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June 7, 2012

Shorties (Remembering Ray Bradbury, Beach House's Volkswagen Ad Controversy, and more)

All Things Considered remembers science fiction author Ray Bradbury.


Speakeasy explores the controversy surrounding a Volkswagen ad that features music that sounded like Beach House.

The friction exposes the thorny side of an ongoing trend in advertising, in which the music of buzzy (and relatively obscure) bands is used in advertisements to telegraph coolness and credibility. This has been a boon to many emerging acts, who can only squeeze so much revenue out of touring, merchandise and music sales. Licensing a song for use in a TV commercial can earn a band anywhere from $10,000 to $500,000 or more, depending on the profile of the band and the scale of the commercial. Just as importantly, the right exposure at the right time can catapult a fledgling act into the mainstream. But things don't always work out so neatly. When the cost of licensing an existing song is beyond the advertiser’s budget, or the song’s owners don’t want to play ball, the result can be "soundalike" compositions.


George Clinton talks to All Things Considered about the legal fight to win back the rights to some of his best-known music.


At the Telegraph, Tahmima Anam lists complex literary heroines through history.


Morning Edition profiles Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs.


Bookworm interviews Dutch poet Cees Nooteboom.


Fresh Air interviews Neil Young about his new album, Americana.


Both the Economist and New York Times profile singer-songwriter Amanda Palmer and her Kickstarter campaign to fund her new album and tour.


Author Jim Shepard curates this week's story at Recommended Reading, "North Of" by Marie-Helene Bertino.


Aquarium Drunkard interviews Alejandro Escovedo about his new album, Big Station.


Win the Mr. Boston Official Bartender's Guide 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, Pinterest, 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)

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


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