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March 4, 2013

Shorties (Lauren Beukes on Genre Fiction, Stream the New Devendra Banhart Album, and more)

The Mail and Guardian profiles author Lauren Beukes.

"I want to be a David Mitchell; a Margaret Atwood," she says. "Hopefully my audience will follow me wherever I want to go." All the indicators suggest that she has no difficulty inspiring her readers. Beukes's feral splicing of genres reflects a world unimpressed by categories.

That said, no "talking squids from outer space" pop up in Beukes's fiction. The remark is Atwood's. Made on the back of The Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake, it irked science fiction fans who thought it dismissive of the genre. Pitting speculative fiction against science fiction, Atwood's point was that the former "could really happen". Well … what actually can happen is surely up for grabs, though Atwood tried to mollify the justifiably rankled with her next morph, "social science fiction". Like "speculative fiction", social science fiction works for figuring out Beukes, a child of the remix and the mash-up.

NPR is streaming the new Devendra Banhart album, Mala (out March 12th).

Five Chapters features a new short story by Ryan McIlvain, author of the novel Elders (published tomorrow).

PopMatters interviews Philip Ekstrom of the Mary Onettes about the band's new album, Hit the Waves (out March 12th).

The Millions examines the current state of pakistani fiction.

Singer-songwriter Kurt Vile visits The Current studio for an interview and live performance.

Author Jen Michalski interviews herself at The Nervous Breakdown.

PopMatters interviews John Flansburgh about They Might Be Giants' 16th album, Nanobots (out March 5th).

The Other People podcast interviews author Christine Sneed.

Weekend Edition profiles singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock on the singer-songwriter's 60th birthday.

He adds, "Forty years ago, when I first got hold of an electric guitar, if someone had told me that at 60 I'd be playing amplified beat music, I would have just said, 'Get out of here! ... It's like Mr. Rogers is playing guitar; that's gross!' But you know, rock 'n' roll is an old man's game now."

All Things Considered interviews jamaica Kincaid about her new novel See Now Then.

NPR is streaming the new Phosphorescent album, Muchacho (out March 19th).

#SheDocs is an online film festival that is streaming 10 "gripping, women-centric documentaries."

Vulture profiles author Sam Lipsyte, who discusses his new short story collection Fun Parts.

Lipsyte's second story collection, The Fun Parts, out this week, is the mid-­career survey of a writer in sync with our tragicomic times—one who speaks to the acerbic nineties post-punks he once consorted with and a younger crowd with equally dismal prospects but no recourse to anything you could call "alternative" with a straight face. Lipsyte once described the French novelist Michel Houellebecq as "a cold, prickly nihilist as opposed to a warm fuzzy one." He should know, because he's our warm, fuzzy nihilist. He likes to quote Donald Barthelme: "What must wacky mode do? Break their hearts."

NPR is streaming the new Dave Grohl and Friends album, Sound City: Real to Reel (out March 12th).

The longlist for the 2013 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize has been named.

Pitchfork is streaming the new Javelin album, Hi Beams (out March 5th).

Win the new book Russ & Daughters: Reflections and Recipes from the House That Herring Built 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.
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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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