Brian Eno and David Byrne: The Times Online sits down with ‘left of center’ producer Brian Eno who has worked with me bands like Radiohead, U2, and Coldplay. Eno is reuniting with David Byrne of Talking Heads and he cannot share The Times with clips of music fearing it could be leaked on the internet and what he calls ‘Corporate American paranoia’. Eno says on the making of the Byrne record, “We wanted to paint a picture of the human trying to survive in an increasingly digital world.â€ Eno says he hardly goes into record shops and primarily buys music on iTunes.
â€œIn the past, I might have undertaken all kinds of expensive marketing plans to prepare for a record release. Itâ€™s going to be interesting to see if audiences find out about this record solely through internet word-of-mouth.â€
Sexy: Rock band Trapt started their own social networking site called www.onlythroughthepain.com, and it’s much sexier than myspace. Of course social networking sites like this are better suitable for bands with a catalog than new artists with limited content. The band is expected to debut in the Billboard top 10 this week. Check out the track Contagious.
Warner Wants More Cash In video Game Deals: Warner CEO, Edgar Bronfman wants a bigger payout around the popular video games like “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band. Bronfman yesterday threatened to stop issuing song licenses for games that allow users to pretend to be rock stars if the revenue-sharing model for the games doesn’t improve for the music business according to the New York Post. Who can blame him? They own the content.
New Stream: The hugely popular boyband Jonas Brothers are streaming their new album here. We won’t even click on our own link – we still have music morals.
Floyd To Set Sail On Sea: Our KOAR tech is a genius. Aside from fixing our bugs that inflict our website from time to time, Veken Gueyikian owns Kiqstart Music, an entertainment company based in NYC whose clients include the number one Pink Floyd tribute band Think Floyd USA. The band has even caught the eyes of the Floyd members themselves as they have performed before Roger Waters at Milwaukee’s Summerfest and have received personal acclaim from David Gilmour himself. The band will host the first Pink Floyd themed cruise aboard a Carnival Cruise Ship to the Bahamas titled ‘Great Gig in the Sea”. Fans can register at GreatGigintheSea.com. Were going for sure!
This Week Sales: Kid Rock’s album ‘Rock n Roll Jesus’ continues to sell like hot cakes with another 95k copies sold this week. He won’t offer his album on iTunes and his fans don’t care. Rock act Seether went GOLD with their album ‘Finding Beauty In Negative Spaces’. Madonna’s ‘Hard Candy’ continues to disappoint quickly falling off the charts, can we finally say the Timbaland produced dance beats are dead? I think so.
New Music: Unknown Grand Rapids rock act Pop Evil is charting on the active rock charts. The band will release their debut via independent label, Pazzo Music.
Are The Thieves Relocating To Hollywood? In France, illegally-downloaded films outpaced ticket sales in May, says digital music news. Anti-piracy group ALPA noted that 13.5 million films were illegally downloaded in May, a massive figure. “This is a major phenomenon that could endanger the cinema and audiovisual industry,” ALPA representative Frederic Delacroix warned.
We Want Truthful Meaningful Lyrics: 90 percent of music fans feel that lyrics provide a deeper appreciation of music, though 50 percent feel that less lyrics are easily accessible than five years ago says the consortium via digital music news. In fact, “consumers want more lyrics layered into their music-related purchases, according to a recent survey.” “The artists who write lyrics have something to say and our survey shows that audiences want to be able to read and appreciate them properly,” said campaign director Honor Wilson-Fletcher.”
What artists today have something to say? we would love to hear it. Tips@kingsofar.com
Apples iTunes is still the #1 go to place for music buyers according to NPD. Below are the five leading music retailers in the U.S. for the first half of 2008.
3. Best Buy
New Music/ Artist Happenings: KOAR favorite’s Lovers and Liars will be performing at Buzzfest 08 and will be preparing an announcement for release of a dual EP. Unsigned band Emphatic has been charting in the top 10 for the last 4 weeks on the Billboard West North Central Heatseekers chart.
The Arrival has new music on their myspace and will be heading out with Millionares, Brokencyde, and Hypercrush, check out the tracks Locked and Loaded and Is This What You Call Love.
Promotion Better Than Prevention? The debate of online piracy still continues to fuel music critics. Mark Cuban has an interesting piece called ‘Promotion works better than prevention‘. Cuban says the RIAA actually encouraged illegal downloading by explaining to everyone exactly where and how to steal music. He also says, “People with more time than money will steal content. They weren’t going to pay for it otherwise. People with a conscious will pay for the content. Fortunately that is most people.”
Disc Makers Buys CD Baby: Disc Makers buys CD Baby for $900 million. CD Baby will continue to operate as a separate company and founder Derek Sivers will act as a consultant.
