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by Eleanore Catolico

13 Oct 2009

Nigerian-born, German-based soul artist Nneka is set to release her US debut Concrete Jungle. Nneka derives her sound from the likes of Bob Marley, Nina Simone, and Erykah Badu. In Concrete Jungle, Nneka’s voice is the resounding instrument of hope driving the record, shifting from palpable desire to invigorated fury. Listen to Concrete Jungle‘s first single “The Uncomfortable Truth” and check out her upcoming U.S. tour dates.

Nneka
The Uncomfortable Truth [MP3]
     

by Sean McCarthy

13 Oct 2009

Rock journalists have a habit of bending a band’s history into a Behind the Music-style template. Said band struggles through a few years of obscurity. Said band releases an album that catapults them into superstardom. Huge tours, massive amounts of drugs and internal arguments, combined with the inability to cope with newfound fame begin to corrode said band. And if the lead singer of said band band is famously standoffish to the press, and the follow-up album either contains no discernible hits or challenges listener expectations, the album is written off as a “career suicide” album.

Pulp’s This Is Hardcore quickly joined Faith No More’s Angel Dust and Nirvana’s In Utero as a perceived career suicide album upon its release. It certainly fit the career suicide mold: The album didn’t contain any instantaneously appealing songs like their previous album Different Class, the band was going through some heavy internal conflict and lead singer Jarvis Cocker opted to jet to New York to decompress over the holidays. Alone. Around this time, longtime Pulp guitarist/violinist Russell Senior left the band.

Down a longtime bandmember and in full isolation mode, Cocker could have easily written an album about what an utter bitch fame was. But just as he was able to strike a universal chord with the class warfare call to arms classics “Miss Shapes” and “Common People”, Jarvis tackled something even scarier than fame backlash: the inevitable acceleration of middle age.

by Eleanore Catolico

13 Oct 2009

Astro Boy is the upcoming animated 3D movie based on the popular Japanese manga series by Osamu Tezuka. Freddie Highmore of Finding Neverland and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory gives voice to Astro Boy, a young robot who must save Metro City from the destructive hands of robot gladiators, led by Hamm Egg (Nathan Lane). Other vocal talents include Nicolas Cage, Kristen Bell, and Donald Sutherland. The movie is set to hit theaters October 23rd.

by Faye Rasmussen

13 Oct 2009

The Temper Trap’s debut release, Conditions, comes out today, October 13th. If the Melbourne band sounds familiar, it may be due to their contribution on the 500 Days Of Summer soundtrack with their single, “Sweet Disposition”. In addition to the release of their first album today, you can also spot the band tonight on Jimmy Kimmel. They are starting a U.S. tour this week, singing their new ten track album along the way. Here’s a single off the new album, “Down River”.

The Temper Trap
Down River [MP3]     

by Rachel Balik

13 Oct 2009

Last week, Randall Stross wrote an article in the New York Times called “Will Books Be Napsterized?”. Stross reports as more readers opt for e-books over print or audio versions, the usual slew of piracy web sites that traffics in free music downloads is making it possible to download e-books for free. In other words: more grim news for the already beaten-down publishing industry. Book sales have been plummeting for the past two years anyway; the article reports a 13% decrease in 2008 and a 15.5% decrease in July 2009. Of course sales were down in every industry in 2009, but everyone knows that the book industry has troubles of its own.

The business model has never been particularly cost effective, with publishers footing the bill for printing, shipping copies off to booksellers and hoping for the best. E-books are certainly a more viable model in terms of overhead costs, but if the piracy of e-books takes off, the publishing industry is in big trouble. And of course, that’s not really an “if”. The piracy of e-books will take off, and it’s inevitable that books are headed down the path of CDS: towards the graveyard.

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