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Rascal Flatts Hits third No. 1: the country trio that saw the highest sales week and highest sales for a single-act disc last year, has scored its third consecutive No. 1 album selling 546k. “Still Feels Good” set a download record for a country disc, with 44,000 digital copies of the album sold. The Flatts also sold an additional 93,000 tracks as individual downloads.

Foo Fighters’ “Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace”: moved 168,000 and opened at No. 3. Not surprisingly sales were about half the first-week total for their last album, 2005’s “In Your Honor.”

Reba McEntire’s “Reba Duets,”: took a 57% slide, selling 130,000, and slid to No. 6.

Overall sales of albums are down 14%: from last year at 337.3 million albums sold. Of that total, 300.6 million were CD’s. The number of digitally downloaded tracks has risen 46% from the same period in 2006 to 612.2 million.

Consumers believe sales are down because: music sales are down 14% because there is NO GOOD MUSIC. A CD with 2 good songs and 12 pieces of crap does not constitute an album. It constitutes a money grab. There are maybe 10 artists in the country right now who make CD’s that play well from beginning to end. The rest suck.

Check out digital expert Chris Castle’s blog Fix it or We’ll Fix it For You“: in which he admonish universities to clean up their act ala illegal downloading.

Does illegal Downloading benefit artists? :

Castle says…

There is so little data on the benefits to artists from downloading that it’s hard to point to anything but anecdotal evidence. The best example I know of is an Austin band called Two Guy Trio that had the most downloaded track on Kazaa at one point, over 1 million downloads.

Not ONE extra sale, no worldwide inquiry of where can I get the record, please come play in my town, none of the behavior you’d expect from that much “promotional” activity.
Garbage in, garbage out.

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Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Target plan to make significant cuts in the amount of floorspace they devote to CDs: Predictions of cuts that range from 20% to 40%, with Wal-Mart making the most aggressive pullbacks. A retail cutback could be much more damaging than any single year revenue decline. It may just be a DEATH SPIRAL – retailers stock less music, so consumers have less to choose from, and then buy even less, causing retailers to stock even less. (read full article)

The Bottom Line: KOAR is sick of this gloom and doom news. The downfall of Britney Spears is talked about on every single news station. This culture is more interested in personal lives than music itself. Personal lives took the front seat and music took the back seat. What on earth is more pathetic than the celebrity tabloid business and the people that buy into it? We believe that great music can stay on the forefront of people’s minds, if its great, then anything is possible.

Send KOAR great music and tell us how well its reacting and email tips@kingsofar.com

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Jamie Thomas (above) tells reporters “I never downloaded anything,” said Thomas. “I have CDs of everything I listen to.”

A single 30 year old mother Jammie Thomas who spent hours stealing music could be forced to pay nearly $4 million in damages. She’s accused of unlawfully uploading 25 copyrighted works from some of the biggest names in the industry.

Online investigators at SafeNet that specialize in security and encryption technologies found 1,702 files shared under a Kazaa account being used by Thomas.

Her defense is simple – She didn’t do it and the industry must prove she was behind the internet protocol (IP) address the RIAA says was used to share 1,700 songs on the file-sharing site Kazaa in 2005.

Attorney Richard Gabriel, addressing 12 jurors in a dimly lit cement-block courtroom, said, “The record companies are made up of real people.” Thomas’ attorney, Brian Toder told jurors. “The best that they can come up with is somebody out there in cyberland … offered on Kazaa some copyrighted material.”

Jammie Thomas is the first of 26,000 people sued by the RIAA to have their case come to trial.

Virgin Records, Capitol Records and Warner Bros. Records are among the labels involved in the suit against Thomas.

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Did Major Music Labels make it possible for Radiohead to buck the system?
Kelly Curtis, the Pearl Jam manager, said that years on a major label roster established the Radiohead brand and made it possible for it to buck the system. “It’s the newer bands I really feel sorry for,” Curtis said. Other bands with cult followings including Dave Matthews Band, R.E.M., Metallica and Nine Inch Nails will learn the most from Radiohead’s experience also says Curtis.

Radiohead creates mainstream waves: “This is all anybody is talking about in the music industry today,” said Bertis Downs, the longtime manager of R.E.M. This is the sort of model that people have been talking about doing, but this is the first time an act of this stature has stepped up and done it. . . . They were a band that could go off the grid, and they did it.”

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KOAR’s Filter: Who wants to weed through 100,000 new record releases and 200 million videos on Youtube? You don’t, but we will. With that said, check out the new video Running Free by Coheed and Cambria. The video consists of a teddy bear, a geisha, and a singer that you could never miss. The band’s new record, ‘No World For Tomorrow’, will land in stores October 23rd.

