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Interview with Greg Kot: Learning How to Die

Greg KotIf you’re a diehard Wilco fanatic, you already know about this book. You probably scored an advance copy and have already read it. Twice. If you’re not a maniac, let me tell you a bit about it. Wilco: Learning How to Die is Chicago Tribune rock critic Greg Kot’s biography of Jeff Tweedy and his two bands, Uncle Tupelo and Wilco. It’s also the story of a very strange time in American cultural history when the corporations completely took control of the music industry. Now before you get all cynical and scoff that the record business has always been about money, of course it was. But there used to be some equity between the real music lovers at the labels and the corporate guys. The music guys could convince a label to hold on to its “heritage” artists even if their short-term sales weren’t looking so hot. This balance of power shifted by 2001, and major labels will probably never recover any semblance of integrity. Unless they get tricked into it. This book also tells that story.

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