Every year seems like "the best year for music since (insert year here)," and 2015 is no different. As we put our Mid-Year Top 10 albums together, many writers had to make changes at the last minute - there is too much good music out there. First world problem problems aside, we have listened to an abundance of great albums this year, so we picked our Top 10 favourites for you all to check out. From Kendrick Lamar to The Sidekicks to Jamie xx, you can expect to find all sorts of albums in our collective or individual lists. Head over to the replies to check it all out, and make sure to join the discussion - we would love to hear about your favourite albums of 2015. Enjoy!
Ethan Kaplan, writing for TechCrunch, on how the music industry could move toward a service model.
The problem? The music industry is still organized to support the traditional retail and digital sales cycle. As subscription services become the dominant source of revenue for recorded music, the entire business will have to shift gears to survive.
Itís no longer about pre-sales and Week 1, itís about nurturing an audience month-over-month to drive loyalty and increase returns on a streaming service platform. All of the promotion dollars and methods to support Week 1 have to be retooled for a longer cycle, up to 6 months in many cases.
Rather than agonise about Spotifyís model, artists might do better to direct some pointed questions closer to home if they really want to understand why their royalty cheques are so small. The economics of the music business have changed vastly in recent years. The deals they have with the music labels have not.
It is a point highlighted in a recent report from EY, the professional services firm, and the French record label industry association SNEP, which looked at where streaming revenues end up. What this showed is that while artists and songwriters share about 17...
On June 29, Mark, age 32, was allegedly sentenced in Michigan for an offense of "maintaining a drug house." While he was not sent to prison, Mark appears to have received a year of probation. As such, travel restrictions likely apply, leaving Mark unable to continue touring for the foreseeable future.
Some new certifications for Fall Out Boy: "Centuries" is now 3x platinum, while both "Immortals" and "Uma Thurman" went gold. Also, "Uma Thurman" is climbing the hot 100 (#44 for now) and American Beauty/American Psycho (number five on our mid-year list) is the tenth best-selling album in the country so far with 813k equivalent copies sold (for sales only, it's the eighth best-selling, with 478k).
Jason Call of Daphne Loves Derby recently covered an unreleased Relient K song called "Look On Up." The band was previewing the new song during their 10 year anniversary run of Mmhmm. Video in the replies.
Coheed and Cambria's first single "You Got Spirit Kid" off their upcoming album is available for listening via lyric video, which you can check it out in the replies. The new record, titled The Color Before the Sun (out October 9th), will be the band's first non-conceptual album.
Our interview with Simple Plan can be read here. The band's new album will be released this fall.
For us, it's exciting, because we've got to keep growing and we have to adapt and try new things. It's a weird thing as a band, especially as you have more longevity, it's almost like you can't win because you don't have the excitement of being the brand new band. So people are like, "Okay, what have you got now? It's your fifth record."
This week, I'll be chatting with The Good Life, who are releasing their first album in eight years - Everybody's Coming Down - on August 14th. If you've got any questions for the band, feel free to leave them in the replies!
To return the favor, we're having a contest. All you have to do is create a Spotify playlist of your favorite music -- MPPA and beyond. Chris and I will choose our favorite 20 playlists and those people will receive an invite to a record release show at my house in Kingston, NY on July 10th. In order to participate, please share the playlist on social media using the hashtag #lookupstate.
We Take Fire have a new EP coming out, entitled Movies Where the Dog Dies. It's currently up for preorder via More Than Me records. It's math rock a la Tera Melos or even TTNG, only it's a bit catchier than both. Fans of either group should find something to love here. Luckily for them, we're streaming the whole thing. Check out the EP on the band's AP.net profile.
Our good friend Ryan Russell has a great acoustic performance series titled Nervous Energies, and weíre big fans of it here on AbsolutePunk. Today, weíre premiering part of a session Ryan did with acoustic singer/songwriter Grey Gordon, who is currently out on the Vans Warped Tour, performing at the Acoustic Basement all summer long. Performed on a nylon stringed guitar, ďGraceĒ details Gordonís frustration with someone who has inflicted pain on those around them. You can check the song out as part of his split with Chris Farren. Head to the replies to check it out.
The UK's venerable rock magazine NME announced that it will be offering its magazine as a free weekly edition starting in September. NME has seen its readership decline year after year, so this should at the very least grab some old fans back into the magazine fray.
The new free magazine launches on September 18 in the UK. As I type this, some of the NME team are locked away in a dark basement in NME Towers working on even more ideas to make sure itís not only a brilliant magazine, but that it gives you everything you asked us for. Iím confident that it will.
Recently-reunited post-hardcore favorites From Autumn to Ashes sadly had to drop off their upcoming tour, but we have a special Live Session from the band to make up for it. The hour-and-a-half set was captured at the Brighton Music Hall in Allston, MA on June 18th. Despite it being the first date of their run, the group showed no sign of rust as they played songs from their entire discography. A highlight includes the 10-minute opus "Short Stories with Tragic Endings" performed in its entirety.