Bad news for Boy-boy mogul : Its hard giving this man press but Lou Pearlman who has been charged with fraud and who launched the careers of Justin Timberlake and Nick Carter – was a pervy pedophile who preyed on the young men he mentored, Vanity Fair reports. Repent Now!

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Radiohead Will Let Fans Set Price of Downloads: It appears that Radiohead have chosen to self release their new record via their website. You can pre-order it from their website right now as a download or a “discbox”. If you decide to download only, you can pay whatever you like. There is no set price. Someone could pay 50 dollars or 10 cents. Imagine walking into a car dealership where the consumer determines the price for a car? Now that is a utopian world. This story is running rampant on the internet as Radiohead always knew how to generate press.

The iPod Nano commercial Boost Sales for Feist: The commercial which features the Feist video for “1234.” pushed the single to #4 on the national iTunes chart and the album all the way up to #6. Physical sales are already at 200k.

To anyone who’s still reading or buying Rolling Stone Magazine: It’s time to boycott Jann Wenner’s flagship magazine says Fox’s Roger Friedman. Friedman calls out Hit publisher Wenner, who controls the Rock Hall of Fame. Wenner’s nominating committee consists largely of his current and former employees from Rolling Stone. Friedman suggests that nominees including Madonna, the Beastie Boys, Donna Summer, and Chic are not even close to rock n roll. Does anyone really take the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame seriously anymore?

On October 2, San Francisco’s indie radio darlings, Magic Bullets , will be performing with Perry Farrell’s Satellite Party at a private event curated by Spin Magazine, John Varvatos and GenArt to benefit VH1′s Save The Music campaign.  The event will take place at Bloomingdale’s and will include a silent auction featuring collector’s edition photographs of John Varvatos’ iconic rock and roll ad campaign.  Limited VIP guest list spots available – contact Rob Wells  or Chris Castle  for more information.

Check out the column “Has free music become a listener’s birthright“? that discusses how indie labels deal with the economics of new records getting leaked prematurely on the Internet.

YeboTV is betting on a belief that you can still reach fans in record stores: The site approached Fords, N.J., independent record store Vintage Vinyl with an idea that entertains musicians’ in-store performances streamed live to YeboTV’s site. “Retail has always provided organic marketing to consumers,” YeboTV vice president of music development Cheryl Shaver said. “Now, we are using new technology to build on that.”

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Active Rock Charts: Linkin Park remains #1 with Bleed it Out followed by The Foo Fighters and the new single So Hott by Kid Rock. Seether and Puddle of Mudd also have new singles.

The rock genre really needs a shot of adrenaline. Even the kids today think modern rock sucks and its ashame because the rock genre is the fabric of American culture.

Kid Rock says in So Hott..

SO HOT I wanna get you alone
SO HOT I wanna get you stoned
SO HOT I dont wanna be your friend
I wanna xxxx you like I’m never gonna see you again

Sure Kid Rock put on a great live show in his hey day, but we need more than this. It took 4 years to come up with these lyrics? Is this a case of an artist trying to claw his way back on the charts?

Puddle of Mudd says in Famous..

I just wanna be famous
be so fuckin jaded
Cause everybody’s taking my money from me
Show up at fiascos
And win the oscars
The money is for nothing
and the chicks are for free
yeah I wanna be famous

Oh Pooolease! Shoot me already. Even the new breed of rock like The Starting Line and Cartel left us disappointed. Does boring come to mind?

The problem is that these older rock bands can’t recreate the mega hits. These new singles on rock radio are void of melody and substance. The Foo Fighters are safer than Josh Groban. The Foo’s give us tattoos and scruffy beards but no edge. Modern rock today just can’t match the intensity of the nineties bands such as Rage Against The Machine, Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Alice in chains, and Stone Temple Pilots. Please don’t tell me that I’m nostalgic and that I think my generation of music is better than the next. I torture myself and listen to NEW music everyday.

Do you know why the modern rock ringtone business sucks? Because modern rock doesn’t have personalities.

Many people have an alternative explanation for the decline in music sales and that is today’s music just isn’t that good. L.A. Reid and Rick Rubin believe it, we believe and consumers believe it. Of course technology has played role in the decline as well, but let’s not play semantic gymnastics and walk away from the truth. We at KOAR encourage artists to push the envelope, find creativity, write a new song everyday and deliver us kick ass music. There is a lot of room at the top.

