Author Archives: Time Lord

Chartbusting — Kate Bush

kate-bush-screen-siren

Kate Bush’s concert series this year has kicked off a remarkable return to the charts for her. She is now the first female artist ever to have 8 albums in the Top 40. And all of her albums are currently in the Top 50:

Her achievement is only bettered by Elvis Presley, who took 12 places after his death in 1977, and the Beatles, who scored 11 on their remaster releases in 2009.

Bush’s first chart record came when debut single Wuthering Heights made her the first female artist to reach No.1 with a self-written song. Now her 1986 record The Whole Story has made No.6 while Hounds Of Love, from the previous year, has reached No.9. Further titles are placed at 20, 24, 26, 37, 38 and 40, with three more at 43, 44, and 49. That means her entire back-catalogue is in the top 50.

Kate Bush album chart placings

No. 6: The Whole Story (1986)

No. 9: Hounds Of Love (1985)

No. 20: 50 Words For Snow (2011)

No 24: The Kick Inside (1978)

No. 26: The Sensual World (1989)

No 37: The Dreaming (1982)

No. 38: Never For Ever (1980)

No. 40: Lionheart (1978)

No. 43: Aerial (2005)

No. 44: Director’s Cut (2011)

No. 49: The Red Shoes (1993)

Death of the Album

If the future is streaming, what place is there in the future for the self-contained unit known as “the album”?

Jason Notte provides the sobering statistics:

Juniper Research finds that digital music industry will see worldwide revenue grow from $12.3 billion this year to $13.9 billion in 2019. Juniper’s research indicates that even that growth hinges on the streaming music sector bringing in more cash as sales of digital downloads, ringtones and ringback tones continue to plummet. …

That growth comes as any album that isn’t released on vinyl dies a horrible death. Nielsen Soundscan equates 2,000 streams to one album, but even with that in the equation, album sales are down 3.3% through June. Take streaming out of the mix and you’re looking at a 14.3% drop from the same time last year. The nearly 20% drop in compact disc sales over the last year is almost expected as CDs continue their post-’90s free fall, but the 11.6% drop in digital album sales and 13% drop in digital track sales is far more troubling.

Digital download sales fell for the first time last year and aren’t coming back. People aren’t loading up their smartphones with songs anymore and aren’t carrying iPods anymore.

That’s not great news for the music industry, which uses digital track sales as a crutch to limp toward respectable numbers. When you factor in “Track Equivalent Albums” — a stat that equates 10 of an artist’s tracks with one album — Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, Lorde and Beyonce all had albums sell 1 million copies and go platinum this year. Take those individual tracks away and reduce album sales to strictly physical and digital albums in their entirety, and suddenly Beyonce, Lorde, Coldplay and Eric Church are the only artists to go gold and break 500,000 sales this year. The only album to go platinum by that measure? The soundtrack to Disney’s Frozen, with 2.7 million copies sold in the first six months of 2014.

According to Nielsen, album sales of any kind plummeted from 755 million copies in 1999 to just 290 million last year. Compact disc sales have fallen steadily from 730 million in 2000 to just 165 million last year. This year, the Frozen soundtrack was the only digital album to sell 1 million copies — or even more than 350,000.

Meanwhile, even as digital track sales fall, singles sales remain strong. Pharrell’s Happy sold 5.6 million copies in just six months. Katy Perry and Juicy J’s Dark Horse broke 4 million, but even artists a bit further down the chart are more representative of what anyone’s actually listening to. DJ Snake, Iggy Azalea, Bastille and Aloe Blacc are absent from the first-half album charts, but all sold more than 2 million copies of their singles Turn Down For WhatFancyPompeii and Man.

Move it over to on-demand streaming, and those 2 million to 5 million sales turn into 40 million to 65 million audio streams and 70 million to 120 million video streams. Psy’s Gangnam Style still managed 69 million video streams this year after making more than $1 million off of streaming royalties alone last year. Google CEO Larry Page watched Psy’s viral hit rake in $2 per 1,000 pageviews and called it “a glimpse of the future.” By that measure, the 122 million views Perry’sDark Horse received through June adds up to $244,000 alone. It isn’t seven figures, but it’s a whole lot of cash for one song doing six months of work.

