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June 3, 2013

Shorties (Our Continued Fascination with Sylvia Plath, A Bob Dylan Statue in Duluth, and more)

The Atlantic examines the enduring fascination with both the life and work of Sylvia Plath.

Dylan by Duluth is raising funds to put a Bob Dylan statue in the singer-songwriter's birthplace, Duluth, Minnesota.

PopMatters profiles Sam Fogarino of Interpol, who talks about his new side project EmpyMansion.

"There are two sides of the coin when you're writing songs on tour with a band," he affirms. "You're not being really creative with the music that you're presenting when you're playing shows because that work has been done, so you kind of take that energy that you have from playing for 90 minutes and, coming off, your adrenaline—you're on fire. I would take that and pour it into these EmptyMansions songs."

All Things Considered interviews Anna Badkhen about her new book The World Is a Carpet: Four Seasons in an Afghan Village.

The Scotsman profiles Tegan and Sara.

If this is what a midlife crisis sounds like, we should all have one. At 32, with six albums of tuneful, understated indie rock behind them, Canadian twins Tegan and Sara Quin have made a seventh that is the musical equivalent of buying a huge motorbike and roaring off to the beach. When they play the ABC in Glasgow in a few days, guitars are out, fizzy synths are in, and all that will be missing are a confetti cannon, eight costume changes and a dance troupe to fully represent this belated pop explosion.

Gilbert Hernandez talks to the Telegraph about his new graphic novel, Marble Season.

Although Marble Season seems a radical departure, Hernandez sees balance and change as essential to his creative process. "My personality is all in my comics, and my personality is all over the place," he explains. "I'm not a trained technical artist. It's all visceral and it just comes up – it’s where my brain is that morning when I get up." It is this desire to experiment – he has complained in the past about being expected to be "a do-gooder cartoonist" – that led to his other ongoing project, the noirish, over-the-top Fritz books.

All Things Considered interviews Eleanor Friedberger about her new album, Personal Record.

On co-writing songs with John Wesley Harding:

"When I started working with him, it became clear that we were going to have very complicated rhyming schemes. [On my last album] I wrote the words almost as long lists. It was more important to me how the words just sounded coming out of my mouth, more so than if they rhymed or if they made that much sense, really. This was a conscious effort to make it seem more like poetry."

Thought Catalog and VICE share excerpts from Tao Lin's new novel Taipei.

Stereogum lists the 10 best Suede songs.

Josh Homme talks to Drowned in Sound about the new Queens of the Stone Age album, ...Like Clockwork.

Friendship, more than anything, is Like Clockwork’s nuts and bolts and Homme ensured his album was stuffed with more of them than ever. A dream dinner party line-up, he rounded up Jake Shears from the Scissor Sisters, with whom he kick backs and watch Games of Thrones, Alex Turner from Arctic Monkeys, who he takes motor biking, and his long-time collaborator Mark Lanegan into his studio to appear on the record. The band even invited British illustrator Boneface, who created Like Clockwork’s creeptacular visuals, down to Pink Duck to hang. If their eventual performance on Later… is anything to go by, where he sat motionless in a bloodied motorcycle helmet, Boneface looks to have become an eccentric extension of the band, the latest in a roll call of bit players in Queens of the Stone Age’s movie epic. Finally, one of Homme’s most famous greatest friends, Dave Grohl, who had previously played on 2002's Songs For The Deaf, dropped by to fill in on drums. He smashed through the album’s remaining songs, except on the title track, where duties fell to new touring drummer Jon Theodore.

The Granta Podcast interviews author Tahmima Anam.

Win Tao Lin's new novel Taipei and a $100 Threadless gift certificate in this week's contest at Largehearted Boy.

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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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