A Message To Producers: Why are you producing new rock artists as if you were recording Neil Diamond? Soul and passion is missing in a lot of todayâ€™s music because of the homogenized sounds that are being recorded. Don’t believe me? Scroll down the pages on Smartpunk and Purevolume and you will experience wimpy guitars tones along with a whiny emo voice. Matchbox 20 and Jason Mraz offers a stronger sucker punch and that’s ashame.
Embrace illegal Websites? Andrew Edgecliffe of the Financial Times says music industry ‘should embrace illegal websites’ because huge numbers of people downloaded it illegally even though the band allowed fans to pay little or nothing for it. Remember, purchasing the album on Radiohead’s was not easy which easily skewed the numbers. Economist Will Page says, “Human nature explains a good bit of the lead that Limewire has over iTunes.” “Piracy is popular because it’s popular and its easy to explain why one would choose free goods over expensive goods.”
The fact is Radiohead is one of the biggest bands in the world and to draw a conclusion based on a press stunt is irrational. Why are we talking about this still? Please, read this economic analysis (pdf) of Radiohead ‘In Rainbows’ prepared by Will Page, Chief Economist MCPS-PRS Alliance.
Metallica Releases New Record on Friday: The new Metallica album, “Death Magnetic,” will be released Friday Sept. 12 via Warner Bros. Traditionally, most records are released on Tuesday, but the group’s label claimed Friday was chosen to prevent pirated copies of “St. Anger” from entering the marketplace.
Warner Stock Crumbles: Warner Music fell the most in six months after the financial firm Goldman Sachs lowered third- quarter revenue and profit estimates for the music label and said the company will have a hard time increasing market share. Warner Music dropped 80 cents, or 9.7 percent, to $7.46.
Amazon To Take on iTunes: Amazon has overtaken competitors like Wal-Mart and Rhapsody to become the second biggest online store after iTunes, according to market research firm NPD. Sources tell Fortune that Amazon is in talks with MySpace to become the official download store when it rolls out its joint venture with Universal, Warner Music and SonyBMG in September. Sources say Amazon has a good chance of taking a decent size bit out of Apple’s iTunes.
Sony Takes Control of Bertelsmann: Sony bought Bertelsmann (Elvis, Oasis) in a deal valuing $2.4 billion.
Reaching into their back catalog, new Universal signees Anberlin have re-recorded and will be releasing â€œThe Feel Good Dragâ€ as the first single from their major label debut, due out September 30. The track originally appeared on their 2005 album â€œNever Take Friendship Personalâ€ (which has sold 150k albums to date). This decision is one that has been questioned by some fans who wonder why the band couldnâ€™t just record a new song that is just as good, or better than this older track. Weâ€™ve seen this plan of action work most successfully with the Plain White Tâ€™s release of â€œHey There Delilahâ€. Stephen Christian (Anberlinâ€™s frontman) claims the band chose to re-record the song because they didnâ€™t feel it received enough attention on their 2005 album. The question is, is this a good marketing decision? Does it merely come down to the strength of the song, or should questions of the label not having faith in a new song as a lead single be raised? Will it spark more interest in their older albums than the new one? Will Anberlin be the next Mae and see little success on a major?
Personally, I stand by the band and labelâ€™s decision to re-release this song as the first single because, in my opinion, it is the best song theyâ€™ve ever made and deserves a shot at mainstream radio. â€œThe Feel Good Dragâ€ impacts alternative radio on 8/19. Check out the clip here.
One-Hit Wonders: Maybe the aforementioned Plain White Tâ€™s should continue to reach back and grab some older tracks, because it does not sound like the new single will touch the success of â€˜Delilahâ€™, listen to â€œNatural Disasterâ€Â on their Myspace.
Young Buzz: With an appearance on TRL this past week, and the release of his new Yippee EP, the young Joplin, MO one-man-band Nevershoutnever! Is getting a lot of attention, and surely a good deal of friend requests. Makes me think of a younger version of Bryce Avery of the Rocket Summer.
Virginia emo pop/rock band My Favorite Highway should not remain unsigned for much longer after the release of the very strong â€œHow To Call a Bluffâ€. This release puts recent major label releases from Forever The Sickest Kids, Metro Station & Cobra Starship to shame (which wasnâ€™t too tough in the first place). Good songwriting, and plenty of radio ready tracks.
Tracks worth checking out:
People in Planes â€“ â€œMayday (Mâ€™aidez)â€
The Morning Of â€“ â€œReverieâ€Â (hereâ€™s one the kids will love)
Innerpartysystem â€“ â€œDonâ€™t Stopâ€Â (Thereâ€™s no excuse for this to not be a hit at alternative radio)
Soundcheck is written by Dallas who currently attends San Francisco State University and works on the Live 105 (KITS) Action Team.