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Recommended Show: Buffalo rock act Settings will be performing at the Key Club in Hollywood, California tonight. Listen to the songs Walk Away and Creatures.

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Black Friday: Music Sales were down from 10 to 30% and big name albums released for Black Friday didn’t perform up to expectations according to merchants. Kanye West’s ‘808s & Heartbreak’ will sell in the 425k range down from the previously projected range of 800k. Guns N’ Roses’ “Chinese Democracy” is expected to sell at 250,000-260,000, not the predicted 300,000-784,000 units. Sales at Music specialty store Newbury Comics was down 21% and label executives said hit-album sales were off significantly at big box retailers like Wal-Mart and Barnes & Noble.

Axl is Missing? Speaking of Chinese Democracy a source said that the album would have had a better chance of going #1 if Axl had been prepared to show his face. Chinese Democracy climb to number two on U.K. Albums chart, beaten by The Killers’ “Day & Age” which landed at #1 on the chart. The source said that the disappointing result happened because the band missed out the album’s promotion project. “People have been trying to contact him for two months and he’s been completely AWOL. You would have thought after spending 15 years on an album you might do a few weeks promotion,” the source explained.

Signings: Phoenix based pop/rock band The Summer Set have signed a co-publishing deal with Razor & Tie.

Can Radio Save Itself? Not to long ago, Radio ruled the world, but now is facing competition from iPods, the internet, and satellite radio. Advertisers are now spreading the dollars, and although radio is still a popular medium for advertising, many companies have pulled back due to current economic conditions. Even though the audience for broadcast radio is actually growing, stations cannot seem to increase their revenue says the New York Times. Some say there are signs of hope. To illustrate: “radio now reaches more than 235 million listeners in a week, versus 232 million last year, according to a study by Arbitron. But those people are listening to the radio less: fewer than 19 hours a week, versus about 20.4 in 2005.” Also, Radio executives are hoping that HD Radio will catch on with consumers.

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Radio Is Headed For Worst Year Since 1954: The latest data shows that radio is heading for its worst year financially since 1954. In 2008 radio revenue has fell 7%. Boyle notes that “October was the 18th consecutive negative year-over-year revenue month and 2008 is the eighth straight struggling year.

From One Pimp To Another: Ashlee Dupree, the former escort who brought down NY Governor Eliot Spitzer has inked a deal with Violator Management who is headed by Chris Lighty. Violator past clients included rappers like 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes and Mobb Deep.

Most Popular Sellers @ 5.00 Bucks: Amazon is preparing for the online Christmas shopping blitz and is selling the most popular albums for 5.00 each. Some artists include Coldplay ‘Viva La Vida’, Death Cab For Cutie ‘Narrow Stairs’, and Metallica’s ‘Death Magnetic’. The entire list is here.

It looks like 300,000 fans will purchase Guns N Roses ‘Chinese Democracy’ in the first week. The former Skid Row singer Sebastion Bach who sang backup on Sorry recently chimed in on Chinese Democracy..

“As soon as I dropped the needle on ‘Chinese Democracy’, I was captivated by the sound of this record, & the thought, talent, & care put into this piece of Art, from all involved. The power, clarity, separation, & production of this music is nothing short of incredible. As loud as I want, I can still hear the vocals, guitars & everything else perfectly clear, with the bass rumbling my guts (& below) just like it should. When Axl rips into the line “even with an iron fist” in the first song, the blood in my veins starts to boil & the intensity does not let up until the end of Side Four.”

Did you listen to Chinese Democracy yet? It’s not a victim of the loudness war folks.

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New York Times says Digital Sales Surpass CDs at Atlantic

Atlantic Records says digital sales have finally surpassed CD sales. Most of their musics sales in the US are now from digital products – ala digital music downloads and ringtones.

“We’re like a college basketball team on an 18-2 run,” said Craig Kallman, Atlantic’s chairman and chief executive.

The future still looks clouded even though a milestone has been achieved – “While digital delivery is becoming a bigger slice of the pie, the overall pie is shrinking fast.” The hope has been lost that digital sales would make up for declining sales of CD’s. The music industry is now hoping to profit from other businesses including concert tickets and artist merchandise, but the live business is shrinking too. Unfortunately, only a few legendary artists can fill arenas and they are usually unwilling to share the slice of the pie.

The transition of moving to a digital business has made things more complicated. Of course others believe they found somewhat of a solution. “I think we’ve figured it out,” said Julie Greenwald, president of Atlantic Records. “It used to be that you could connect five dots and sell a million records. Now there are 20 dots you can connect to sell a million records.”

“Replacing compact disc sales are small bits of revenue from many sources: Atlantic Records’ digital sales include ring tones, ringbacks, satellite radio, iTunes sales and subscription services”. At the same time, record labels — Atlantic included — are spending less money to market artists. In the pre-Internet days, said Ms. Greenwald, “we were so flush, we did everything in the name of promotion.” Among the cutbacks are less spending to produce videos and to support publicity tours when a new album is released.”

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Guns N’ Roses Chinese democracy is blasting the Chinese Nation according to a newspaper published by China’s ruling Communist Part. The album “turns its spear point on China,” the article said. The track Chinese Democracy refers to Falun Gong meditation movement. I suppose China is on Axl’s long list of enemies.

Coldplay To Split? Chris Martin hinted that the end of Coldplay may be near. “I’m 31 now and I don’t think bands should keep going past 33”, said Martin. “Up until the end of next year, we’ll just go for it in every sense. I don’t believe in time off… We’ve still got our own hair, we can still fit into our musical trousers and we’ve got to make the most of that.”

Velvet Revolver has split with RCA Records. Velvet Revolver continues their long search for a new lead singer. Velvet Revolver fell apart because there were too many big egos in the band said Weiland — and I’m including myself. “It wasn’t necessarily about bad egos, just big egos, and unfortunately, it just mistakenly kind of eroded.”

‘Chinese Democracy’ has broken all kinds of records after being streamed on MySpace. The “listening party”, has had the largest listeners for an artist album stream launch on the site to date.

Simon Cowells management company and Jordan Sparks have parted ways. The 19 Recordings label will continue as Jordin’s record company with its joint venture partner, Jive Records.

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