Monday News Mash-Up

Zooey Deshanel with M. Ward

Zooey Deschanel with M. Ward at KEXP
photo by Christopher Nelson

  • 2008 was a great year for music, so we’re told. The industry bigwigs would like to think otherwise now that Coolfer has released 2008 sales figures. In what is a surprise only to executives still in the musical dark ages, CD sales continued to plummet, down 20% from 2007 totals, while digital sales — album and individual tracks — continue to soar. The biggest surprise lies in vinyl, with LP sales rising 92% to prove once again that everything that was once uncool is now cool again.
  • If you need more evidence that digital files are taking over the world, Torrent Freak announced the new partnership between torrent site and indie label Open Your Eyes Records. Though only one artist strong, three year-old Open Your Eyes will exclusively bring new releases to’s torrent tracker all the while keeping the bittorrent site’s patrons up to date on all things Open Your Eyes.
  • Wilco — you know, those Chicagoans who rally for Obama and make albums that take an extra year to see the light of day — are set to drop some new goodies on fans and haters alike. In an e-mail to fans over the holidays, the boys confirmed that Ashes of American Flags, a live DVD filmed in Nashville and Tulsa in February 2008, will see the light of day early in 2009. The bigger piece of news was confirmation that the band anticipates its next studio release to drop sometime in the summer.
  • Of all the outfits Icelandic beauty Bjork has donned, we wonder how she’d look in a pants suit? Perhaps we’ll soon find out as Bjork teams with Reykjavik-based firm to form the self-titled venture capitalist fund, BJORK. According to Billboard, the group plans to invest in environmentally and socially responsible businesses in hopes of resurrecting Iceland’s struggling economy.
  • It appears that She & Him/Yes Man chanteuse Zooey Deschanel has a new him in her life. Every music and paparazzi outlet available is reporting the engagement of Deschanel to local indie icon Ben Gibbard. Somewhere M. Ward is pouring his loneliness into song — maybe for his upcoming solo return, February 17th’s Hold Time.
  • In sad news for Seattle’s hip hop scene, during a show at last night at Chop Suey, three men were shot, one fatally. The Slog reports from a witness that “someone opened up the side door at Chop Suey, opened fire and fled.” Seattle area MC 29-E was killed in the shooting and 1st Black Prez remains in critical condition. Trama from Black Senate was also shot. Police have two people in custody but are looking for a third suspect. Go here and here for more info.
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