Monday News

  • The jury’s still out on whether or not the increase in online sales this year benefits a wider range musical artists. According to UK’s The Times, a recent report on music sales this year claims that only 15% of all albums available were ever purchased online, even once. This goes against the popular Long Tail theory, proposed by Wired‘s Chris Anderson, which states that more diversity of items means more spread out sales. Though Anderson is skeptical of the data in this new report, it looks like online purchases may reflect the steeper curve of brick and mortal sales, so what’s good for Alicia Keys and Lil Wayne might not be for your favorite independent artists.
  • Despite the overall slump in sales this year, there’s still reason to be optimistic for next year. At least U2 thinks so, as they’ve just announced plans to release their upcoming album, No Line On The Horizon, in five formats! Besides the CD and vinyl editions, there will be three limited editions formats.
  • Bruce Springsteen is also looking to start the new year strong with Working on a Dream, his followup to 2007’s Magic. He writes on his website that he and the band began recording what he calls a “‘love in the time of Bush’ meditation” before Magic was even finished. The Boss credits his work with producer Brendan O’Brien for getting “a steadier stream of our best music out to our fans,” something you can look forward to in years to come.

  • Franz Ferdinand are also readying their latest, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand out January 26. Here’s a “studio edit” of their single “Ulysses”:

  • A couple of freebies from other upcoming albums are now available. You can download Arcade Fire‘s “Burning Bridges,” a previously unreleased track from the Neon Bible Archives by signing up at their promotional site for Mirroir Noir, their new DVD project. You can also download a new song from Black Lips‘ February release, 200 Million Thousand:

Black Lips – Starting Over (MP3)

  • One heck of a holiday gift with ties to the Northwest was just purchased recently: a smashed guitar once owned by Kurt Cobain. The held-together-by-duct-tape Fender Mustang, recently on display at the Experience Music Project, was bought at auction by an unidentified collector for $100,000.
  • The U.S. economy isn’t the only one ailing right now. Iceland’s banking system faced full collapse before the government intervened, and now among those attempting to assist the once booming country is perhaps their most famous native daughter, Bjork. Partnering with Reykjavik’s Audur Capital, the singer has helped start a venture-capital fund to help finance new businesses and is currently looking for other investors.
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