Grim News, A Distorted Release, & A Legendary Clan

We’re finally through the dreaded season of no new music. While the decision is understandable, it still hurts a bit as a music lover to be forced into exile during the holidays.

It’s nice to be back, after a bit of a hiatus due to the holidays, politics being more important than music coverage (yeah right!), and a general lack of quality news to report. So let’s get 2008 kicked off right… with some grim news. As publicized a few weeks ago, Nielsen reported 2007 music album sales were down 15% in comparison to 2006 sales. This includes formats beyond CDs too, such as LPs, cassettes (do they even make these anymore!?), and so on. Even when digital sales are brought into the equation, sales were still 9.5% lower in 2007. Interestingly though, music-related sales were up 14%.

What does this mean? First off, people like their cellphones more than me, that’s for sure. This rise in related sales comes partially from music videos and ringtones. NPR ran a story on T-Pain in November of last year stating his ringtones out sell his digital singles 2-to-1, with the ringtone versions costing 2 or 3 times. Clearly, this odd market has become a possible bailout for a sinking music industry. Also, I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again: major labels are putting less focus on full albums, instead pushing artists to crank out hit singles with lots of filler in between. The real question becomes, when will the RIAA start handing out platinum awards for a million ringtones sold?!

Back In The Swing Of Things

Magnetic Fields “Distortion”I’m glad we’re finally through the season of no new music. While I understand the decision, it still hurts a bit as a music lover to be forced into exile during the holidays, a time when the things you seek comfort in are the most important. An early noteworthy release in 2008 comes out today: The Magnetic Fields new album Distortion on Nonesuch. Continuing in their tradition of quirky, somewhat dark tunes through this, their eighth album, the band balances delicately between pop sensibilities and brutish low end trudging. A good start to the new year.

Still Nothin’ To F#!* With!

Wu-Tang ClanThat’s right, hip-hop legends Wu-Tang Clan are back at it, hitting the road with a stop in RVA this week. The group will be performing Friday (January 18th) at Toad’s Place, yet if you don’t have tickets you’re out of luck… it’s sold out! In fact, I might be wrong, but I believe this is the venue’s first sold out show (the postponed Regina Spektor nearly sold out).

Personally, my big plans this week involve a trip to DC on Wednesday (January 16th) to see Blonde Redhead at 9:30 Club. These indie rock juggernauts probably entice my tastes as much as Wu-Tang Clan does for others. To each his (or her) own.

Until next week… enjoy some ringtones and mobile phone videos.

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Sean Patrick Rhorer

Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. Paramore sold out @ Toad’s. w00t.

  2. LBH, Wu-Tang would decimate Paramore.

  3. i should have research that point i guess… it was 2am when i wrote this though.

  4. Hailey can kick some butt!

  5. Hailley could just call down her army of freakish, sketchy adult men who worship her every move. They easily outnumber members of the Wu-Tang clan 3-1. How many people are in Wu-Tang now? 30? There are easily sixty Hailey worshipers in Richmond.

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