Check out this week’s Canción de la Semana (the spanish version of the free song of the week) on iTunes. This weeks selection is from the Argentine-Uruguayan band Bajofondo. The group has a unique sound- a mix of rock, tango and electronica. Check out their song “El Mareo” feating Gustavo Cerati. Head over to iTunes and download the new tune from their latest release before it’s replaced next Tuesday!
Behind-the-Scenes of Coldplay’s Viva La Vida! June 27, 2008
With the release of perhaps one of the most anticipated albums of the summer, Coldplay’s Viva La Vida last week, its no wonder the rock group has been breaking sales records! The album had the best advance sales of any album in the five-year history of iTunes according to an article on NYTimes.com. And as if that’s not enough it was also the best first week sales of any album as well.
The secret to their success? Releasing their first single of the album, “Violet Hill”, for free on their website for a week and celebrating the release of the album with free shows in New York, London and Barcelona.
The UK band is the cover story for the July issue of Spin magazine. The feature gives a peek behind-the-scenes of the band’s latest album and includes interesting facts about the group. Example? They went by the name Starfish for their first gig, but then right before their second gig decided to change their name to Coldplay, which alludes to a poetry book, Child’s Reflection: Cold play. Had another band not rejected the name, it could have been a band named Starfish releasing one of the biggest albums of the summer last week! Whether you’re a die-hard fan or not, it is definitely worth reading the article which is posted on Spin.com.
Still can’t get enough of these guys? For more behind-the-scenes 411 on Viva La Vida check out MTV.com, where the band themselves give a track-by-track commentary on making the songs for the album. Find out everything from why the band decided to have an instrumental song as the opening track, which was one of the first songs they started to work on and which songs featured the band’s first use of hand-claps on an album.
And finally, to hear Coldplay’s new single, “Violet Hill”, head over to the band’s Myspace page.
Goodbye Record Labels, Hello Walmart. June 23, 2008
I recently stumbled across an interesting article at NYTimes.com about major artists releasing records through deals made with Walmart. I never really realized something as simple as this could have consequences for the industry. When The Eagles released their new two-disc album,Long Road Out of Eden, exclusively with the retailer this past fall for the low-price of $11.98 I though it was a great way to hinder people from downloading the music for free.
Now others from the classic rock band Journey to teen country sensation Taylor Swift have followed suite, negotiating deals exclusively with Walmart. Journey’s 3-disc set Revelation includes two CDs with 11 songs each and a DVD. Like The Eagles CD it also sells for $11.98. An amazing price, considering that’s cheaper than some one disc albums go for at other retailers. I think this definitely helps to increase CD sales, I’d expect an album containing 2 discs and a DVD to sell for double that price or more. The low price and multiple disc approach worked well for The Eagles, who sold 711,000 copies of their album within the first week of its release.
However, such deals have a negative effect, unforeseen to me before I read the article “For Some Music, It Has to be Walmart and Nowhere Else” by Robert Levine. When artists release albums exclusively through Walmart they no longer have to deal with record labels. This is good for artists, who end up making more money off their record sales (which probably makes this option a more tempting one for them). Afterall, other artists such as Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails have taken a similar approach, releasing albums themselves online without the help of labels. With the industry and power of record labels already declining because of digital downloads I wonder what kind of effect this will have on the industry. Do you think high CD sales are good for the music industry even if it means cutting traditional record labels out of the picture? Or do you think these exclusive Walmart deals (or artists self-releasing albums themselves for that matter) will only lead to further decline in the industry? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic!
There is absolutely nothing I LOVE more then to going see a band I like play live. I had been eagerly awaiting this past weekend’s Rooney concert at Irving Plaza since purchasing a pair of tickets back in the spring the day they went on sale. And that’s not an exaggeration either, I had my sis snatch a pair of tickets up as soon as they were available at the box office.
You may be thinking “Oh no, not a boy band… that’s so 1999.” But seriously, although they have a fan-base of screaming high school aged girls who adore them, these guys are NOT your average boy band. I’ve been a fan ever since hearing their single Shakin’ from their debut album, and their most recent album has been on frequent rotation on my iPod.
