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May 26, 2013

Shorties (Devendra Banhart on His New Album, George Saunders on Writing, and more)

Seattle Weekly interviews singer-songwriter Devendra Banhart.

Mala sounds like a very casual, very natural record. How would you describe the writing and recording process?

It was a very small group of people that are the main creators of the album, meaning me, Noah Georgeson, and Josiah Steinbrick … We recorded it in a small shack using a combination of atavistic technology and more contemporary technology. It was a very intimate affair.

There’s a distinction between insolated, isolated, and intimate, because you can have an isolated environment yet not take the responsibility to always make sure the final product is something you’re satisfied with. To make something isolated doesn’t necessarily mean it’s intimate. This was more of an intimate album.

The Observer interviews author George Saunders.

Philip Roth recently advised a first-time novelist to quit while he was ahead, saying: "Really, it's an awful field. Just torture." Do you find writing a pleasure or a pain?

I guess it depends on how you describe pleasure or pain. If you're in love with somebody, there's always bad days. But in total you would not want to be anywhere else. That's certainly true for me.

All Things Considered shares the story of the discovery of Pearl Buck's final novel.

The Guardian profiles singer-songwriter and author Patti Smith.

Now, at 66, and having outlived many of those she was closest to, she is more prolific than ever. In 2010, she won America's National Book Award for Just Kids, a touching memoir of her life with Mapplethorpe, and last year she made Banga, her finest album in decades. Then there's the photography, the drawings, the poetry, the political activism, the touring. Next month she plays a couple of nights at Shepherd's Bush in London, followed by an evening of song and poetry at Yoko Ono's Meltdown music festival.

The Chicago Tribune suggests graphic novels for readers new to comics.

Phoenix frontman Thomas Mars shares a soundtrack of his life at the Guardian.

The Associated Press profiles the band.

All Things Considered interviews Anthony Marra about his debut novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

On the origin of his title

"I was flipping through a medical dictionary ... and I came across this definition for life, it was a 'constellation for vital phenomenon,' and the sub-entry was organization, irritability, movement, growth, reproduction and adaption. And as life is structured as a constellation of these six phenomena, the novel is structured as a constellation of six point-of-view characters as they run from, and search for, and collide with, and ultimately find one another."

WhatCulture! lists the top five Bob Dylan albums.

Author John Scalzi discusses having his published on teh same day as Dan Brown's latest bestseller.

Stereogum lists the 10 best LCD Soundsystem songs.

Amazon MP3 offers 100 albums on sale for $5 each.
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Amazon MP3 offers over 400 jazz albums on sale for $1.78.
Amazon MP3 offers over 55,000 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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