RIAA Reports 23% of Revenue from Digital Music, Vinyl Sales Up

You knew this already. CD sales are going down, while digital music and vinyl sales are going up. Just last week, the RIAA released a PDF file that includes the total 2007 shipment statistics, which not only confirms these specific trends, but includes other interesting ones.

First, here's the physical chart:

You'll notice that vinyl LP and EP shipments went up 36.6% compared to last year. Fetishists want their fidelity, and since a lot of vinyl now come with free digital downloads, it makes complete sense. Meanwhile, SACDs (Super Audio CD) lowered a total of 73% compared to 2006, showing how the bells and whistles added onto the CD format -- which itself lowered 17.5% compared to last year -- have done nothing but confuse consumers.

Interestingly, vinyl singles went down 58.5%, while CD singles went up 51.5%. Perhaps it's due to the trend of some DJs converting to digital turntables coupled with the bargain bin recycling mentality of 12-inch buyers? Actually, with such an unfocused market, there could be many reasons for this (marketing, availability, etc.). But there's no doubt that the emphasis of the so-called vinyl resurgence is on full-length albums.

Now, here's the digital chart:

It's clear that everything on this chart indicates a rise in digital music, except of course on the subscription end (which has still yet to see real mainstream acceptance/marketing). The percentage changes aren't as pronounced as it was from 2005-2006, but with digital music already accounting for 23% of RIAA's total revenue, it'll be interesting to see what happens next year. Contrary to the physical chart, digital music is still ruled by single tracks, not albums.

Since these statistics are only for RIAA music, it'd be especially worthwhile to see figures for independent music. I'm guessing the rise in vinyl and digital would be equally, if not more, dramatic.

Glastonbury Lineup Leak Blamed on Printer, Full Lineup Revealed Today

Here's another reason why the NME is funnier than The Onion. Yesterday, the NME revealed the lineup for Glastonbury Festival 2008 and claimed the story as a "world exclusive." However, not only did the "exclusive" contain factual errors, but it also only reported three stages (out of eight). Turns out, the NME somehow obtained a leaked version of an incomplete lineup, which fest organizer Emily Eavis blamed on... a printer? Weird. BUT BOY DID NME'S HITS GO UP.

Well, I'm proud to report our "world un-exclusive": Glastonbury has officially announced the full lineup for this year's festivities. Supporting headliners Jay Z, Kings of Leon (ugh), and The Verve will be hundreds of artists, like Spiritualized, Leonard Cohen, The National, Jimmy Cliff, John Cale, Battles, Kool Keith, My Morning Jacket, Manu Chao, and more, spread across eight different stages. And I'm going to see every single one of them.

Glastonbury 2008 will be held June 27-29. Check out the full lineup here (no, Radiohead aren't on there), and don't forget to read about the biodegradable tent pegs! Can't have enough biodegradable tent pegs.

Fiery Furnaces Get to Tour While I Am Forced to Make a Living Reporting Their Tourdates, That’s Democracy for You!

You know, here at the TMT offices, we have things "pretty good" by office-work standards (well, maybe not by Google's office-work standards or anything, but still). I mean, heck, most people would love to have a laid-back gig like this. We get to write and bullshit about bands and music all day; Mr P got us a Jack La Lanne juicer this past Christmas (or as we call it "The Mimosa Machine"); we've got that sweet Back to the Future pinball machine in the lounge; we don't really have to roll in until like 11:00 AM (the tourdate kid just kinda punches us all in at 9 so the books look legit); aaaaaand we get TONS of free promos (the next two Radiohead albums are gonna be awesome, by the way, but the three after that are a bit of a retread).

All in all, I dare say that we've got it made.

But despite all of the glitz and glamor, there's still a part of me that longs for... I don't know, MORE. Like, sometimes, right in the middle of the daily TMT Uno game, I'll catch myself daydreaming: Man, if only I could be in an indie rock band of my own! Take the Brooklyn-via-Chicago avant-rock duo the Fiery Furnaces. They are going on tour next month in support of last fall's Widow City (TMT Review), and I bet being on the road is frickin' awesome! Especially for those crazy, prog-fusion a-holes! If only I were a touring member of their band... then I'd be happy. Then I'd be fullfilled. Then I'd MAKE the news instead of just cleverly reporting it! Sigggghhhhh, that'll be the day...

...But then, someone invariably shouts-out "Uno!" and it's back to lousy, old reality again.

