At the 62nd Primetime Emmys, The Pacific (eight wins), Modern Family (six wins), and Mad Men (four wins) are the night’s biggest winners.
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Filed under “Unlikely” in the drawer full of possible ‘80s band reunions were the Cars. The Boston New Wave / pop act last released a studio album in 1987, and that effort, Door to Door, was poorly received. Singer Ric Ocasek never seemed too up on the idea, and made a name for himself producing acolytes like Weezer. Singer/bassist Benjamin Orr, who fronted hits like “Just What I Needed” and “Drive”, died of cancer in 2000. And then guitarist Elliot Easton and keyboardist Greg Hawkes hooked up with Todd Rundgren for the dubious-at-best New Cars a few years ago.
But it seems somehow inevitable that here the Cars are, reunited and releasing new material. Ocasek, Easton, Hawkes, and drummer David Robinson are all on board. Move Like This is released May 10. Here’s the lead single, “Blue Tip”. It’s an instantly-recognizable take on the band’s classic sound (before they went a bit soft with Heartbeat City). Robinson’s booming fills are conspicuously absent, but all the other key elements are there. You can be sure Stacy’s Mom is diggin’ it.
The middle of summer saw some interesting events in the TV world, and an unusual roster of programming.
Netflix acquires the rights to stream episodes of Nip/Tuck, Pushing Daisies, Veronica Mars, and Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles.
Linkin Park released a music video for its new single “Burning in the Skies”. The track is one of the few sound and solid songs from A Thousand Suns. It’s also most compelling live. The music video is a disaster mainly because it leaves the band out of the picture, and because it largely relies on a trite, domestic dispute synopsis. Linkin Park can achieve a better form of art.
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.