Report claims the global Recording Industry is worth $17 billion today (I know that sounds like a lot, but this is actually bad news)

Report claims the global Recording Industry is worth $17 billion today (I know that sounds like a lot, but this is actually bad news)

If I had $17 billion, I’d be the happiest ex-newswriter on earth (unless I was given the comedically-expectant stipulation that I had to spend it all in some unfortunately short period of time, I guess). But then again, I’m just one simple man. I’m not the Recording Industry, and I don’t routinely eat bowls of of emeralds for breakfast with diamond tooth implants.

As Digital Music News reported recently, the Recording Industry’s pockets continued to leak in 2009, according to the latest data from the, uh, International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (yes, this is a real thing). The global trade group reported a 7.2% decline in trade revenues last year, down to just over $17 billion. But that ain’t all. Physical assets also plummeted another 12.7% to $11.93 billion. Goodbye precious stones for breakfast; hello limestone quarry.

The IFPI shows that the US and Japan were the nations doing the most damage, with the United States slipping 10.7% and Japan tanking 10.8%. Collectively, the pair accounted for roughly 80% of the decline. Among nations whose contribution to the whole picture is a bit smaller, the scene was not quite as drastic. Smaller markets like Spain and Italy suffered far sharper percentage drops than the US and Japan, and digital sales actually offset the declines in physical sales in places like the UK, India, South Korea, Thailand, Mexico, and Australia.

But wait, don’t not turn that anti-frown upside down just yet. In almost all territories, digital formats are failing to recover what physical once commanded. And besides, The Big Picture still raises questions aplenty about the future of recording-specific revenues. In 2000, total industry revenues topped $36.9 billion. That means that the past decade has witnessed a 53.8% decline. So yeah, don’t worry; everything’s pretty terrible still. Anyone know where you can pawn some diamond teeth?

RIP: Walter Sear, synth pioneer

From Synthopia (via The Daily Swarm):

Walter Sear […] died yesterday, April 29, 2010 at the age of 79.

Sear was a composer, tuba and theremin player that ran the respected Sear Sound recording studio in New York for over three decades.

In the early days of the Moog synthesizer, Walter Sear represented Moog in New York city. He also introduced Moog to Walter Carlos, who was working at the time as a recording engineer in New York. Carlos went on to arrange Switched On Bach, one of the most influential albums of all time.

Sear released an album of switched on Moog music in 1969, The Copper Plated Integrated Circuit – Plugged In Pop. The same year, he scored Jim Hensen’s experimental TV drama, The Cube.

Sear also played, produced and scored a variety of soundtracks, ranging from Midnight Cowboy to Disco Beaver from Outer Space and Zombi Holocaust.

In later years, Sear’s studio worked with David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Wynton Marsalis, Norah Jones and others.

• Sear Sound:
• Walter Sear:

Real Estate and Kurt Vile head out on ultimate summer road trip

Jersey rockers Real Estate are charting a course this summer: a course of awesomeness. They’re navigating rock ‘n’ roll venues across Europe and North America, accompanied on the last half by Philadelphia’s self-declared hitmaker Kurt Vile. Real Estate’s newest EP Reality is sold out like whaaaaat!?, though at least their various offshoots (Ducktails, Alex Bleeker) still have copies of their records available. Kurt Vile, meanwhile, has a new EP planned for release on May 25 through Matador called Square Shells, and you can hear a track off that, “Invisibility : Nonexistent” over at the Chocolate Grinder.

Just imagine what can happen when these two forces combine. Will they use their touring powers for good… or evil?

05.10.10 - Dublin, Ireland - Crawdaddy
05.11.10 - Galway, Ireland - Dubh
05.13.10 - Brighton, UK - Great Escape Festival (Radar Stage at Horatios)
05.14.10 - Brighton, UK - Great Escape Festival (Sailor Jerrys at Freebutt)
05.15.10 - Bristol, UK - Thekla
05.16.10 - Birmingham, UK - Hare and Hounds
05.17.10 - Manchester, UK - Salford Saint Trinity Church
05.18.10 - London, UK - Cargo *
05.19.10 - Nottingham, UK - The Social
05.20.10 - London, UK - 93 Feet East
05.21.10 - Nijmegen, Netherlands - Doornroosje
05.22.10 - Ghent, Belgium - Pleasure
05.23.10 - Koln, Germany - TBA
05.24.10 - Milan, Italy - La Casa
05.25.10 - (somewhere in) Switzerland - TBA
05.26.10 - Paris, France - TBA
05.27.10 - Bordeaux, France - Saint Ex **
05.28.10 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound Festival
06.12.10 - Big Sur, CA - Henry Miller Library (Woodsist Fest) ***
06.13.10 - San Francisco, CA - The Independent
06.14.10 - Santa Barbara, CA - Jensen’s ***
06.15.10 - Los Angeles, CA - Echoplex (Woodsist Fest) ***
06.25.10 - Brooklyn, NY - MHOW (Northside Fest Woodsist showcase) ****
07.09.10 - New York, NY - Le Poisson Rouge *****
07.10.10 - Hoboken, NJ - Maxwell’s *****
07.11.10 - Philadelphia, PA - Johnny Brenda’s *****
07.12.10 - Baltimore, MD - Ottobar *****
07.13.10 - Pittsburgh, PA - Garfield Artworks *****
07.14.10 - Cleveland, OH - Beachland Tavern *****
07.15.10 - Bloomington, IN - The Bishop *****
07.17.10 - Chicago, IL - Pitchfork Music Festival *****
07.19.10 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick *****
07.20.10 - Toronto, ON - TBD *****
07.21.10 - Ottawa, ON - Babylon *****
07.22.10 - Montreal, QC - Il Motore *****
07.23.10 - Boston, MA - Harper’s Ferry *****

