Author, musician, and filmmaker Michael Dean has just released the follow-up to his excellent $30 Film School guide with a new 518-page tome sharing lessons from his hard-knock years touring with his band Bomb and the 12 records he's created. Taking this further than his documentary film D.I.Y. or Die: How to Survive as an Independent Artist, his new book $30 Music School is just that - an all-inclusive exposé and explanation of the music business for the up-and-coming artist who wants to pull his own strings. Without being condescending or smarmy, Dean tackles every aspect of living the life of a struggling musician, from band politics and buying equipment to starting your own record label and production company, peppered throughout with clever tips on topics such as the off-stage personalities of lead singers and the importance of sober roadies. And don't just take his word for it; interviews with Henry Rollins, Joan Jett, Jonathan Richman, and GWAR's Dave Brockie share their own history of record-label disasters and touring adventures. Not just a nuts-and-bolts checklist of booking contracts and how to make and promote your own CDs, Dean does a great job at exploring songwriting basics and troubleshooting the mysteries of P.A. systems and microphones, down to song structure and soldering a repair on your own gear. If you're interested in DJ setups and electronic equipment, insider knowledge is passed along from DJ Skip Frederiksen and DJ Kafka, breaking down their experience with turntables, mixers, and classic Roland synthesizers. Software recording programs such as Acid, Cakewalk, and Sound Forge are also discussed, as well as four-track and multi-track hardware. Also enclosed is a CD-ROM chock full of software demos, loop samples, and other goodies. For $30, this book is cheap fuel for rock-star dreamers and home-recording enthusiasts.

Television Alert:

The Tonight Show with Jay Leno welcomes Clay Aiken tonight and Sheryl Crow on Thursday; The Late Show with David Letterman hosts Phantom Planet on Friday; Late Night with Conan O'Brien boasts Rickie Lee Jones on Thursday overnight; The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn features Rooney on Friday overnight and Yes on Tuesday overnight; Last Call with Carson Daly sits down with Dave Navarro of Jane's Addiction and Cyndi Lauper on Friday overnight; and Saturday Night Live takes off this weekend with Jet.

New Releases Coming Tuesday, January 27:
... and like the winds, young grasshopper, are subject to change

10,000 Maniacs - Campfire Songs: The Popular, Obscure, & Unknown Recordings (Rhino) two-CD set featuring covers of Cat Stevens' "Peace Train" and David Bowie's "Starman"

Air - Talkie Walkie (Astralwerks) all new with Nigel Godrich at the mixing board

Roy Ayers - Virgin Ubiquity: Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981 (Rapster/BBE)

Adrian Belew - Inner Revolution (Wounded Bird) re-issue from 1992

Cheryl Bentyne - Talk of the Town (Telarc) new solo album from this member of Manhattan Transfer

Bingo - The Cicada & Other Stories (Cravedog) this excellent new album from Kevin Richey of Golden Delicious and The Freak Mountain Ramblers is a perfect night-drive album, tenderly psychedelic with slow and bluesy folk drifts layered with tango Tex-Mex trumpet and dark lyrics

Black 47 - New York Town (Gadfly) new songs about the city with guests Rosanne Cash, David Johansen, and Suzzy Roche

Bone Crusher - Fight Music (So So Def) with guests Ying Yang Twins and Youngbloodz

Greg Brown - Honey in the Lion's Head (Trailer) 10 traditional folk songs with his wife, Iris DeMent

The Chemical Brothers - "Get Yourself High" (Astralwerks) CD and 12-inch single

The Coral - Nightfreaks & The Sons of Becker (Deltasonic/Columbia) U.K. release

The Cure - Join the Dots (Rhino) four-CD box set featuring a 76-page booklet with track-by-track commentary, three versions of The Doors' "Hello I Love You," an acoustic version of "Signal to Noise," and a rare Flexipop track

Daft Punk - Daft Club (Virgin) enhanced CD of re-mixes

Defari - "Behold My Life" (High Times) 12-inch single featuring Dilated Peoples

Ani DiFranco - Educated Guess (Righteous Babe) a true do-it-yourself production, handling all the instruments and recording herself, housed inside a gorgeous digi-pak featuring original artwork and exclusive poems

DJ Spooky - Rhythm Science (SubRosa) deconstructing and re-mixing recordings from William S. Burroughs, E.E. Cummings, Gertrude Stein, Bill Laswell, and Merzbow

