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February 19, 2013

Shorties (Tour the Landmarks of Haruki Murakami's Youth, Stream Mount Moriah's New Album, and more)

The Asahi Shimbun visits the two cities of author Haruki Murakami's childhood.

For fans living in Ashiya and Nishinomiya, in Hyogo Prefecture, the mark that those years left on the author is obvious: according to them, a number of sites that appear in his novels are too familiar to be purely fictional.

Pitchfork is streaming the new Mount Moriah album, Miracle Temple (out February 26th).

PopMatters interviews singer-songwriter Mike Doughty.

The Telegraph reports that Leo Tolstoy's novel War and Peace will be adapted into a six-part BBC miniseries.

Pigeons and Planes lists 20 musical artists whose second album was their best.

Fresh Air interviews poet Richard Blanco.

What I find interesting about the inaugural poem as almost like a subgenre," says Blanco, "is that it's a unique snapshot of where we are as a country at that moment," and Newtown, of course, says Blanco, was part of that snapshot and "emotional landscape" that he was trying to illustrate.

Dust & Grooves interviews a music collector whose collection consists only of first pressings of the Beatles' White Album.

Mother Jones interviews Karen Russell about her new story collection Vampires in the Lemon Grove.

MJ: What do you think poses the biggest threat to our imaginations?

KR: People really get myopic as they get older. We're not a culture that encourages dreaming or distraction. We're not ever good at just being. I remember reading some Adrienne Rich quote where she talks about how important it was just to watch bubbles rise in a glass.

I think there's this horrible image of the artist as this complete ego monster dreamer. I even find that with like artist residencies, you know? They're like, "Oh, you've got to remove yourself to the magic mountain." I do think there's something when you have an unbroken day, and it feels like you and your attention can just be together like birds again and you can actually think and dream a little.

CarolineLeavittville interviews Ellen Meister about her new novel Farewell, Dorothy Parker.

What's the back-story of this book for you? What sparked the idea?

I've been a Dorothy Parker fan almost all my life. In fact, in some ways she's the voice I've carried around on my shoulder, making snide comments and biting perceptions about my life and choices.

Then, a few years ago, I was marveling at the long list of novels paying homage to Jane Austen. While I think that's incredibly heartening, I couldn't helping wondering why no one did the same for my personal literary hero, Dorothy Parker. In an instant, I realized this was the book I'd been carrying around inside, and the basic premise of bringing her spirit back to life as mentor to a modern woman fell right into place.

Mother Jones lists five female vocalists to watch in 2013.

Gender Through Comic Books is an online course that "examines how comic books can be used to explore questions of gender identity, stereotypes, and roles.."

At Food Republic, Jenny Pfafflin explains why she quit the music business to make craft beer.

So, while it was hard to say goodbye to the artists and the label I've worked for, it was a relief to have the opportunity to champion independent producers who actually have a physical product that can't be dragged into a virtual trash bin.

Win the new issue of Lucky Peach the Baked: Elements cookbook, and a $100 Threadless gift certificate in this week's contest at Largehearted Boy.

Amazon MP3 offers 100 albums on sale for $5 each.
Amazon MP3 offers over 1,400 albums on sale for $3.99.
Amazon MP3 offers over 600 albums for sale for $2.99.
Amazon MP3 offers over 400 jazz albums on sale for $1.78.
Amazon MP3 offers over 56,000 free and legal mp3s.

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

The list of online "best of 2012" book lists
The list of online "best of 2012" music lists

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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