Email: tips@kingsofar.com

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Nickelback spoiled their critics: Chad Kroeger recalls the words of caution he received at the end of the cycle for 2001′s “Silver Side Up”—a five-times-platinum record with three hit singles including the mega-hit “How You Remind Me.””A lot of different people told us that ‘Silver Side Up’ was the biggest record we’ll ever have,” Kroeger says, “that we’ll never, ever have another big record like that again and our career would probably decline and then we’d probably just trail off and that would be the end of Nickelback. I didn’t want to accept that. I didn’t want to accept that we couldn’t make a better record than ‘Silver Side Up.’ ”

Nickelback’s fifth album, released Oct. 4, 2005, has become a phenomenon that’s not only eclipsed “Silver Side Up” but is arguably the biggest rock album of the century so far. It’s been in the top 30 of The Billboard 200 for 102 consecutive weeks and is currently No. 7. The last artist in that rarefied position was fellow Canadian Shania Twain, whose 1997 release “Come On Over” spent its first 123 weeks in the top 30. (Billboard)

Jay Z wants to rename NJ arena: Def Jam CEO Jay-Z, who’s is a co-owner of NBA’s New Jersey Nets, is making a bid to rename and rebrand the Continental Airlines Arena with his Rocawear Clothing line. According to the Bergen Record, Jay-Z is attempting to buy out the arena name since the Continental Airlines naming-rights contract recently expired.

Ford to offer HD radio on most vehicles: U.S. radio operators are working aggressively to promote HD radio, which receives over-the-air terrestrial stations with CD-quality sound and multiple new-program formats, in an effort to compete with the rise of digital music options. The industry has pledged to spend $250 million on marketing through the HD Digital Radio Alliance. Hyundai, BMW and Ford-owned, Britain-based Jaguar will offer HD radio.

Rascal Flatts Return with a big record: With a #1 country single, Rascall Flatts are expected to sell 500k first week. These are old school numbers. Foo Fighters are looking at 175k due to massive promotion at iTunes. (Hits)

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KOAR’s Filter: Who wants to weed through 100,000 new record releases and 200 million videos on Youtube? You don’t, but we will. With that said,
The Almost has a new video on their myspace for the new single Southern Weather. Its a solid rock track and great video depicting the south – All I ask is that the singer Aaron Gillespie holds his mic with a firmer grip.

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FCC Considering Fines Against Satellite Radio..

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said that his agency is considering forfeitures against XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio for a series of rule violations tied to receiver standards and power levels for terrestrial repeaters.

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau is investigating claims that some of both companies’ receivers were built to operate at levels that exceed permitted limits, and is also investigating claims — including some lodged by the NAB itself — that terrestrial repeaters owned by XM were operating beyond the allowed limits. (RadioInk)

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The superstar songwriter Diane Warren ends chapter with EMI: Diane Warren who had long lasting 20 years history with EMI has inked a deal with Bandier’s Sony/ATV Music Publishing to exclusively administer her catalog on a worldwide basis. Warren has written over 100 Billboard top-10 hits for artists including Aerosmith, Elton John, Tina Turner, Barbra Streisand, Eric Clapton, Mariah Carey and Cher.

Rise fast, fall hard: Kanye dropped -76% to 225k this week. Fiddy fell -79% to 149k. Reba Mcentire opened up with 300k thanks to an Oprah appearence. Goth band HIM new record Venus Doom sold 38k. Eddie vedder’s solo record (39k). Colbie Caillat went GOLD while Nickelback will hit 6 million soon. Linkin Park is approaching 2 million.

The Rolling Stones lands in the latest edition of Guinness World Records: Although the German critics mocked their live show, it did not stop the tour from becoming the most successful. “A Bigger Bang Tour” took $437 million dollars to give them a new record. Madonna also made the annual compendium as the most successful female artist — her 60-date “Confessions” tour grossed almost $200 million. That meant she earned more than $3 million per concert. (Reuters)

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Warner Music Group Stock Hits Rock Bottom: Warner Music Group shares hit new lows yesterday closing at $9.74. A year ago the stock traded at $27. WMG is the most visible recipient of growing investor doubts about the recorded music industry.

Buzz Show: North Carolina indie act Nathan Asher & The Infantry will be performing at Pianos in NYC Thursday – September 27th. A slew of small and big labels will be attending.

San Diego hardcore Christian act As I Lay Dying will surpass 100k sales in October.

Dashboard Confessional’s new record, The Shade of Poison Trees, can now be streamed in its entirety.

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