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June 11, 2013

Shorties (The National's Tiny Desk Concert, Benjamin Percy on His New Novel, and more)

The Millions interviews Benjamin Percy about his new novel, Red Moon.

The Millions: Red Moon, like the werewolves at the heart of its story, is a shapeshifting hybrid — a literary horror novel. In what tradition do you place this book?

Benjamin Percy: If people want to call it a literary horror novel, that's fine. I know it makes them feel better in a neat-freaky sort of way. Like balling their socks and organizing them in a drawer according to color. And I know it's a talking point, a frame for discussion. But really, people, it doesn't matter. These are phantom barricades. What is Margaret Atwood? Or Kate Atkinson? Or Cormac McCarthy? You could argue them into several different corners of the bookstore. If I'm going to align myself with anyone, it's them. And Peter Straub and Dan Chaon and Larry McMurtry and Ursula K. LeGuin and Tom Franklin and Susanna Clarke and anyone else who makes an effort to be both a writer and a storyteller, someone who puts their muscle into artful technique and compulsive readability.

The National plays a tiny desk concert at NPR Music.

The Rumpus interviews Elliott Holt about her debut novel, You Are One of Them.

Rumpus: Your novel strikes me as incredibly timely. It seems like a perfect cultural moment to reflect on the history of our relationship with Russia, and to relive the Cold War. Do you agree? And, if so, any theories on why that might be?

Holt: A lot of culture-makers are in their forties now, so it makes sense that they are looking back at their childhoods in the 1970s and 1980s. I hesitate to use the word "nostalgia" when talking about the Cold War—nostalgia is warm, not cold—but yes, the zeitgeist seems full of references to the late Cold War years.

Pitchfork interviews singer-songwriter Julia Holter.

Pitchfork: Do you think the allusions to Greek literature and your CalArts background make people exaggerate the "academic" part of your music?

JH: I did go to school for music, but I don't think you have to. I don't think I had to either. I don't have an issue if people are going to position me one way or another, they should just listen to the music and form whatever opinion of me they want to. I don't care if musicians or poets are assholes, I don't care what their personalities are like. If they make stuff I like, that’s what it's all about. Just listen to the music.

Jennifer Miller, author of the novel The Year of the Gadfly, offers DIY book marketing tips at Co.Create.

The Birmingham Mail interviews Sara Quin of Tegan and Sara.

The Nervous Breakdown interviews author Jessica Anya Blau.

West Coast Sound lists the 10 metal bands most beloved by geeks.

The Miami Herald interviews Jami Attenberg about her novel The Middlesteins, now out in paperback.

Morning Edition talks to the filmmakers behind 20 Feet from Stardom, a documentary about backup singers.

NPR Books critics are recommending books for summer reading.

Drowned in Sound interviews Art Brut frontman Eddie Argos.

DiS: Most people associate Art Brut with Top Of The Pops, which sadly no longer exists. How do you feel about the current drought of music television programmes at present?

Eddie Argos: It's a real shame. When we first started our aim was to get our music played on John Peel and Top Of The Pops. I don't know what bands aspire to nowadays because there isn't anything like that around any more.

Vanity Fair interviews Judy Blume about adapting her book Tiger Eyes for the big screen.

Ola Podrida covers Ride and Huey Lewis and the News at Aquarium Drunkard.

The Guardian gathers tributes to author Iain Banks from fellow writers.

Win Elliott Holt's debut novel You Are One of Them 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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