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May 19, 2013

Shorties (Daft Punk Profiled and Glowingly Reviewed, Khaled Hosseini on Writing, and more)

The Observer profiles Daft Punk.

Of course, Daft Punk would argue that any impression of them as people is irrelevant. "The robots are part of the fiction and it's not really interesting to see what's behind it," argues Thomas. "When you look at C-3PO and Darth Vader and then look at the actors behind them you can't really make the connection. It kills the magic. I feel the robots are the same." Guy-Man grunts in agreement. "They're more interesting than us for sure."

The Los Angeles Times reviews the band's new album Random Access Memories.

If technology is a steamroller that plows through the musical arts, morphing and shifting the soundtrack of the present while burying perfectly executed tones and approaches with deaf equanimity, then Daft Punk suggests on "Random Access Memories" that the "next level" is an illusion. That they combat this technological Tower of Babel by scouring the surroundings for mechanical wreckage is not only a valid response but aesthetically essential.

Weekend Edition interviews Khaled Hosseini about his new novel, And the Mountains Echoed.

"I don't feel any pressure to be ... 'successful' in economic or commercial or number of books sold and so on. The real angst comes from the very real possibility that one day I will sit, and I will have nothing more to say. Because I enjoy so much the process of writing — losing myself in another person's life, kind of going off to these imaginary places and looking up from the computer and eight hours have passed and I have no idea where they went. And writing things that, to me, feel intimate and real and genuine. I don't take that for granted. So the pressure that I feel inside is, what if that ends someday and I've said everything I have to say? And I think a lot of writers have that, and that's something very real every time I sit at the computer. That's a presence in the room with me."

Read an excerpt from the book.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer lists essential Rolling Stones albums.

Josh Ritter talks to the Lancaster Online about his latest album, Beast in Its Tracks.

Amanda Knox talks to All Things Considered about her new memoir, Waiting to Be Heard.

Hypebot explores how the Grateful Dead and Phish started their direct-to-fan sales.

The Guardian has news about a forthcoming documentary on the life of J.D. Salinger.

Called simply Salinger, the film is the brainchild of Shane Salerno, who has spent nine years writing, producing and directing the project, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of his own money. The move is a major shift in career for Salerno, best known as a writer of mainstream blockbusters such as Alien vs Predator: Requiem and Armageddon.

My Bloody Valentine drummer Colm O Ciosig shares a streaming playlist at Psychedelic Psyblings.

Win Michael Moss's new book Salt Sugar Fat 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)

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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