The music industry is dying. Heard that one lately? You can debate that endlessly, but one thing is certain: the record industry of the last 100 years is coming apart at the seams. Vinyl sales have been steadily escalating (great news!), but those sales combined with all other current mediums (CDs, digital downloads, and yes, cassette tapes) are not making up the ground of the bloated profits once enjoyed in the 1990s. The folks over at Business Insider released two fairly convincing graphs to document this startling decline. The first graph shows that overall sales are down 45% from their peak. However, after they published this one reader noticed that something was missing: inflation. The second graph represents something closer to reality, when adjusted for inflation. Once that is factored in, things are a lot worse than assumed. Since their peak in the late ‘90s, record sales are down a whopping 64%, further bolstering the reality that musicians today have to look elsewhere for sustainable revenue streams. Consider it this way: Eminem topped last year’s sales with 3.4 million. Rewind to 2000. The number one album that year, ‘N Sync’s “No Strings Attached” sold 9.9 million. The biggest question facing the music industry in 2011 is how to actively build new business models that can counter the steady decline of recorded music purchases.
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How best to capture the mirrored, tortured psyches of Victor Frankenstein and his Creature within 61 brief seconds? National Theatre Live’s Frankenstein trailer intercuts dialogue between Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch in a snippet showcasing both actors in both roles. A difficult feat within such a short time frame—but the trailer allows discerning viewers to better understand Miller’s and Cumberbatch’s embodiment of each role. Nuanced speech, an abortive twist or stretch, morphing faces, flashes of insight—based on evidence in this trailer, it’s no wonder the play has become London’s hottest ticket. Although reviews based on preview performances have been mixed, reviews of the official opening (on February 22 and 23, to allow reviewers and audiences to see each actor playing both roles over the course of two nights) should soon indicate if preview problems were resolved. Based on even this brief trailer, whether the play is brilliant or flawed, director Danny Boyle’s, playwright Nick Dear’s, and the actors’ Creation is a worthy experiment.
On Wednesday, the Seattle radio station 107.7 The End premiered a new TV on the Radio song entitled “Will Do”. The track is from the Brooklyn-based band’s forthcoming LP entitled Nine Types of Light. In a blurb for the debut, The End says the group’s new album will be released on April 12.
You can check out the track and the band’s upcoming tour dates below.
Most faces in Yael Hersonski’s film belong to residents of the Warsaw ghetto, looking back at the Nazis filming them in May 1942. Preserved in a 62-minute project titled “Das Ghetto”, today they’re both haunted and haunting, their skin stretched tight and their eyes unavoidable. The Third Reich, narrates Israeli musician Rona Kenan, was “an empire infatuated with the camera, that knew so well to document its own evil, passionately, systematically, like no other nation before it.” This infatuation is visible everywhere in A Film Unfinished, which sorts through memories, traumas, and images without clear contexts, to produce a discomfort more resonant than that of “disturbing images of Holocaust atrocities including graphic nudity” that led the MPAA to give the documentary an unusual R rating.
“Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.”—Friedrich Nietzsche
Phil Nisco’s video is a fine piece of visual storytelling in its own right. Set to “Jupiter” by Free the Robots (a.k.a. Chris Alfaro), from the producer’s 2010 sophomore album CTRL ALT DELETE, and starring Alfaro himself, Chris is also seen as an emotionally commanding artist in his own right. This is a win-win winner.