Drug Money - MTN CTY JNK (Hybrid) new from Mike Rhodes of the Blue Rags

Echo & The Bunnymen - Crocodiles, Heaven Up Here, Porcupine, and Ocean Rain (Rhino) CD re-issues with bonus tracks

Elbow - Cast of Thousands (V2)

The Flatlanders - Wheels of Fortune (New West) new from Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore

Goldfrapp - "Strict Machine" (Mute) 12-inch and CD single

Green Day - "1,039"/"Smoothed Out Slappy Hours" (Lookout) re-mastered CD re-issue of seven-inch singles from 1990 and 1991, now enhanced with live footage, flyer art, and interviews

Hanoi Rocks - 12 Shots on the Rocks (Liquor & Poker) domestic release of this reunion from 2002

Helmet - Unsung: The Best of (Interscope) 21 tracks featuring collaboration with House of Pain on "Just Another Victim"

Van Hunt - Van Hunt (Capitol) debut from this soulful Dayton, Ohio, native

James Joyce - Complete Recordings (SubRosa) a labor of love in its slipcase book and CD package, the audio recordings feature readings of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake from the 1920s

Jupiter Sunrise - Under a Killer Blue Sky (Undecided)

Jeff Kelly - For the Swan in the Hallway (Hidden Agenda) new from the Green Pajamas founder

King Rhythm - What's Left (Quartermass) with vocals by Son of Nun

Nikhil Korula - Nikhil (Groove Infinity) five-track CD EP blending African and Latin rhythms under the former opera singer's vocals

Bill Laswell - Aftermathmatics (SubRosa) dub hip-hop project featuring Grandmaster DXT and Sly Dunbar

Meat Beat Manifesto - In Dub (Run/Lakeshore) reworked R.U.O.K. sessions by Jack Dangers

Nitzer Ebb - "Merderous" (Novamute) new 12-inch single

Pitch Black - Pitch Black Law (Universal) with guests Foxy Brown, Wyclef Jean and Busta Rhymes

Poster Children - No More Songs About Sleep & Fire (Hidden Agenda) all new enhanced CD

Premonitions of War - Left in Kowloon (Victory) metal hardcore from Toledo, Ohio

John Renbourn - The Lady & The Unicorn (Castle/Sanctuary) CD re-issue from 1970, with bonus solo and Pentangle tracks

Roy - Big City Sin & Small Town Redemption (Fueled by Ramen)

A. Skillz & Krafty Kuts - Tricka Technology (Finger Lickin' Records) U.K. white boy hip-hop sensation featuring guests Kurtis Blow, Droop Capone, former Saturday Night Live guitarist Dr. Luke, and Afrika Bamaaataa's son T.C. Izlam

Some Girls - All My Friends Are Going Death (Deathwish) new from members of Unbroken and Give Up the Ghost

Southern Culture on the Skids - Mojo Box (Yep Roc) white lightnin' swamp rock

Starsailor - Silence Is Easy (Capitol) domestic release of this smash Wigan, U.K., band's second album, featuring producer Phil Spector on two tracks

Statistics - Leave Your Name (Jade Tree) from Omaha, Nebraska

Stereolab - Margarine Eclipse (Elektra)

Still Crossed - Love & Betrayal (Indecision) new hardcore from Cincinnati, Ohio

Symphorce - Twice Second (Metal Blade) melodic power metal from Andy Franck of Brainstorm

Throbbing Gristle - TG+ (Mute) box set featuring the band's final 10 performances in a special handmade box

Type O Negative - Least Worst of + After Dark (Roadrunner) CD and DVD

The Umbrella Sequence - The Disappearing Line/Athena (Ohev Records) five-song CD EP

The Vandals - Live At the House of Blues (Kung Fu) CD and DVD package featuring a special "Josh Freese cam" picture-in-picture focus on his intense drumming style through three camera choices

various artists - Contamination Festival 2003 (Relapse) two-DVD set featuring Bongzilla, Burnt by the Sun, Today Is the Day, and Alabama Thunderpussy

Voodoo Child - Baby Monkey (V2) new from Moby's alter ego

The Wannadies - Before & After (Hidden Agenda) Swedish pop

Kanye West - The College Dropout (Roc-A-Fella) debut from this producer superstar, with guests Ludacris, Mos Def, Cam'ron, and Dirt McGirt

Yes - Ultimate Yes (Rhino) three-CD set of hits and rarities

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