day Romeo and Juliet balcony cliches. I've talked to John Cusack about that. We're sort of trapped together in a minuscule moment of contemporary culture.

University College London recommends books for 14-18 year olds.

The Pet Shop Boys look back on their 30 year career at BBC News.

At the Globe and Mail, Joe Queenan ponders why we re-read certain books and not others.

Stream the new Helvetia album, Nothing in Rambling (out September 11th), at Spin.

The longlist for the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize has been named.

Congratulations to Largehearted Boy Book Notes contributors Annabel Lyon and Alix Ohlin.

Win D.T. Max's new book Every Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace and a $100 Threadless gift certificate in this week's Largehearted Boy contest.

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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