Not a good day for music mags…

It’s another bad week for music criticism, not only are studies saying no-one wants/needs it anymore but now comes news of of the UK ABC figures which reads gloomily as follows…

Future Publishing’s Metal Hammer ended the half year up 6.0% with 48,540 readers, although this was still down 1.2% on the year.

Also making gains was Channelfly’s free title The Fly, which saw its readership up 2.1% on the quarter and 11.1% on the year at 105,212, just behind Bauer’s Mojo, which posted a 0.1% rise in readership for the half year to 106,367.

Development Hell’s Word magazine posted a 1.7% gain for the quarter, although it was down 3.0% on the year.

The biggest loser overall was Bauer’s rock title Kerrang!, which posted a 21.6% drop in readership for the half year to 60,290, an eye-watering 27.9% down on the year.

IPC’s flagship title NME was down 12.1% for the half year and 17.4% for the year at 56,284 readers, while sister title Uncut was down 4.5% over the six months and up 1.2% for the year with 86,925 readers.

Bauer’s Q, which yesterday announced an autumn re-design, remains the country’s biggest-selling music title, despite losing 13.8% of its readership in the half year, leaving it with 113,174 readers.

Among the dance magazine, Development Hell’s Mixmag lost 5.8% of its readership over the six month, falling to 34,073, while the independently-published free title RWD was down 5.8% on the half year at 31,333.

Music magazines endured a difficult first half of 2008, with only Metal Hammer making significant gains, while Kerrang!, NME and Q all saw double digit falls in readership.

Source Music Week

Published in: on August 14, 2008 at 1:45 pm  Comments (3)  

The Thermals: Back

The Thermals have released two demo tracks from their forthcoming new album and they sound awesome.

If you like the Portland indie rockers classic The Body, The Blood, The Machine you’ll love I Let Go and You Dissolve, which will be on Now We Can See, which will be out later this year.


Download them here or listen to them on myspace.

Published in: on August 9, 2008 at 3:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Burial reveals/confirms true identity

So Independent, who got tipped off by one of Hot Chip, got it right “Another former student is William Bevan, aka Burial, a dubstar artist who enjoys a cult dancefloor following and who likes to retain a Banksy-like anonymity.”

The following was just posted and confirmed via Burial’s Myspace blog

Tuesday, August 05, 2008



for a while theres been some talk about who i am , but its not a big deal
i wanted to be unknown because i just want it to be all about the tunes.
over the last year the unknown thing become an issue so im not into it any more.
im a lowkey person and i just want to make some tunes, nothing else. my names will bevan, im from south london, im keeping my head down and just going to finish my next album, theres going to be a 12″ maybe in the next few weeks too with 4 tunes. hope u like it, i’ll try put a tune up later

sorry for any rubbish tunes i made in the past, ill make up for it

a big big thank you to anyone who ever supported me, liked my tunes or sent me messages, it means the world to me

big up everyone, take care, will ( burial )

Published in: on August 5, 2008 at 9:07 pm  Comments (1)  
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Happy Birthday Pat Smear!

Can you believe the charming bastard, ex-guitarist of Nirvana/Foo Fighters and founding member of LA punks The Germs, is only 49!

I love The Germs; I wore out my old tape copy of GI and the covers anthology – A Small Circle of Friends with bands such as The Melvins and Courtney Love was also mindblowing.

There’s a really interesting piece about The Germs’ biopic What We Do Is Secret, which stars Shane West as Darby Crash and Bijou Phillips, in today’s IHT.

Darby Crash, singer of the Germs and the most polarizing figure on the 1970s Hollywood punk scene, would tell anyone within earshot that his days were numbered.

In 1975, at the age of 17, he devised a five-year plan for achieving immortality: form a band, collect a following, release one album, then commit suicide. The band started as a dare; T-shirts were made before any songs were learned. Its following expanded from a few hangers-on to members of the fast-rising hard-core scene from the nearby suburbs and beach communities.

The movie comes out in the US this week and is expected to air internationally before the end of the year.

International Herald Tribune

Published in: on August 5, 2008 at 2:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Emoniks to be banned

No news has reach us yet of any gas chambers cranking out Glassjaw but…

Last month the State Duma held a hearing on “Government Strategy in the Sphere of Spiritual and Ethical Education”, a piece of legislation aimed at curbing “dangerous teen trends”. There, without a clue in the world, social conservatives lumped “emos” together with skinheads, pushing for heavy regulation of emo websites and the banning of emo and goth fashion from schools and government buildings.

“The point of the bill is so that by 2020, Moscow will have someone to rule its government,” explained Alexander Grishunin, an adviser to bill sponsor Yevgeny Yuryev, apparently without irony. “This is the first step in the public discourse.”

Yuryev and his allies hope to pass the legislation before the end of the year.

[…] The new bill describes “emos” as 12–16 year-olds with black and pink clothing, studded belts, painted fingernails, ear and eyebrow piercings, and black hair with fringes that “cover half the face”. Emo culture’s “negative ideology” may encourage depression, social withdrawal and even suicide, the bill alleges – with young girls being particularly vulnerable.