Oh well... Mimosa, anyone??
05.02.08 - Minneapolis, MN - Whole Music Club
05.17.08 - Bennington, VT - Bennington College
05.28.08 - Sacramento, CA - Harlow's Night Club *
05.29.08 - San Francisco, CA - Great American Music Hall *
05.30.08 - Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland *
05.31.08 - Los Angeles, CA - Spaceland *
06.01.08 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up Tavern *
06.02.08 - Pomona, CA - The Glass House *
06.03.08 - Tucson, AZ - Plush Room *
06.05.08 - Aspen, CO - Belly Up Aspen *
06.06.08 - Boulder, CO - Fox Theatre *
06.07.08 - Denver, CO - Bluebird Theater *
06.09.08 - Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room *
06.10.08 - Des Moines, IA - Vaudeville Mews *
06.11.08 - Kansas City, MO - The Record Bar *
06.12.08 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant **
06.27.08 - Pemberton, BC - Pemberton Music Festival

* Grand Ole Party

** The Raconteurs

Guitarspotting: Guitar Junkies Get Their Fix at the U.S. Premiere of Rhys Chatham’s “Les 100 guitares”

Sit down. Me and your sister, and your ex-girlfriend Jamie, and your roommate, and that creepy guy who fixes things up around the apartment complex want to have a talk with you. We know you've been going through a lot, but I think it's time we sat down and had a real discussion. Lately, all the music you've been listening to has been so loud, so full of six-strings, so -- rock ‘n’ roll. We're doing this because we love you. This is an intervention. We think you display some of the classic signs of being a GUITARAHOLIC.

That's why we want you to stay as far away from Williamsport, Pennsylvania on Friday, May 23 as possible. The temptation of attending Rhys Chatham's new composition "Les 100 guitares: G100" could just be too much. This is the first time Chatham will be performing any of his guitarcentric compositions in America. The man is dangerous to people in your condition -- he's a classically-trained musician who cut his teeth in the world of 100 guitar pieces in the late 1970s with luminaries like Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, and Glenn Branca. Chatham's latest piece is a reworking of his "Guitar Trio" composition and will be performed alongside Robert Longo's "Pictures for Music," a film that was originally used in some of Chatham's first performances.

And who will be rocking the 100 guitars, you ask? Well, certainly not you. Unless you are a member of the Pennsylvania Uptown Music Collective, Akron/Family, USA is a Monster, Town and Country, Megafaun, San Agustin, or ex-Swans drummer Jonathan Kane. It's certainly no place for you to be at this time. What you need is some time away -- perhaps a high school flute competition would be just what you need

05.23.08 - Williamsport, PA - Community Arts Center

Beck’s Experience Argument Is Bogus; It’s Time for Some Sea Change

Top three reasons Beck (a.k.a. Bek David Campbell) should withdraw from music now:

1. His experience argument is bogus. Even if it were true, experience is historically a poor predictor of musical success. Further, anyone who claims to be prepared to be a musician “from day one” is lying -- no experience can prepare you for being a musician.
2. If Beck decides to continue trying to be a musician, his success will become a lesson in how other humans should achieve power: marry well; put up with any humiliations your husband/wife throws at you, and then, if you fight dirty and ask your husband/wife to teach you guitar, you might be able to ride their coattails to your “own” musical success.
3. Beck is relying on the laziness and stupidity of the American people to attack other musicians unfairly: through lies, distortions, and other unconscionable means, such as recording an album with Danger Mouse and re-releasing Odelay earlier this year. It just goes to prove the most dangerous place to be in America is between Beck and a music stage.

Time to step aside, Beck. It's just not your time.

Search, Seizure, and Destruction: Atlanta Officials Destroy $20 Million Worth of Pirated Material; Thousands of copies of Madonna’s Confessions Remixed, Gone. Just Gone.

Somewhere in Atlanta there's a dumpster filled with $20 million worth of shredded CDs and DVDs, destroyed by RIAA, MPAA, and Atlanta Police officials last week in what was the largest destruction of seized property in recent U.S. history.

Destroyed at the Atlanta Police Department Headquarters, the illicit property seized in a series of raids was estimated to have a market worth of $20 million, though it's impossible to imagine anyone paying market value for an advanced rip of Nas' Nigger packaged in a Ziploc® baggy with a grayscale inkjet printout of the cover. But you just never know.

"Individuals selling cds for cheap on the street corner are not just small-time peddlers -- they are fronts for larger criminal organizations that steal music by the millions of cds," stated Brad Buckles, Executive VP of the RIAA's Anti-Piracy League. "These groups are also often involved in other illegal activity such as narcotics and weapons trade [and] threaten the health and safety of Atlanta's neighborhoods." And by saying so, Buckles effectively overstepped boundaries by assuming far more than he's paid to assume.

