Tag Archives: 2009

Radiohead: Live in Prague on August 23, 2009

“On August 23rd 2009, a group of Radiohead fans descended on the Výstaviště Holešovice Exhibition Hall in Prague on a mission to capture the band playing using as many different angles as possible. Bringing together the exceptional talents of many contributors, here’s a glimpse of the result.”

After learning about the project Radiohead gave the makers of the video the soundboard recordings of the show (this means the sound quality is excellent.)

Watch/Listen Here

Click Here to download the whole show to your computer.


Continue reading “Radiohead: Live in Prague on August 23, 2009” »

Girls – “Hellhole Ratrace”

I’m just getting around to listening to Album by Girls (released on September 22, 2009) and I’ve been enjoying it a quite a bit on my first listens and in particular I’ve been loving “Hellhole Ratrace” which is track #6 and easily the longest song on Album (nearly 7 minutes long.)

It’s a really beautiful heart wrenching song that has a mesmerizing slow burn quality. In fact, it reminds me of the masters of “mesmerizing slow burn” music, Spiritualized (especially the Let It Come Down album.)

I think one of the things that really shows how effective “Hellhole Ratrace” is as a slow burn epic is that it doesn’t seem to be anywhere near as long as it’s 6 minute, 56 second running time to me. Sometimes I even play it again when it’s finished.

This song is actually not very representative of the rest of Album which mostly have more of an upbeat ragged retro pop thing going on. There are quite a few other songs that I think could be standouts too, but it’s this one that has my attention at the moment. I definitely recommend checking it out. You can download it at Amazon MP3 for just 99 cents.

US Music Download Sales Hit New Peak In 2009

On January 10th I did a post about US vinyl album sales in 2009 and how the 2.5 million vinyl LPs sold in 2009 was a new peak since Soundscan started keeping track in 1991. This climb in vinyl sales has been a sharp climb from just under one million in 2007 to 1.8 million in 2008 to 2.5 million in 2009.

Vinyl sales weren’t the only music sales climbing in 2009 because US music download sales hit an all time high. A new record was set for digital album sales (76.4 million, a climb of 16% from 2008) and for digital track sales (1.159 billion, a climb of 8%.) Yes, you read that correctly – there were over a billion digital downloads sold last year.

Meanwhile, US CD sales continued to drop (there were 12% less CDs sold in 2009 than there were in 2008.) Yes, there were still far more CD sales than digital album sales (almost 300 million vs 76 million) but when you consider the billion+ single track downloads (which you could think of as about the equivalent of 100 million more digital album sales) than the lead CDs have over digital downloads isn’t as big as it appears to be (and it’s shrinking rather quickly.) Continue reading “US Music Download Sales Hit New Peak In 2009” »

Great Bands I’ve Discovered Over The Past Year

Some of the bands listed here released their debut album in 2009 so it’s no surprise that I’ve only recently “discovered” their music. On the other hand, some of them have been around for good long while and I’ve only recently gave them a good listen.

What’s the point of this list? The idea is if you see some bands on here that you really like then you may want to check out some of the other bands that you haven’t heard yet.

The Aliens

As a big fan of The Beta Band (although I have never been able to really get into their last album, Heroes to Zeroes) and of Lone Pigeon’s first album (Concubine Rice – I haven’t got around to his second one) checking out The Aliens seems like a no brainer but I only recently got around to it. Continue reading “Great Bands I’ve Discovered Over The Past Year” »

Top Ten Selling Vinyl Albums of 2009

After finding (and posting here) the top ten selling vinyl albums of 2008 last year I wanted to do the same thing this year when the numbers became available and they have and so I am.

These numbers come from soundscan which has been keeping track of album sales since 1991. The 2.5 million new vinyl albums sold in 2009 in the US is the most sold since soundscan started keeping track. While digital download sales and vinyl sales are on the rise, CD sales are dropping every year (they dropped another 12% from 2008 to 2009.)

#01 The Beatles – Abbey Road – 34,800 (#2 in ’08)
#02 Michael Jackson – Thriller – 29,800
#03 Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion – 14,000
#04 Wilco – Wilco – 13,200
#05 Fleet Foxes – Fleet Foxes – 12,700 (#8 in ’08)
#06 Pearl Jam – Backspacer – 12,500
#07 Grizzly Bear – Veckatimest – 11,600
#08 Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction – 11,500
#09 Dave Matthews Band – Big Whiskey… – 11,500
#10 Radiohead – In Rainbows – 11,400 (#1 in ’08)

Michael Jackson, Taylor Swift, & The Beatles: Top Sellers of 2009

Soundscan is out with their final sales numbers for 2009 and the three biggest sellers of the year were Michael Jackson with 8.3 million albums sold, Taylor Swift with 4.6 million albums sold, and The Beatles with 3.3 million albums sold.