The California-based band is composed of lead singer Rob Schwartman, Louis Stephens on the keyboard, Matt Winter on bass guitar, Taylor Locke on guitar, and Ned Brower on drums. These guys have got it together and their catchy lyrics and sound that will keep you coming back for more. I love the whole retro pop rock combo they have going on. Like a blast from the past they sound a bit like classic bands such as the Beatles, the Beach Boys and the Cars.
Sunday nights show at Irving Plaza kicked off the second leg of the bands Calling the World tour with opening acts The Bridges and Locksley. Check out their list of tour dates to see if there headed to a town near you. If so GO! I’m honestly convinced that it was the best $16 dollars I’ve EVER spent. The set included all of their singles, a mix of songs from both their debut album and the new one, as well as a few cover songs. I really wished they would have done a Beach Boys cover at the show, but I enjoyed their performance of a song “The Weight” by The Band. The guys are amazing live and a class act for sure. They let you bring in cameras to the show, keep their tickets and merchandise relatively low-priced AND do meet and greets after concerts. Honestly, what more could you ask for… Another album you say? Well according to Robby that’s headed your way next year.
Thanks to my sister for capturing this clip of some of “When Did My Heart Go Missing” on her handy-dandy Flip camera. Enjoy!
Katy Perry June 10, 2008
I can’t think of a better way of describe upcoming singer Katy Perry, a 22-year old California native, then with lyrics from her own song “Fingerprint” :
“I wanna break the mold, I wanna break the stereotype/Fist in the air I’m not going down with out a fight/Effortless and I’m sitting on the sidelines watching/It pass my by/I’m leaving you my legacy/I gotta make my mark/I gotta run it hard/I want you to remember me”
She sure is breaking the mold and making a mark with her unconventional and sassy new single “I Kissed a Girl”. Her 80’s style songs with catchy beats are perfect for blasting while cruising around town this summer or for roadtrips to the beach. With other pop-rock tunes such as “Hot N Cold” and “Waking Up In Vegas” and her creative lyrics she won’t soon be forgotten! Her debut album One of the Guys is hits shelves June 17th! You can catch Katy rocking out on Warped Tour this summer.
For tour dates and more check out her official site: katyperry.com
One Flew South June 5, 2008
With songs and vocals that can be compared to both the likes of the Eagles and Rascal Flatts, the new Nashville-based country band One Flew South should be tearing up the charts in no time. When I first popped their disc into my CD player it was almost hard to forget that I wasn’t listening to the classic rock band the Eagles on tracks such as “Last of the Good Guys” or the popular country-trio The Rascal Flatts, whom they strongly resemble on tracks like “Life” and “Sara”. When the music award shows roll around I won’t be surprised if these guys sweep the awards for the best new country song or best new country artist. Working with songwriters such as Marcus Hummon and JD Souther their debut disc Last of the Good Guys is sure to be a hit! For more info visit their website: oneflewsouth.com
Congrats to David C! May 24, 2008
This Wednesday marked the ending of another season of American Idol and the start of a successful career for the lucky winner. This year it goes to David Cook, who is more than deserving of that title. I was expecting 17 year-old David Archuleta to win with his cult following of tween girls, so I was pleasatly surprised when David C. pulled out on top. In honor of the finale this blog entry is devoted to my favorite Idol contestants and performances of the season!
“Dare You to Move”- Switchfoot
“Always Be My Baby”- Mariah Carey
“I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing”- Aerosmith
AND last but not least of course is his performance of “The Time of My Life” at the Idol Finale.
“You’re So Vain”- Carly Simon
“Let It Be”-The Beatles
“Here Comes the Sun”- The Beatles
“Daydream”- The Lovin’ Spoonful
“Hallelujah”- Jeff Buckley
“Travelin’ Thru”- Dolly Parton
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow”- Israel Kamakawiwo