Thursday, November 5, 2009

Music News & Notes

We Love Our Vinyl!

The resurgent vinyl market isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. In fact, recent figures released by Nielsen SoundScan indicate that overall U.S. vinyl sales will once again set a benchmark in 2009, with sales up 50% through the first five months of the year. SoundScan predicts vinyl sales will reach 2.8 million units in 2009, up from 1.9 million in 2008, a record since SoundScan began tracking sales data in 1991. Already in 2009, vinyl sales have topped 1 million. Rock albums account for 70% of all vinyl sold, but country vinyl is enjoying a growth spurt. Year-to-date country vinyl sales are already at 15,000 copies, compared with 5,000 for the comparable period in 2008.


Rage Against The Machine Debut To Be Released on Vinyl

Music on Vinyl Records will be releasing Rage Against The Machine's self-titled 1992 debut on 180g vinyl on November 20th


'This Is It': Michael Jackson soundtrack tops the albums chart in a busy week

Michael Jackson’s This Is It won the box office easily last weekend, so it should come as little surprise to find the concert film’s soundtrack topping the Billboard 200, too. The King of Pop’s latest posthumous release sold a strong 373,000 copies in its first week on shelves, according to Nielsen SoundScan. That’s comparable to the big sales his greatest-hits set Number Ones was putting up in the weeks immediately following his untimely death — and since This Is It is categorized as a new release, Jackson finally gets to take the No. 1 Billboard 200 spot that a technicality robbed him of for much of this past summer.

A busy pack of other new releases crowded into the shadow of This Is It. Creed came Full Circle to No. 2 with a respectable 110,000 copies sold, answering the question of how many people still consider themselves Creed fans in 2009. The public’s appetite for Rod Stewart covers albums remained unwhetted as his latest such set, Soulbook, bowed at No. 4 with 84,000. Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Night Castle checked in at No. 5 with 83,000. Sting’s If on a Winter’s Night… traveled to No. 6 with 80,000.


Motown's 50th Anniversary

On November 21, Detroit will see the annual Motown Historical Museum gala turn into a huge celebration for the labels 50th anniversary. The black-tie affair will include performances by Otis Williams and the Temptations, comedian Sinbad and Stevie Wonder. Rumors also say that Jermaine Jackson will attend for a tribute to Michael Jackson.

There will also be honors for the labels first five employees, writer/producer Robert Bateman, secretary Janie Bradford (who also wrote Money), songwriter/producer Brian Holland, singer/VP Smokey Robinson and backup singer Raynoma Singleton.


New Stereophile-Sponsored Audio Show Coming

The Audio Expo North American (AXPONA for short), launched under the auspices of Stereophile magazine and taking place in March of 2010, is being billed as the audio show of the future. The venue is the Wyndham Riverwalk Hotel in Jacksonville, FL and the dates are March 5 thru 7. A variety of AV dealers, manufacturers and distributors will exhibit their newest audio products and technologies, equipment and supporting media. Three floors of the hotel will be used, with 18 large exhibit rooms on the main convention level. The show is expected to draw many exhibitors due to its cost to exhibitors being up to 25% less than other AV shows, and there being no charges for drayage or removing furniture from the rooms - two sources of savings to those participating. There will be a focus on hi-end playback equipment, and audio recording demonstrations, plus live musical performances and seminars with top industry names. A new web site has been designed for the show:


Motion City Soundtrack Release More New Album Details

(PR) Motion City Soundtrack have revealed the details of their major label debut – My Dinosaur Life today. It's official, the album – produced by Blink-182's Mark Hoppus and mixed by the legendary Andy Wallace (Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Kaiser Chiefs) – will be released on January 19th, 2010 on Columbia Records. In addition, they have released the final track listing for the new album (see below) and revealed the incredible cover art by renowned collectible toy artist Joe Ledbetter ( – also responsible for the entire album art.

