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August 30, 2011

Shorties (Serge Gainsbourg, The Best Nonfiction Books, and more)

indieWire interviews Joann Sfar about his Serge Gainsbourg biopic Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life.

Time lists the 100 best nonfiction books.

Flavorwire shares a literary mixtape for Moby Dick's Captain Ahab.

They Might Be Giants' John Flansburgh shares a playlist of music that has inspired him with ">Stereogum.

I Like Music interviews Mogwai's Stuart Braithwaite.

Red Bull explores the growing intersection between the worlds of indie rock and comics.

At the A.V. Club, the Hold Steady covers Huey Lewis and the News's "The Power of Love."

The Huffington Post lists 15 of this millennium's top novels.

American Songwriter interviews singer-songwriter Gabriel Kahane.

You've composed music for Kronos Quartet and the LA Philharmonic. Is the way you approach writing pop songs similar to how you approach writing instrumental pieces?

Writing concert music and pop songs are totally different beasts, and yet they're governed by a similar impulse, which is the desire to communicate something that feels emotionally truthful. While writing a string quartet or an orchestral work is demanding and intricate and detail oriented, so is writing a three minute pop song. Miniatures can be maddeningly difficult to get right, and I think that the two endeavors really feed one another. But in my case, I've made it a point to incorporate elements of my songs into concert pieces, much in the way that Mahler and Schubert quoted their own songs in instrumental works. In my string quartet for Kronos, I include a paraphrase of the title track of Where Are The Arms in the slow movement, where the lower three instruments play the main riff while the first violin sort of improvises ethereally over it in a slightly unrelated key. The point of any of this intertextuality though is to create a dialogue between pop songs (vernacular) and concert music (formal) and demonstrate that there's not such a gulf between the two. It's all music, and it's all meant to make the listener feel something.

The Chase Jarvis Blog recommends 10 books to recharge the creative mind.

Noise interviews singer-songwriter John Vanderslice about his love for tea.

Brain Pickings lists 5 wonderfully tactile die-cut books.

On sale today for $3.99 at Amazon MP3: Glen Campbell's new album Ghost on the Canvas, which includes songs written by Paul Westerberg and Robert Pollard.

The album's title track is also free today at Amazon MP3.

The New Statesman profiles the literary career of Flann O'Brien.

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