He concludes:

As the music industry continues to gravitate away from an ownership model and toward its streaming future, it’ll take any gains it can get. A robust streaming ecosystem is great for everyone involved, but if cannibalization limits both artist and label options, the same losses plaguing physical album sales and digital album and track sales now could kneecap streaming in the not-so-distant future.

Note that, oddly enough, the Frozen album is available on vinyl, as some people still insist that it is the only way to buy music.

Fooling Yourself: Familiarity Breeds Lack of Contempt

Repetition helps you appreciate a song or an album …

… but be warned that critical thought is also required.

Otherwise you will end up fooling yourself …

…. due to the musical version of “Stockholm syndrome.”

Tom Barnes explains:

we now know that the emotional centers of the brain — including the reward centers — are more active when people hear songs they’ve been played before. In fact, those brain areas are more active even than when people hear unfamiliar songs that are far better fits with their musical taste.

 

The Kate Bush Story: Running Up That Hill

In case you missed it, here is The Kate Bush Story: Running Up That Hill:

This documentary explores Kate Bush’s career and music, from January 1978’s Wuthering Heights to her 2011 album 50 Words for Snow, through the testimony of some of her key collaborators and those she has inspired.

Contributors include the guitarist who discovered her (Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour), the choreographer who taught her to dance (Lindsay Kemp) and the musician who she said ‘opened her doors’ (Peter Gabriel), as well as her engineer and ex-partner (Del Palmer) and several other collaborators (Elton John, Stephen Fry and Nigel Kennedy).

Also exploring their abiding fascination with Kate are some of the musicians who have been influenced by her (John Lydon, St Vincent’s Annie Clark, Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes, Tori Amos, Outkast’s Big Boi, Guy Garvey and Tricky) and some writers and comedians who admire her (Jo Brand, Steve Coogan and Neil Gaiman).

 



Sloan gets “Carried Away” on their new LP Commonwealth

The three tracks released so far from the forthcoming Sloan LP, Commonwealth, sound great.

This one, “Carried Away,” the latest, is my favorite so far, no doubt because it is a Chris Murphy song.

He usually pens all my favorite Sloan songs:

Dave Kerzner previews “Stranded” from his New World

Dave Kerzner is previewing the totally awesome track “Stranded” from his forthcoming album New World over on his Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/davekerznerband/stranded-squids-mix-full-version

“Stranded”
Part 1: Isolation
Part 2: Delirium
Part 3: March of the Machines
Part 4: Source Sublime
Part 5: The Darkness

You will hear many wonderful influences in this stellar track, most obviously Pink Floyd and Genesis.

Dave writes on FB:

Legendary keyboardist/composer Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer premiered “Stranded”, the first song from my album, on Planet Rock this past Sunday! Per his request, they played the entire 10 and a half minutes of it on the radio! Keith told me this today:

 

“…they played the whole of ‘Stranded”. I haven’t known that to happen since Scott Munie of WNEW played all of ELP’s “Pictures…” – Keith Emerson

 

Now that it has been introduced to the public in the most deluxe Progalicious way possible, I’d like to share it with you!

 

This is an early mix of “Stranded” on my Sound Cloud (the final mix is being done by Tom Lord-Alge now).

 

The song features guests Steve Hackett (Genesis), Durga McBroom (Pink Floyd), Nick D’Virgilio (Kevin Gilbert), Jason Scheff (Chicago), Fernando Perdomo, Ana Cristina and myself on lead vocals and keys.

No wonder it sounds so incredible!

Flying Colors — Mask Machine (Official Music Video)

Flying Colors – “Mask Machine” Official Music Video from the new album, “Second Nature” out on Mascot Label Group on September 29 in EU and 30 in USA. http://flyingcolorsmusic.com

Yes — San Jose concert live on the Web tonight

yes-yahoo

YES – Live at San Jose Civic

On 19 August 2014 – Watch the YES live show from San Jose Civic CA – FREE – exclusively on Yahoo Screen.

Setlist: FRAGILE & CLOSE TO THE EDGE in their entireties plus 2 tracks from HEAVEN & EARTH plus more GREATEST HITS!

