Thursday News Roundup

  • While it may not directly concern the indie artists you’re used to hearing on KEXP, it’s worth mentioning that for the first time since 2004, music sales are up, and it’s primarily due to a digital purchasing boom of albums by artists such as Eminem, Beyonce, and Adele. Eminem’s 2010 best-selling release Recovery recently made history by becoming the first album to go platinum (1,000,000 downloads) digitally, and overall, digital album sales are up 19% in 2011 after declining six months into 2010. While it’d be nice to see the likes of Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, and Shabazz Palaces topping the charts, it’s nevertheless encouraging to see that the music industry is finally coming back around and starting to move a significant number of units, even if they’re electronic.

  • Falling somewhere in between the mainstream and indie music scenes are The Raconteurs, Jack White’s project featuring members of The Greenhornes as well as Brendan Benson, and no, they’re not done yet. This September they’ll be playing the MI Fest in Brooklyn, Michigan, and though this is their only scheduled date of 2011, Benson says that a new album “isn’t out of the question.”
  • Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s much-anticipated collaborative album Watch The Throne still has no official release date, it did become available for pre-order. Here’s the not-surprisingly gaudy cover in case you haven’t seen it:

  • British music mag NME recently released their list of the 100 Greatest Music Videos of All-Time, with Johnny Cash’s video for “Hurt” coming in at #1. While there are some good selections, the list seems rather whack to me. I don’t care if you’re going for a more modern feel, not putting “Thriller” in the top 100 should be a criminal offense.
  • Toro y Moi re-mixing Cut Copy? Sound delicious! Listen via Pitchfork here.
  • To get you geared up for Kurt Vile‘s performance at this year’s Capitol Hill Block Party, here’s his recently released video for “Baby Arms” from his 2011 album Smoke Rings For My Halo. The video’s footage comes from fashion photog Todd Cole following a young couple around LA for a day.

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