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John Linnell, 'TECVM CIRCVMAMBVLARE NOLO'

Attention young nerds: If you grew up obsessing over U.S. geography and now study Latin, you are about to get super-served. Because They Might Be Giants' John Linnell — a lifelong favorite of nerds the world over — has followed his 1999 solo album State Songs (sample titles: "Illinois," "West Virginia," "South Carolina") with an unexpected EP called Roman Songs. All four tracks are sung in Latin, but that won't stop "TECVM CIRCVMAMBVLARE NOLO" (translation: "I Don't Want to Walk Around With You") from getting lodged in your brain for days.

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Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)
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