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October 1, 2012

Shorties (An Oral History of Led Zeppelin, The Economics of a Successful Indie Band, and more)

The Quietus shares an excerpt from Barney Hoskins' new oral history of Led Zeppelin, Trampled Under Foot.

Vulture examines the economics of a successful indie band, using Grizzly Bear as an example.

For much of the late-twentieth century, you might have assumed that musicians with a top-twenty sales week and a Radio City show—say, the U2 tour in 1984, after The Unforgettable Fire—made at least as much as their dentists. Those days are long and irretrievably gone, but some of the mental habits linger. "People probably have an inflated idea of what we make," says Droste. "Bands appear so much bigger than they really are now, because no one's buying records. But they'll go to giant shows." Grizzly Bear tours for the bulk of its income, like most bands; licensing a song might provide each member with "a nice little 'Yay, I don’t have to pay rent for two months.' "

Biographile recommends five memoirs about fathers.

The Telegraph traces the career trajectory of singer-songwriter Kirsty MacColl.

The reasons to cherish MacColl lie in the music she recorded, from her first single They Don't Know – a beautiful three-minute confection of 60s girl group and folk rock, as if the Byrds had been writing for the Shangri-Las in 1979 – to her final album, 2000's Tropical Brainstorm, on which she vigorously celebrated Latin American music.

Flavorwire lists 10 of rock's saddest final albums.

The winners of the 2012 Dayton Literary Peace Prize have been named.

PopMatters explores the archetypes in the music of singer-songwriter Tori Amos.

A literary agent discusses her trade at the Guardian Books blog.

Morning Edition reflects on the past and future of music in CD format.

Today marks the 30th anniversary of a musical format many of us grew up with: the compact disc. It's been three decades since the first CD went on sale in Japan. The shiny discs came to dominate music industry sales, but their popularity has faded in the digital age they helped unleash. The CD is just the latest musical format to rise and fall in roughly the same 30-year cycle.

Author Eric Jay Dolin talks to All Things Considered about his new book, When America First Met China: An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail.

Ben Folds talks to All Things Considered about the Ben Folds Five.

The Daily Nebraskan profiles several Lincoln book clubs.

The Guardian profiles Jakob Dylan of the Wallflowers.

The band's new single, Reboot the Mission, is a Clash-inspired track with a shuffling backbeat, featuring the voice and guitar of the Clash's Mick Jones. To make it, and the rest of the album, the band tried to recapture how things were in their early days. "We thought about the backbone of rock'n'roll, which is simplicity. We certainly spent time trying to find interesting chord patterns and sequences, but we went back to our basics – we made our very first record in two and half weeks."

Guys Lit Wire is holding a book fair to benefit Washington, DC's Ballou Senior High School.

Win Neil Young's new memoir Waging Heavy Peace and a $100 Threadless gift certificate in this week's Largehearted Boy contest.

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

Amazon MP3 offers over 500 albums for sale for $2.99.

Amazon MP3 offers over 300 jazz albums on sale for $1.78.

Follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest,, Google+, Facebook, 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)
Book Notes (authors create playlists for their book)
daily mp3 downloads
Largehearted Word (the week's best new books)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
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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