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This Week Sales: Metallica sold another 329,000 copies of their latest CD ‘Death Magnetic’. The band finally won over their fans and critics. Read Rollings Stone’s review of Death Magnetic.

Buckcherry’s new release ‘Black Butterfly’ also landed on the Billboard’s top 10 selling 42,500. Check out the video for their track ‘Don’t Go Away‘.

When Jonas and Miley Ruled The World: Are the Jonas Brothers influencing today’s emo/electronic artists?  Listen to the track Breakout by Cash Cash and let us know what you think. Ironically, Breakout is also the title of Miley Cyrus latest album and lead off single.  Cash Cash will release a 5 song EP on October 7th via Republic Records and  is touring with Metro Station ( Front man is Miley’s half brother).

Recommended Show: Sparks The Rescue performs tonight at Arlenes Grocery (NYC). Listen to the track I Swear That She’s The One.

New Music: Photo Finish Records has signed Ireland emo act
Fighting With Wire and are giving away a free song EP. We agree with KERRANG Mag, despite the gazillions already used you can still come up with a great band name and Fighting With Wire is cool as hell. Check out the track Strengh In Numbers.

Rising Above The Masses: Ahh, our favorite. Rise Against has released the video for the track Re-Education (Through Labor). We said it before and we will say it again, Rise Against is one of the few bands that escaped the Famine that had a devasting impact on the emo/punk bands.

The Dearly Departed: Janet Jackson has left Island Def Jam after being on the label for 14 months. Jackson was dissatisfied with IDJ when her album ‘Discipline’ failed to resonate with the public. Sources claim that Jackson may be joining the concert promoter Live Nation.

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Jean Bernard Lévy, the chief executive of Vivendi, remains optimistic and told the Financial Times that he is predicting strong revenue growth from Universal Music.

Vivendi is increasing music sales by striking a deal with Nokia. For instance, Nokia will charge a premium for handsets that allow consumers to download unlimited music. Universal also struck a deal with Myspace and hope to shake hands with Apple in the distant future.

Levy also said that the music industry is close to bottoming out and he remains focused in developing new business models and new sources of revenues.

“We are working with all the big names in the field of internet, in the field of telecom equipment companies, big media companies and this is a big opportunity,” says Levy. “I really believe we are at the turning point for the music industry and I didn’t say that two years ago.”

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Myspace Music Shuns Indie Labels: Although Myspace Music has yet to launch, the indie labels are starting to cry. Myspace Music which is backed by the three biggest major music labels will offer downloads, ringtones, and concert tickets. Some say it will be the MTV of the internet. Indie labels are claiming that they are being shunned by the new myspace music venture. As of today, no indie music label has struck a deal with myspace and they’ve been blocked from uploading their music.

New Stream: Chicago band Rise Against seemed to escape the famine that has wiped the punk bands off the map. The band posted 2 tracks titled ‘Collapse‘ and ‘Re-Education Through The Labor‘ on their myspace that will come off the new CD ‘Appeal To Reason’.

Pink’s new single ‘So What’ flew to number 1 on the iTunes pop charts. It also shot straight to number 1 on the official Australian iTunes single downloads chart. Her new record titled ‘Funhouse’ will be released October 28th.

In an effort to revive CD sales major music labels and Scandisk will experiment with a new format for the upcoming releases by Rihanna, Ne-Yo, Robin Thicke, New Kids on the Block, Weezer, Usher, Chris Brown, Akon and Leona Lewis. The new format called ‘SlotMusic’ will contain an album, plus extras, on a compact memory card that can be played on mobile phones, PCs and some portable MP3 players. Does this marketing strategy ad value to the listening experience?

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Blessing in Disguise? New York based Singer/songwriter Ryan Star was one of the standout contestants on 2006’s “Rock Star: Supernova”, but was booted earlier than many expected after a few solid performances, including an excellent rendition of R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion”. Two years later, Star’s album will be released via Atlantic Records later this year called “11:59” where he worked with Howard Benson among a few others. Check out the first song that’s been released from the album called “Last Train Home” that was featured on last year’s “P.S. I Love You” soundtrack.

On the singer/songwriter note…
Interscope signing Tamar has a potential hit ready with her song “New Day”

Chart Success: Spending his 3rd week on top of the Christian pop chart is Houston based Brandon Heath with his single “Give Me Your Eyes”. After seeing the success of Christian artist Mat Kearney in 2007, Heath has some notable mainstream crossover potential.

Unsigned Bay Area up and comer My Jeremiah has some new tracks up from his upcoming album, “Where You Are” that are worth a listen.

Boston, MA’s Jon Robert also has some radio ready tracks for listening. Check out “Meant To Be”.

Signing: Universal/Motown has reportedly signed Southern Californian rock band After Midnight Project who will be heading into the studio with producer John Feldman (Story Of The Year, The Used) to record a full-length. Do you think these guys will break out?

Quick Picks:

Astronautalis – “Two Years Before The Mast”  for fans of Atmosphere &a mp; Beck. New album, “Pomegranate” drops 9/23 on Eyeball Records.

Liam and Me – “Say it Out Loud” – Unsigned Philadelphia band that has toured nationally with The Sounds and The Spill Canvas.

Soundcheck is written by Dallas Osborn who currently attends San Francisco State University and works on the Live 105 (KITS) Action Team.

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Mastering engineer Ian Shepherd says Metallica’s new Death Magnetic has been compressed just about as much as it’s possible to compress audio.

This is nothing new. In 2007, producer David Bendeth says over the past decade and a half, a revolution in recording technology has changed the way albums are produced, mixed and mastered — almost always for the worse. “They make it loud to get [listeners’] attention,” Bendeth says. Like many of his peers, Bendeth believes that relying too much on this effect can obscure sonic detail, rob music of its emotional power and leave listeners with what engineers call ear fatigue. “I think most everything is mastered a little too loud,” Bendeth says. “The industry decided that it’s a volume contest.”

According to Shepherd, the problem goes beyond compression. He says some parts are actually distorted from digital clipping. “As you can easily see,” he writes, “the CD version on the bottom has been heavily compressed, limited and/or clipped, and sounds massively distorted as a result.” Later analysis showed that the CD is 10 dB louder than the Guitar Hero version, which sounds about twice as loud to the ear, according to one description. That’s some wicked compression”.

“According to this analysis, audiophiles would be better off recording the songs from the videogame than buying the album because the Guitar Hero version has far more dynamic range than the hyper-compressed CD version”.

Ted Jenson who mastered Death Magnetic, whose comments can be supposably found on the ‘Metallica Forum‘  says he is not to blame. “I get to slam my head against that brick wall every day. In this case, the mixes were already brick-walled before they arrived at my place. Suffice to say I would never be pushed to overdrive things as far as they are here. “Believe me I’m not proud to be associated with this one, and we can only hope that some good will come from this in some form of backlash against volume above all else.”

In this case, the engineers, Greg Fidelman and Andrew Scheps, put their hands in mastering/brick walling the mixes before it was even sent to Ted Jenson.

When will engineers and mastering engineers end this loudness war?  When it comes to making records, Metallica is known to  sweat every last drop of blood.  Do they deserve an album with a sound comparable to a tv commercial? Absolutely not!  Please remaster and remix this incredible record and give the band and the fans a record with soul.

Sign the Petition here.

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