That a pop singer known mostly for his work in the 1980s and a band that recorded all of their music in the 1960s (except for “I Me Mine” which was recorded on January 3, 1970) were 2 of the top 3 sellers of 2009 is quite remarkable.

When looking at these numbers one should also consider that each sale of The Beatles in Stereo Box Set & The Beatles in Mono Box Set only counted as one album sale even though the stereo set includes 14 albums (two of which were double albums) and the mono set includes 11 albums (and it has two double albums too.)

If the albums in the box sets were counted as individual album sales The Beatles probably would have challenged MJ for the top spot. Unfortunately I don’t have access to the exact number of box sets they sold so I can’t make the calculation.

The Hype Machine’s Top Ten Artists & Albums of 2009

Today The Hype Machine revealed the top ten artists & albums of 2009. The artists were ranked by how frequently the music blogs on this list posted their songs and the albums were ranked by compiling 550 blogger top ten lists.

It makes me feel quite removed from the “zeitgeist” of new music when I look at these lists because there are quite a few of the artists & albums that I’ve never heard. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a single song by the #2 artist: Passion Pit. I’m not proud of this ignorance either like some old curmudgeon, I feel I should at least give these new (to me) bands one good open minded listen. I’ll get to listening to Passion Pit today. Continue reading “The Hype Machine’s Top Ten Artists & Albums of 2009” »

The Hype Machine’s Music Blog Zeitgeist of 2009

This week The Hype Machine is unveiling the top 50 artists & albums of 2009 (ten are revealed each weekday.)

The lists were compiled based on how often the artists and albums were mentioned on the music blogs on this list (no, MusicByDay.com isn’t on the list but we’re not nearly as focused on new music as most music blogs so our feelings aren’t hurt too much. After all, the top artist of 2009 here was The Beatles.)

Anyway, I’m finding the lists to be pretty interesting thus far. Check ‘em out.

Seven 2009 Albums To Check Out

I haven’t heard every album released in 2009 (not by a long shot) so I think it’d be a bit presumptuous to claim these seven albums to be the best albums of the year, instead these are just seven albums released in 2009 that I’ve enjoyed and that I think you may enjoy as well. They’re listed alphabetically by artist/band name.

I’m also going to include each album’s rank (if it has any) on Pitchfork’s top 50 albums list and RateYourMusic.com‘s current rankings for the top 2009 albums (these rankings are fluid and can change in the future) along with it’s current Amazon.com sales rank among it’s music bestsellers (this is a very fluid ranking of course, so it’s just a snapshot of the album’s commercial appeal at the end of the year.)

Animal Collective – Merriweather Post Pavilion

This album has received nearly universal acclaim. I think this is because it’s taken the Animal Collective’s experimental approach and made it somewhat more accessible. That’s not to say this is a Lady GaGa album, or even a MGMT album. I still think this is pretty “difficult” music and that if you played the CD for most normal people they’d say something like “what the hell is this bunch of random noise?” or “it’s just the same damn noise over and over again!” Continue reading “Seven 2009 Albums To Check Out” »

Eight Beatles Releases On The Christmas 2009 Billboard 200 Chart

On the final Billboard 200 album chart prior to Christmas a total of eight Beatles releases made the top 200 sellers of the week:

#082 Abbey Road (1969)
#085 The White Album (1970)
#099 The Beatles in Stereo Box Set (2009)
#126 1 (2000)
#130 Sgt. Pepper’s… (1967)
#163 Rubber Soul (1965)
#170 Revolver (1966)
#184 Love (2006)

Not a bad showing considering that John, Paul, George, & Ringo last recorded together (Abbey Road‘s “Because”) on August 5, 1969 (although everyone but John did get together to record Let It Be‘s “I Me Mine” on January 3, 1970 – the only Beatles recording session in the ’70s.)

Go to The Beatles Amazon.com Store to buy any (or all) of the Beatles discography.

Correction: I missed one. Past Masters was in at #177 and I missed it for some reason. So they actually had 9 releases among the top 200.