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February 10, 2012

Shorties (Composite Sketches of Literary Characters, Alan Parsons on Digital Music, and more)

The Composites is a Tumblr that uses police composite sketch software to draw literary characters.

CE Pro interviews producer and musician Alan Parsons about digital music.

Jewcy interviews Ben Marcus about his new novel, The Flame Alphabet.

In terms of style, this seems to be the least experimental of your books. This is a book with almost a classical narrative arc. How did you make this choice?

Well, I found it essential that one person tell it. As opposed to my earlier books which used different narrators, or unseen or removed omniscient narrators, here, I felt very compelled that this wasn't supposed to be told that way, that it needed to be a story of one person, and that is why it has the look and feel of a more traditional narrative. Additionally, I felt that I wanted to have a lot of momentum to move along as quickly as possible so that in a certain sense the hurdles to the believability of the idea wouldn’t settle in, because the conceit would put too much pressure and leave the reader scratching their head. So the ruse was to keep changing and moving things so that people wouldn't stop and think about.

On sale for $3.99 today at Amazon MP3: Mumford & Sons' Sigh No More album.

The Chicago Sun-Times interviews dan Chaon about his new story collection, Stay Awake.

Q. You've written two novels. How are they different from writing short stories?

A. You have to create a character who is going to have a transformational experience over a long period of time. You’re also creating a more complex and solidly grounded world in a novel, whereas stories can have more unexplored edges, and those can be particularly powerful. A short story is kind of like a photograph, but you can get the sense of something happening beyond the edges of the photo. And that can have a lot of mysterious power.

Bear McCreary talks to io9 about the physics behind science fiction film and television scores.

Queerty recommends seven queer indie bands you should be listening to.

The Outlet interviews author Emma Straub.

Shelf Awareness also profiles Straub.

Hypebot interviews cellist Zoe Keating about subcultures, social media, and staying D.I.Y.

Your musical niche is seems very specific and yet your audience is quite broad. To what do you attribute that to? Would that have been possible pre-internet?

It's been noted many times before that the internet allows niches and subcultures to flourish, and I think I'm just a part of that trend. My music appeals to certain discerning and curious people and the internet helps us find each other.

Read the title story from Krys Lee's new collection Drifting House at Granta.

?uestlove of The Roots talks to Co. Create about the current state of the music industry.

The Geeks's Guide to the Galaxy interviews author William Gibson.

Guardian readers recommend Valentine's day songs.

Maine Crime Writers interviews Elizabeth Hand about her forthcoming novel, Available Dark.

Much of Available Dark takes place in Helsinki and Iceland. How aware were you of the whole Scandinavian crime novel craze when you were writing the book and how did it influence what you were doing?

To this day, I've never read or seen any of the Stieg Larsson stories. After Generation Loss came out, readers started telling me how it reminded them of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Most people said they liked my book better because it left out the boring parts — Elmore Leonard’s 10th Rule in action! I eventually tried reading the first Larsson book but I just couldn't get into it. The movies sound like they’re better, and one of these days I'll watch them.

Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn plays a Tiny Desk Concert at NPR Music.

The Riverfront Times interviews Finn.

DC Women Kicking Ass interviews Batwoman artist Amy Reeder.

The Other Paper interviews Shearwater frontman Jonathan Meiburg about the band's new album, Animal Joy.

Why was it important to you to make something that was more tethered and emotionally immediate?

I thought we'd gone as far as we could in this airy, spacious, washes-of-sound direction. I wanted to make something you could dance to, or at least shuffle around to, a bit more. I wanted to make a record that could appeal to your body as much as your head.

Monkey See explains why the Charles Dickens bicentennial hype matters.

Fresh Air reviews and excerpts from Tupelo Hassman's debut novel, Girlchild.

Win Sharon Van Etten's new album Tramp and a $100 Threadless gift certificate in this week's Largehearted Boy contest.

Amazon MP3 has 100 digital albums on sale for $5.

Follow me on Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, 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)

List of Online "Best Books of 2011" Lists
List of Online Year-End 2011 Music Lists

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
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