* Ganglians, Double Dagger
** Ganglians
*** Woods, Kurt Vile
**** Woods, Moon Duo, The Fresh & Onlys, Sic Alps
***** Kurt Vile

• Real Estate:
• Kurt Vile:
• Matador:

The Blow tour Northeast in May with new material

After taking a year-long hiatus from the whole “performance” gig, The Blow (a.k.a. Khaela Maricich) has announced that she will be performing in a select few cities in the Northeast during the month of May. With possible future plans of an LP and an EP in the works, Maricich will be stepping back into the realm of musical and conceptual performance with a newly introduced narrative stage performance to accompany her new tunes. If any of you naysayers need a little rousing in regard to the validity of this performance, Maricich has been developing the narrative aspect in the space of a workshop in collaboration with sound and installation artist Melissa Dyne. The shows will be accompanied by light and spacial aspects brought forth by Dyne.

What is bound to be unfortunate news to some, it appears that the new performance and output will not be in conjunction with Jona Bechtolt as both the last album (TMT Review) and EP were. Though, I promise that this will make you feel at least slightly better.

Expect new material sometime this year, and if you haven’t had a chance to see The Blow present the new material while opening for Vampire Weekend or performing at Harvard or The Baltimore Museum of Art, here are some more chances.

05.04.10 - Buffalo, NY - The Ninth Ward
05.06.10 - Portland, ME - Space
05.07.10 - Winooski, VT - The Monkey House
05.08.10 - Northampton, MA - Iron Horse Music Hall
05.10.10 - Hamden, CT - The Space
05.11.10 - Providence, RI - The Speakeasy (Local 121)
05.13.10 - Brooklyn, NY - Glasslands

• The Blow:

Carla Bozulich hits the European road… in two parts

Carla Bozulich, a.k.a. the girl who used to be in Ethyl Meatplow and The Geraldine Fibbers; collaborator with the likes of Nels Cline, Sarah Lipstate (Noveller), and Willie Nelson; and now leader of her own rawk band Evangelista, is heading out on two European tours. The first tour will see her hitting the stage solo (though flanked by Francesco Guerri on all the dates — not sure if this is a continuation of their Bloody Claws project or something different). The second tour will see her joining up with the rest of her Evangelista crew for another 10 shows, in support of last year’s Prince of Truth (TMT Review) on Constellation Records. This time around, Evangelista will be made up of Bozulich on guitar and vocals, Dominic Cramp on keys, Young Michael Tracy on drums, Andrea Serrapiglio on golden cello, and Tara Barnes on bass and vocals. See if her boat is sailing your way:

With Francesco Guerri:

04.30.10 - Brighton, UK - Freebutt
05.01.10 - Newcastle, UK - The Culture Lab
05.02.10 - Hull, UK - Adelphi
05.03.10 - London, UK - Cafe Oto
05.08.10 - Umeå, Sweden - MADE Festival

With Evangelista:

05.07.10 - Krems, Austria - Donaufestival
05.10.10 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Loppen
05.11.10 - Oslo, Norway - Cafe Mono
05.12.10 - Bergen, Norway - Landmark
05.14.10 - Goeteborg, Sweden - Koloni (Kulturhamnen)
05.15.10 - Rostock, Germany - JAZ
05.19.10 - Groningen, Netherlands - Vera
05.20.10 - Krefeld, Germany - Kulturrampe
05.21.10 - Brussels, Belgium - Maison des Musiques
05.22.10 - Bielefeld, Germany - Bunker Ulmenwall

• Carla Bozulich/Evangelista:
• Constellation:

Grails tour Europe in the spring, revive the Black Tar Prophecies series

Following quickly on the heels of an extremely productive period for Portland sonic benders Grails comes a tour of the Eastern end of the globe. Not only is the band giving Europe a good go-around, they’ll be resurfacing the Black Tar Prophecies series this spring with the release of Black Tar Prophecies IV May 11 on Important Records. Also planned around this time is a reissue of the first three Black Tar volumes, all on a single slab of black vinyl. Magic! Did I say this tour was following their most productive period? Looks like that period isn’t quite over yet.


05.04.10 - Utrecht, Netherlands - Tivoli
05.05.10 - Leuven, Belgium - Stuk
05.06.10 - Leipzig, Germany - Ut Connewitz
05.07.10 - Prague, Czech Republic - Klub 007
05.08.10 - Berlin, Germany - Friction Fest
05.09.10 - Athens, Greece - Sfentona Club
05.11.10 - London, UK - The Luminaire
05.12.10 - Birmingham, UK - Hare and Hound
05.13.10 - Manchester, UK - Ruby Lounge
05.14.10 - Glasgow, UK - Nice n Sleazy’s
05.16.10 - Minehead, UK - All Tomorrow’s Parties

• Grails:
• Important: