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September 2, 2009

Shorties (Tom Waits, Douglas Coupland, and more)

PopMatters reviews Barney Hoskins' Tom Waits biography, Low Side of the Road.

The Telegraph reviews Douglas Coupland's new novel, Generation A.

It is an act of desperation, not creation, for a novelist to allow his characters to muse about characterisation, or to start “thinking about the voice we hear in our heads when we read, the universal narrator’s voice you may well be hearing right now”. It is an act of desperation to fill half of a book with short stories told by these characters, with titles like: “Superman and the Kryptonite Martinis”; “The Preacher and his Mistress Slut”; or “The Man Who Lost his Story”.

Prefix shares an audio excerpt of Nick Cave reading chapter 5 of his new novel, The Death of Bunny Munro.

Pitchfork reviews the new Vivian Girls album, Everything Goes Wrong.

On sale at Amazon MP3: Deerhunter's 5-track Rainwater Cassette Exchange EP for only 99 cents.

At the New York Times, Jonathan Lethem reviews Lorrie Moore;'s new novel, A Gate at the Stairs.

Finally, this book plumbs deep because it is anchored deep, in a system of natural imagery as tightly organized as that in a cycle of poems like Ted Hughes’s “Crow.” The motif is birth, gestation and burial, a seed or fetus uncovering its nature in secrecy, a coffin being offered to the earth. The motif declares itself upfront in Tassie’s father’s potatoes, which like sleeper cells grow clustered in darkness and then, unearthed, assume names: Klamath pearls, yellow fingerlings, purple Peruvians and Rose Finns. In “A Gate at the Stairs” it is not just potatoes that adapt for the world behind assumed names, but babies and grown-ups too.

Captains Dead shares mp3s of Ryan Adams' Elizabethtown demos.

Comics Should Be Good is counting down the 70 most iconic Marvel comic s panels of all time this week.

Letter to Jane interviews Peter Moren of Peter Bjorn and John.

Stereomood creates streaming audio playlists based on emotion.

Musical Rooms examines the spaces where musicians create their music.

American Songwriter interviews the members of Monsters of Folk (Jim James, Conor Oberst, M. Ward, and Mike Mogis) about the project.

Flavorwire interviews members of the Los Angeles band The Happy Hollows.

The Amazon MP3 store has a new batch of 50 albums available to download for only $5.

E.L. Doctorow talks to NPR's All Things Considered about his new novel, Homer & Langley. An excerpt from the book is also presented.

NPR interviews Imogen Heap about her new album, Ellipse.

The Globe and Mail also profiles Heap.

Love books and football? Join Brooklyn bookstore WORD's fantasy football league.

The A.V. Club interviews author/musician Joe Pernice about his new novel, It Feels So Good When I Stop.

The Guardian critiques Barack Obama's vacation reading list.

President Obama's list of summer holiday reading was released recently; and, for once, there is some slight reason to hope. This is not to say that his list seems completely honest and uncalculated – if the Twilight series is stowed away somewhere in his suitcase, we the public have not heard and probably will not hear about it – but, for once, we have a president who actually seems to read for pleasure.

Austin Kleon shares his sketches of Elvis Costello's Austin City Limits performance.

Dryvetyme Onlyne lists its best new music of 2009 so far.

RIP cookbook author Sheila Lukins.

BrooklynVegan is streaming video of a recent David Bazan house party performance.

NPR is streaming the new Yo La Tengo album, Popular Songs (out September 8th), in its entirety.

Follow me on Twitter for links that don't make the daily "Shorties" columns.

also at Largehearted Boy:

daily mp3 downloads
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from this week's CD releases)
weekly music & DVD release lists