Fulton County Sheriff Myron Freemon, District Attorney Paul Howard Jr., and U.S. Director of MPAA Anti-Piracy Operations Kevin Suh (all in attendance for this monumental day of justice) couldn't have agreed more.

Defense for the unprecedented destruction of perfectly good material also included the high costs of piracy to the U.S. economy. Reportedly, global music piracy has (dubiously) cost the U.S. economy $12.5 billion in lost revenue, 71,000 jobs, and $2 billion in wages to U.S. workers, at an estimated $1.6 billion annually. The worldwide motion picture industry purportedly lost $18.2 billion in 2005 alone as a result of piracy, attributing $7 billion in loses to internet piracy and $11 billion to hard-good piracy, such as bootlegging and illegal copying.

"We want to encourage consumers to purchase DVDs from legitimate retailers and from legal download sites to ensure they are buying genuine high quality copies of the movies they love and to help protect one of America's greatest exports," said Suh. So, the best way to "encourage consumers" was a massive police seizure and destruction event? Boy, I'm encouraged already.

Faust Tourdaten bring Sommerfreude!

Naughty cabarets. Rainer Werner Fassbinder. My surname. Germany has given us so much over the years, and most certainly one of those greatest contributions is Krautrock. And while most of those things will likely NOT be coming your way soon (because they are either immobile, dead, or penniless), take heart! music fans, because the legendary 1970s Krautrock innovators Faust are conducting a mini-tour! Original members Zappi Diermaier and JH Peron are bringing some friends on the road to practice their English language skills in Ireland and the UK.

And be sure to lookout for In Autum, a 3CD/1DVD boxset of live material from their 2005 UK tour.

Ah, sehr, sehr gut!

“Someday in the Future, Frog Eyes Will Tour with Evangelicals. Probably June-ish.” –Nostradamus

A man was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess." He bent over, picked up the frog, and put it in his pocket.

The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will tell everyone how smart and brave you are and how you are my hero" The man took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it, and returned it to his pocket.

The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will be your loving companion for an entire week." The man took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it, and returned it to his pocket.

The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you for a year and do ANYTHING you want." Again, the man took the frog out, smiled at it, and put it back into his pocket.

Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess, that I'll stay with you for a year and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me? Are you gay or something?"

The man didn't reply. But the joke wasn't on the woman -- it was on the man. He was deaf.

Frog Eyes tourdates:

& Bishop Allen

Grand Archives Tour, Annapocalypse Gets Older

My birthday was this week, and because of that, I decided to throw out all the rules of journalism for the remainder of this news story. Silly? Yes. But it's my birthday week, and I can do what I want, damnit! So, here is a story about a band called Grand Archives all in one sentence and with limited punctuation:

Grand Archives are from Seattle and feature Mat Brooke, a former guitarist from Band of Horses -- they are on tour this summer and you should go see them play live because their debut self-titled album just came out on Sub Pop and it’s really awesome and has cool songs like “A Crime Window” which is fast and “Sleepdriving” which is not so fast and I’m sure they would be a fun live band although I have not seen them live I am contemplating going to their show at the Empty Bottle in June.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have birthday cake to finish:

FreeKY Fest Tomorrow with Apples in Stereo, Hair Police, and The Coup

The University of Kentucky's student-run radio station (WRFL-FM 88.1) is celebrating 20 years of being commercial-free (if only TMT could be ad-free) with the 12-hour FreeKY Fest. AND IT'S FREE! Featuring artists like Apples in Stereo, Hair Police, Mahjongg, The Coup, and Robert Bobbert (a.k.a. Robert Schneider) & the Bubble Machine, the festival will be held tomorrow, Saturday, April 26, in downtown Lexington. It'll also showcase interactive art installations, live action art demonstrations, breakdancing, and even a children's concert, which will kick things off at 11 AM. Hope the children stick around for Hair Police!

Here's the schedule:

- 11am-Noon – Children's Concert performances including:

Robbert Bobbert & the Bubble Machine, Pezhed and the Blipsquad, Rakadu Gypsy Dance, Snow Monster!

- 12:30-1:30pm – Big Fresh presents "A History of College Radio"
- 2:00-2:30pm – Indian Dewali & Punjab dance performance
- 3:00-4:00pm – The Health & Happiness Family Gospel Band
- 4:30-5:00pm – Hair Police
- 5:30-6:30pm – Mahjongg
- 7:00-8:00pm – The Coup
- 8:30-9:30pm – Jolie Holland
- 10:00-11:00pm – The Apples in Stereo

Read more about FreeKY Fest here, and find out how you can help WRFL here. And if you've ever been curious about the antelope, check out this page.