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September 18, 2009

Shorties (Jay Farrar, Barbara Kingsolver, and more)

The Guardian reports that Jay Farrar will record the third Mermaid Avenue collection of unreleased songs and lyrics written by Woody Guthrie. The first two albums in the series (Mermaid Avenue and Mermaid Avenue Vol. II were collaborations between Wilco and Billy Bragg).

The Oxford American interviews Barbara Kingsolver about the Bellwether Prize, an award she founded to promote literature of social justice by emerging writers in the United States.

THE OA: Do you think literary fiction has an obligation to contain a social component and why?

BK: I think writing a novel is a political act, automatically, because of the way it draws the reader into a carefully constructed worldview and generates empathy for the people who inhabit that world. I think the novelist's duty, then, is to own up to the power of the craft, and use it wisely.

Paste asks the question, "Is Pearl Jam a modern Grateful Dead?"

Gothamist interviews Frank Portman about his new novel, Andromeda Klein.

The Telegraph interviews author Alexander McCall Smith about his forthcoming serial novel, The Dog Who Came in from the Cold.

The Millions offers a syllabus for anyone beginning to read Roberto Bolano.

The A.V. Club interviews Dan Hoerner and Jeremy Enigk of Sunny Day Real Estate about the band's reunion.

The Telegraph examines J.R.R. Tolkein's secret World War II spy training.

AOL lists the 10 best Halloween songs (via).

The latest No Love For Ned streaming radio show features an in-studio set by Invisible River.

Pitchfork has the tracklisting for the upcoming Morrissey b-sides compilation, Swords.

Twones aggregates records of all your online music activity.

The Age reviews the remastered Beatles albums.

Guardian readers recommend songs about separation.

At Jacket Copy, Franklin Bruno weighs in on how music became an industry.

Langhorne Slim visits The Current studios for an interview and live performance.

NPR is streaming last night's Yo La Tengo Washington performance.

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