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August 23, 2011

Shorties (Morrissey Candles, Alice Waters, and more)

Rolling Stone interviews the artist behind the "Half a Person" Morrissey candle.

Is it based upon a particular image of Morrissey?

It's not based on any image in particular. Rather, it's a synthesis of his greatest and most iconic qualities in an idealized and heroic pose. With this in mind, I worked very closely with my sculptor friend Sean Burford. His work typically involves comic book heroes, so I thought that type of dynamism and cleanness would be perfect for "Half a Person." I knew he'd kill it on the hair, and he did.

Fresh Air interviews Alice Waters about her new book, 40 Years of Chez Panisse.

Mick Jagger shares his current music favorites with Pop & Hiss.

At the Believer, Tao Lin interviews author Ben Lerner.

Digital Music News shares an animated pie chart of music sales by format over the last 30 years.

The Scotsman reviews Adam Levin's debut novel The Instructions.

But despite being hysterically funny and giddyingly imagined, this is a novel of serious intent. The Instructions examines the general alienation of youth and the specific persistence of anti-Semitism. It is no small achievement to create a book where the reader will not just sympathise with the child responsible for terrible deeds, but actively hope for his "damage" to come about.

St. Louis Magazine released a video of Jeff Tweedy's acoustic performance of "Dawned on Me," a song from the forthcoming Wilco album The Whole Love (out September 27th).

Rolling Stone interviews Grant Morrison about his new book, Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human.

Stream the forthcoming Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin album, Tape Club (out October 18th).

At the Wall Street Journal, author Alex Shakar breaks down novelists into two camps, the scientists and the mystics.

Each of these camps tends to view its way as the wiser one—or even as the only one. Scientist-novelists will tell you that writing a novel without a plan is about as good an idea as building a supercollider without a blueprint, measuring everything by eye and improvising as you go.

Complex lists the 100 best Wu-Tang Clan songs.

The Guardian reports that Neil Gaiman is adapting his novel American Gods for HBO.

Prefix compares PJ Harvey's Rid of Me with other albums that came out in 1993.

NPR reviews Ernest Clines debut novel, Ready Player One.

Cline, an Austin-based writer best known for his screenplay for the 2009 movie Fanboys, takes a far-out premise and engages the reader instantly. I never thought I could be on the edge of my seat while reading about a session of the arcade game Joust, but the author's energetic, deeply felt narrative makes it almost impossible to stop turning the pages. Cline is that rare writer who can translate his own dorky enthusiasms into prose that's both hilarious and compassionate. It's more fun than a day at the arcade — you'll wish you could make it go on and on just by inserting more quarters.

Read Cline's Largehearted Boy Book Notes playlist essay for the book.

Brain Pickings recommends 7 must-read books about cities.

State profiles singer-songwriter Kristin Hersh, who talks about her memoir, Rat Girl.

The ugly-beautiful-poetic moments were written, too, to help people – or just one person. "That's why I published it rather than keeping it, because that’s why the music is published," she says. Hersh wants to show others who have been in similar situations that life can go on, that diagnoses and decisions and dilemmas don't define us. State wonders if she is often told by fans that her music has helped them. "That’s what it's for, there aren't many reasons left to do what I do but for that to happen once in your lifetime is very lucky and it happens to me often," she says. "Part of me starts to think I'm not allowed to stop. If I started to hate music I would have to wrestle with that. I have helped people live and people die." And that, she says, is an honour.

NPR is streaming the new Tinariwen album, Tassili (out August 29th).

RIP, songwriter Jerry Leiber.

Amazon MP3 has 100 albums on sale for $5.

Follow me on Twitter, Google+, and Stumbleupon for links (updated throughout the day) that don't make the daily "Shorties" columns.

also at Largehearted Boy:

previous Shorties posts (news and links from the worlds of music, books, and pop culture)

Atomic Books Comics Preview (the week's best new comics & graphic novels)
daily mp3 downloads
Largehearted Word (the week's best new books)
Try It Before You Buy It (mp3s and full album streams from this week's CD releases)
weekly music & DVD release lists