Showtime: 11:30pm ET / 8:30pm PT / 4:30am UK
Check the show time in your location here.

If you are in the USA you can watch the YES exclusive live concert for free on the Yahoo Screen App, available on iOS for iPhone, iPod & iPad and on Android.

If you miss the live event, don’t worry, the show will also be available to view afterwards on the same website.

District 97 preview

Attention all Progarchists! Time Lord relays and endorses the following message to you all:

Hi everyone,

We’re delighted to give you a sneak peak at a track from our upcoming 3rd studio album. The song is called Takeover, and was filmed on June 12, 2014 at Martyrs': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCyjk-g5T48. Please share this video!

If you’d like to hear this and the rest of our new music on a new album, please consider contributing to our Kickstarter, which launches August 25th!

Kickstarter Launch Shows
In celebration of the Kickstarter Launch, we’ll be playing some live shows. There are 2 confirmed so far, with more to be added:

Thursday, 8/28 @ Double Door
Chicago, IL
w/The Chinese Professionals, Riddle House
8 PM, tickets at http://www.doubledoor.com/event/648139-district-97-chicago/

Friday, 9/5 @ Q-Bar
Darien, IL
w/Riddlehouse
http://q-barandgrill.com/darien/

Other News
Chicago is getting its very own Progfest this October! We’re really happy to be playing alongside bands such as Spock’s Beard, Stick Men, Richard Sinclair and many more. Join us for what should be an amazing weekend:

PROGTOBERFEST, 10/25-26
REGGIES ROCK CLUB
2105 S State St, Chicago, IL 60616
tickets at http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/631771

Thanks for your support everyone!

Jonathan & District 97

Yes to Forever

Will Yes be the first band to transcend generations?

From an awesome new interview with the excellent Jon Davison:

But even with all the lineup changes, Yes’ music retains a dynamic, unmistakable identity that manages to end up being bigger than its individual players. 
That’s right, and it’s similar to the way classical music works. Long after those marvelous composers, like Chopin and Bach and all of them, passed, and the centuries moved forward, their music lives on. It’s not so much about the personality anymore. And people have a hard time seeing that now, because obviously the members [of Yes] are still alive, apart from [original guitarist] Peter Banks, who passed away last year. But it’s so easy to associate the music with the personality, and that causes a lot of conflict among fans. But ultimately, it’s about the music, and just taking the music forward. And there will always be a Yes. And I’m a lover of Jon Anderson as much as I’m a lover of Chris Squire, but you can’t fight it. And when something has that power to it, it’s beautiful, and beauty transcends all of that personality, and it’s always gonna belong, you just can’t put a cap on it and say, “Well, the original members aren’t doing this music anymore, so it’s over.” That can never be. It just can’t be.

It reminds me of the music of Frank Zappa, who composed so much great material with many different lineups — and many different lineups have performed it.
Yeah, that’s exactly it. Art just transcends so much. And when there’s something beautiful and powerful, it’s going to thrive, and you can’t stop it. Each lineup of Yes reflects a new, fresh kind of flavor, if you will. In the grand scheme and topography of Yes. So I think that’s kept it going. I think that’s kept it really fresh. Even the later albums, with “Open Your Eyes,” and so on, those albums are less popular, perhaps, but there was always a nice freshness there, the music was alive, and I think that has to do so much with the unique lineups that keep evolving.

In a recent article, Yes bassist Chris Squire joked, but in a somewhat serious way, that Yes will be around in a hundred years.
For me, when I hear the classic Yes stuff, yeah, I definitely hear that this is a ’70s band — there’s a lot of aspects in it that reveal that. But at the same time, it’s futuristic music. It’s like this thing you can’t quite pinpoint. It’s, like, way ahead of its time. And I still think we haven’t arrived at the point where, OK, we’ve arrived to the full realization of what Yes is. No, it’s like it’s still in the future, and I think that’s why it goes over so many people’s heads.

It’s definitely rock and roll, but at the same time, it has this transcendental quality that you can’t quite pinpoint.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,174 other followers

%d bloggers like this: