Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban and Il Divo - Proof the CD is not Dead

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2007 at 12:04 PM

According to Slate, the compact disc is down but not out. Thankfully, Starbucks somehow fits into the equation.

If You Remember SXSW, You Weren't Really There

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2007 at 11:01 AM

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This may be a little late, but in keeping with my absolutely DIY trip (I had no badge, no wristband, no hotel room and no plane ticket) it's appropriate that my SXSW recap was delayed all last week by Internet issues.

Read my entire belated take on the annual Austin insanity after the jump.

Continue reading »

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Veteran Local Promoter Rick Whetsel Talks Shop

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2007 at 9:55 PM

Rick Whetsel, who runs local booking/promotion company Great Big Shows and books and promotes a buttload of shows around town, recently spoke to the City Paper about the biz:

On the state of downtown shows in Nashville:

"One of the things no one wants to admit but our patrons always complain about regarding shows downtown is the lack of affordable parking space," Whetsel said. "Then we have what I feel are some legislators and laws that work against live music, especially when it comes to beer laws and the regulation of licenses. It seems like some people here — despite what they say — truly don't understand that when there's a concert in downtown Nashville you're bringing in tourist dollars from Kentucky, Knoxville, Memphis, anywhere outside the market. Economically, live music can be a very potent contributor to the city, but it seems no one understands that except for country. I'm not putting down our country music heritage. It is fantastic. But there is so much other great music happening here, and it seems like that music isn't always as equally supported."
On Nashville's rock scene turning heads outside the 615:
"In fact I don't think there's any doubt right now that this city's live rock scene is exploding," Whetsel said. "It's amazing when you have bands like Be Your Own Pet or Paramore that I'm getting calls about from promoters outside the city. We've got people calling us asking what we think about these bands and telling us there's enormous interest nationwide in a band like Kings of Leon. Now it's just a question of everyone else in the city getting on board and understanding what we've got going here."

Welcome Back, Our Rock 'n' Roll (Hair) Queen

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2007 at 9:35 PM

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Just wanted to send out a Nashville Cream welcome to the lovely and talented stylist Courtney Krampf, who just returned from Boston. Krampf is now closer to her family, and we're closer to cool: beginning April 3rd, this razor-cutter before razor-cuttin' was in vogue is back in residence at Salon Ya Ya, where many local rock denizens go to be artfully mussed. If you need a reference, just ask The Pink Spiders, The Features or The Privates. Better make your appointments, now—that girl stays booked for months in advance.

Sixth Stripe

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2007 at 7:52 PM

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The White Stripes recently finished recording their sixth record, Icky Thump, here in Nashville at Blackbird Studios. The duo told Rolling Stone that this record is not only heavier than previous releases, but also that many of the songs "...are about to be catchy, then take a left turn." The album is due out in June; a track listing is here. The band has plans to tour North America, but according to the website, no definite tour route has been determined, though they say the tour will start in Tennessee. Perhaps another "secret" show at The End, or is this just in reference to the confirmed Bonnaroo appearance?

Most of that's old news, but have you heard that Jack White is reportedly playing Elvis in a spoof of biopics?

Buck Jones Benefit Concert Tonight, Tuesday, 27th at the Cannery Ballroom

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2007 at 2:50 PM

Billy Block is spreading the word:

Starring Jon Bon Jovi and Ritchie Sambora, Big and Rich, Jewel and Billy Currington for my good friend Buck Jones' family. Doors open at 6:30pm show at 8pm.

Advanced tickets available at www.mercylounge.com or at the door.

Buck was the talented young man that (Walt Wilkins produced and) I managed and co-produced who was tragically killed by a drunk driver last week.

Tickets are $50 and all proceeds go to his 7 mo. old son Walker and his wife Amy-Beth. Amy-Beth is the elementary school music teacher at Franklin Road Academy.

If people can't make it to the show they can contribute to the Buck Jones Memorial Fund at any 5/3 Bank.

Thanks and God Bless,
Billy

Billy Block
President
WESTERN BEAT ENTERTAINMENT

Why Do Hated Bands Top the Charts?

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2007 at 12:08 PM

CNN takes a closer look.

A Club for Singles

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2007 at 10:04 AM

Athens indie label Happy Happy Birthday to Me has announced a series of limited edition split 7" singles, which includes tracks from such notables as Of Montreal, The Apples in Stereo, Poison Control Center and Murfreesboro's own Velcro Stars. The run is limited to 450. Word on the street is there are 164 left.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Cream Exclusive: Catch of the Day 3-26-07

Posted By on Mon, Mar 26, 2007 at 10:33 PM

Today's typical batch o' mailers:

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A recent Cream post about eye-catching CD artwork spawned a few mildly cranky posts lamenting an industry where music editors, journalists and A&R types don't have the time to lovingly listen to each and every CD that floats through their inbox. Guess what? We don't.

But the responses gave me pause. Normally, we'd never pull back the curtain on the magic we're making here every day at the Scene, but I thought it might be amusing to show you a sample of the records we get, and how, much like standing before a grocery aisle filled with 47 different kinds of tuna, sometimes you just grab blindly at something and hope it passes the taste test.

What follows is a batch of records we received today alone. There's hardcore, rock, jazz, folk, country, rap, string band and baby tunes here, all ready to be checked out and seriously dug. And we're just a little ol' alt-weekly, so I can only imagine what the larger-circulation papers contend with. 90% of these records don't even contain the most motivating-for-coverage tidbits: that is, if, when or whether the band is playing here, if there's a local connection or even what it sounds like.

Continue reading »

R.I.P.: Albums

Posted By on Mon, Mar 26, 2007 at 5:23 PM

Ridley linked to this New York Times article on the death of the album on Pith, but I thought it was well worth reposting here. I remember someone commenting on this board recently that they didn't remember when music stopped being about albums.

...fans are buying fewer and fewer full albums. In the shift from CDs to digital music, buyers can now pick the individual songs they like without having to pay upward of $10 for an album.

Last year, digital singles outsold plastic CD's for the first time. So far this year, sales of digital songs have risen 54 percent, to roughly 189 million units, according to data from Nielsen SoundScan. Digital album sales are rising at a slightly faster pace, but buyers of digital music are purchasing singles over albums by a margin of 19 to 1.

and...

One of the biggest reasons for the shift, analysts say, is that consumers — empowered to cherry-pick — are forgoing album purchases after years of paying for complete CD's with too few songs they like. There are still cases where full albums succeed — the Red Hot Chili Peppers' double-CD "Stadium Arcadium," with a weighty 28 tracks, has sold almost two million copies. But the overall pie is shrinking.

In some ways, the current climate recalls the 1950s and to some extent, the 60s, when many popular acts sold more singles than albums. It took greatly influential works like The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds" to turn the album into pop music's medium of choice.

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