Published in: on July 25, 2008 at 12:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Downtown: You’re Going To Be Alright Now

There’s a neat profile of Downtown Records, the label home of Gnarls Barkley, Justice and the Cold War Kids, in today’s LA Times.

It looks at how the label and its publishing subsid co-exist as well as a focus on rcrd lbl, its music-blog-turned-online-arm.

The self-described “major indie” is certainly turning a tidy profit, with gross revenues north of $25 million annually, according to industry sources

In an era when radio airplay is hard to come by — but when the quantity of songs licensed for television and the movies has gone through the roof — Downtown signs every one of its acts to publishing sharing agreements. For now, this lucrative infrastructure remains unique in the industry, insofar as most labels gave up the practice of demanding publishing during the Age of Aquarius.

LA Times

Published in: on July 25, 2008 at 10:18 am  Leave a Comment  
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Modern Music is Proper Rubbish Or A Reaction to the Mercury Music Prize Nominations

You what? If Laura Marling, with her peddling of Dylan (‘Tap at My Window’ / ‘Lay Lady Lay’) and Ryan Adams covers, with different lyrics, wins, we’ll be stunned. She didn’t even put her best song (‘London Town’) on it. Ditto Last Shadow Puppets’ rubbish Coral doing third hand Beatles tributism and it’s only a fucking side-project. Then there’s Burial, (‘Archangel’) with their bumbling dance muzak that not even the most pilled-up white van man can dance to, safely put on the list as tokenistic broadsheet urban slop for people who still cling to former glories (see Massive Attack and Roni Size). There are people who actually care about this list, they’re called journalists. These people also think that less than 0.02% of the population buying a single within the space of a week, putting it at the top of a chart, is a sign of populism AND quality.

British Sea Power? Who? Exactly. They make indier-than-thou reincarnations of other indier-than-thou music and have made the list so that fans of The Fall and Morrissey stop moaning about the tip-for-January-2008 Adele also making the list. Yeah, she has a passable voice and a one-hit-single wot sounds a lot like the Top Shop imitation of Wino but an album worthy of attention, oh please…

In Rainbows has the most moaning so will probably win. What’s more British than a good ol’ whine in a historical storm of drizzle? Giving a record away in a time when records are free to the vast majority of the record listening populace, is neither brave, nor historic.

That phone call between Eno’s manager and Coldplay’s A&R man that’s occurring right now won’t be pleasant.

No-one even begins to understand why things are nominated or why they will win but the bulk of these records will now have their biggest selling week ever and then they’ll all trundle off, back to obscurity, after some tokenistic media spunk’n’spittle pebble-dashes their faces.

Wasn’t the Mercury meant to be about groundbreaking, era-defining records which didn’t garner the attention of a wider populace? And isn’t the nomination a second chance to give the opportunity, to said wider audience might genuinely love them? None of these records are genuine crossovers waiting to happen, nor are they of much interest to anyone outside of the glass-ceilinged ghettos within which they exist.

Moreso, the worry here is: will any of these records inspire future generations to make groundbreaking music? You gotta ask yourself, with falling record sales, how do so many rushed, half-arsed, one almost-hit buzz debut albums make it into these lists (maybe even moreso last year) to make them seem like relevant talking points and ultimately, does anyone really benefit from this, whilst a heap of other records fail to gain the hook for the media to hang justification to feature acts like this year in, year out?

The full list.

And one more spot the difference…

Yann Tiersen – ‘Comptine D’un Autre Ete L’Apre’ from the Amelie soundtrack

Adele – Hometown Glory

by S

Published in: on July 22, 2008 at 12:57 pm  Comments (2)  
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No Age: DiY ’til I die (or until the LA Times buys lunch)

LA thrashgazers No Age do not live on Elitist Mountain, apparently. They’re definitely down with the kids and – over above the obvious sub pop connection – draw many similarities with Kurt Cobain’s idea spouting, marker toting three piece.

No Age subverts many current paradigms of modern rock’s hyper-commercialism, but it also might represent the final prize for a battered corporate music industry — the DIY community itself.

“It feels like everybody wants a piece,” Randall, 27, said over lunch at Flore, a vegan cafe in Silver Lake. “Even the kids sometimes, man.”

Source: LA Times

Published in: on July 21, 2008 at 4:51 pm  Comments (1)  

Monday Links

Trailer: 24: The Movie @ YouTube

Which major label will buy Napster? @ Wired

Profile: Elizabeth Moss on Mad Men + The West Wing @ NY Magazine The Doctor and the blog @ NY Times

The Dark Knight vs Thrash Hits @ Thrash Hits

Charlie Brooker: Search engine optimization is SEX-Y @ Guardian

Girl Talk vs nY Times

Girl Talk/Illegal Art:

Feed the Animals could be a kind of breakthrough, although that is hard to judge so far. Illegal Arts is run by a guy who declines to give his real name and is a bit cagey about sales figures, for the understandable reason that Girl Talk’s music is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Ny Times

Published in: on July 20, 2008 at 11:16 am  Leave a Comment  
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