My Dinosaur Life is the exciting next chapter for Motion City Soundtrack. The band – Justin Pierre, Joshua Cain, Matt Taylor, Tony Thaxton, and Jesse Johnson – first jumped onto the scene with their 2002 debut I Am the Movie (Epitaph). They followed this up with 2005's Commit This to Memory (Epitaph). Also produced by Mark Hoppus, Commit This to Memory debuted at #72 on the Billboard 200 and has gone on to sell more than 300,000 copies. It garnered raves from Spin, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Blender among others and found Motion City Soundtrack making their late night TV debut on Late Night with Conan O'Brien. In 2007, MCS released Even If It Kills Me (Epitaph), a markedly poppier endeavor that found them working with producers Adam Schlesinger, Eli Janney and Ric Ocasek. This third release debuted at #16 on the Billboard 200 and once again, the critics weighed in favorably – Alternative Press featured them on the cover of their "Most Anticipated" issue, the New York Times claimed "they made an album that sounds like one long sugar rush, and so long as the rush lasts, it sounds pretty great" and SPIN proclaimed the album as "near perfect pop." In the Fall of 2008 Motion City Soundtrack further showcased their talents when they released alternative versions of five songs off Even If It Kills Me as an iTunes exclusive. The culturally acclaimed hit TV series Gossip Girl featured the alternative version of "Fell In Love Without You'" in their season premiere that fall.

Enter 2010 and Motion City Soundtrack are poised to take another giant step forward with the imminent release of My Dinosaur Life – 12 new songs that are lyrically contemplative, poignantly honest, and cleverly and culturally astute. The music harkens back to early Motion City Soundtrack with is grit and hooks while employing the musicianship and maturity the band has gained over the past seven years. During these years they've accomplished quite a bit – including headlining Warped tour, Bamboozle and the mvtU Campus Invasion Tour to playing Lollapalooza, Fuji Rock Festival and Honda Civic Tour. They've won two mtvU Woodie Awards – in 2005 the Breaking Woodie for Best Emerging Artist and in 2008 the Best Video Woodie for "It Had to Be You." Motion City Soundtrack has worked incredibly hard over the past seven years for everything they've achieved and they're excited about the next chapter.

My Dinosaur Life Track Listing:
1. Worker Bee
2. A Lifeless Ordinary (Need A Little Help)
3. Her Words Destroyed My Planet
4. Disappear
5. Delirium
6. History Lesson
7. Stand Too Close
8. Pulp Fiction
9. @!#?@!
10. Hysteria
11. Skin And Bones


Aerosmith, Tyler Parting Ways?

antiMusic reports: Classic Rock posted a bombshell report on Wednesday about the future of Aerosmith. Could the band be parting ways with frontman Steven Tyler? Going by what members of the band, including Tyler himself, told Classic Rock it is looking more and more likely that it may happen.

Steven Tyler told Classic Rock, "I don't know what I'm doing yet, but it's definitely going to be something Steven Tyler: working on the brand of myself – Brand Tyler."

The magazine goes on to report that the members of the band "will reconvene (probably sans Tyler) to discuss future plans, which could be either the announcement of a long hiatus or even possibly include carrying on with a new lead vocalist."

While you may see that as reading too much into things, guitarist Brad Whitford discussed the possibility of bringing in a new singer with the magazine and he seems open to the idea, "if somebody was willing to do it and the chemistry was right, why not?". On the other hand, the magazine promised that "February's issue of Classic Rock will have a full story and a very, very special surprise for Aerosmith fans."


Cloud Cult Reissues

PR reports: On December 8th, 2009 Cloud Cult will release a double-disc reissue of They Live on the Sun (2003) and Aurora Borealis (2004) – two of their earliest albums. These two home recorded releases have been re-envisioned, remixed and remastered for the first time by Cloud Cult's Craig Minowa and this special double-disc release will contain previously unreleased bonus tracks.

The albums, which are now out of print and could only be purchased at live gigs and select Independent record stores, will be available for the first time nationwide and fans can take advantage of a presale on the band's web site in late November –

Cloud Cult's lead singer/songwriter Craig Minowa created these albums during 18 months of seclusion at his Northern Minnesota organic farm after his two-year-old son passed away unexpectedly in 2002. Originally released on the band's own Earthology Records, they were mainly available on a local level due to a shoe-string credit card budget.

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