Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bloc Party Touring North America in March

Toronto: Kool Haus (March 14)
London (Ontario): Centennial Hall (15)
Ottawa: Bronson Centre (17)
Montreal: Metropolis (18)
New York City: Terminal 5 (24)
Miami: Ultra Music Festival (27, 28)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Of Music and Politics

It looks like Howard Wolfson, former Communications Director to Hillary Clinton's campaign, is a fan of The Last Shadow Puppets. Their big hit, The Age of the Understatement, made Wolfson's list of best music in 2008. You can see his post here, and the video below:

And yes, you've seen that guy in the video before. It's Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys. The Last Shadow Puppets is his side project.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Well It's Officially Over...

I featured the song Deadwood on December 15th, and a mere five days later, Dirty Pretty Things played their last show in London last night. While it's sad that the band is officially over, I am sure that we will see these talented musicians land somewhere else in the near future.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Yay! Free Stuff: Franz Ferdinand Download

Franz Ferdinand has released a free live download of their newest song, What She Came For. This song is off of their upcoming album Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, which will be released January 26th (UK). I will have a full review of the album soon. You can get the download through NME.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Featured Song: Deadwood - Dirty Pretty Things

Even though Dirty Pretty Things broke up in November announced their decision to break up on October 1st, I still want to highlight this excellent song. Deadwood comes from Dirty Pretty Things' first album, Waterloo to Anywhere (2006). The lead singer, Carl Barat, is a former member of The Libertines. Just FYI, this video does contain some nudity.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Looking at the Numbers

I found this a couple of weeks ago, but I thought it might be interesting to share. On April 25, 2008, The British Recorded Music Industry released information on British music sales in America for 2007. Here are some interesting findings:

•2007 was the third consecutive year of growth for UK artists.
•Back to Black was the best selling album by a UK artist in the US for 2007.
•Snow Patrol had the biggest airplay hit in the US and Canada.

Below you will see a list of the top 40 UK artist albums sold in the USA for 2007:

1 Amy Winehouse (Back To Black)
2 Corinne Bailey Rae (Corinne Bailey Rae)
3 Led Zeppelin (Mothership Atlantic)
4 R.Plant & A.Krauss* (Raising Sand Rounder)
5 Paul McCartney (Memory Almost Full Hear Music)
6 Joss Stone (Introducing Joss Stone)
7 The Beatles (Love Capitol)
8 Lily Allen (Alright Still Capitol)
9 Ozzy Osbourne (Black Rain Epic)
10 Pink Floyd (Dark Side Of The Moon)
11 Elton John (Rocket Man-Number)
13 The Police* (The Police)
14 AC/DC* (Back In Black)
15 Paul Potts (One Chance)
16 KT Tunstall (Eye To The Telescope)
17 Queen (Greatest Hits)
18 Snow Patrol (Eyes Open)
19 The Beatles (1)
20 Traveling Wilburys* (Traveling Wilburys)
21 Eric Clapton (Complete Clapton)
22 Def Leppard (Vault-Greatest Hits)
23 Mika (Life In Cartoon Motion)
24 Annie Lennox (Songs Of Mass Destruction)
25 James Blunt (Back To Bedlam)
26 Van Morrison (Van Morrison At The Movies)
27 The Beatles (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely...)
28 Paolo Nutini (These Streets Atlantic)
29 Muse (Black Holes & Revelations)
30 Bullet For My Valentine (Poison)
31 KT Tunstall (Drastic Fantastic)
32 The Police* (Every Breath You Take)
33 The Beatles (Abbey Road Capitol)
34 Led Zeppelin (Vol 1&2 Early Days & Latter)
35 Genesis (Turn It On Again-Hits)
36 JJ Cale & Eric Clapton* (Road To Escondido)
37 Eric Clapton (Cream Of Polydor)
38 Eric Clapton (Best Of MillenniumColl.)
39 Arctic Monkeys (Favourite Worst Nightmare)
40 James Morrison (Undiscovered)
* Dual nationality
Source: Nielsen

While this list is a little outdated, and the majority of these artists don't fit the genre that I typically cover here, I still think it is interesting to see what types of British music Americans consume. Many of these artists are not new, but they have loyal fanbases that buy their music over decades, and contribute to their rank on this list. I will make sure to post the 2008 report when it is released.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

They Sound Too British?

In April, MTV News took an interesting look at the success of British music in America. As commonly assumed, British artists have a difficult time becoming widely successful in this country. MTV News correspondent, John Norris, spoke with several British artists to get their perspective on this issue.

I am personally frustrated by this situation. As an American consumer of British music, I have come to the realization that I will never hop in my car, turn on my radio, and spontaneously hear The Kooks, Feeder, or the Arctic Monkeys blasting from my stereo. When having conversations with friends or acquaintances, I highly doubt these people will know of the artists whose concert I went to see last week. I am sure that most indie music fans experience these situations, and maybe they don't care, but I think it lends to my overall frustration with mainstream American music. Most people are not given the chance to hear enough variety in the music heavily promoted by the industry. While I regularly bash MTV for a variety of reasons, I have to commend them for at least highlighting this issue.

On that note, here is one of my favorite songs by The Kooks, Ooh La:

Friday, November 7, 2008

Featured Song: Last Day of Magic - The Kills

This band is not exclusively British since Alison Mosshart is American. But who cares, this song is still awesome.

Hail to the Chiefs

I did not have the blog started when this was released, but I still think it's important to note that Kaiser Chiefs released their third studio album on October 20th (UK). Titled Off With Their Heads , the album features guest appearances by Lilly Allen, the New Young Pony Club, and the rapper Sway DaSafo. The first single, Never Miss a Beat, reached number five on the UK Singles Chart. See Never Miss a Beat below:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Featured Song: Teddy Picker - Arctic Monkeys

New Razorlight Album

Razorlight released its third studio album, Slipway Fires, on Novemeber 3rd (This was the UK release date. I am not sure when this will be released in the US). Wire to Wire, released September 26, 2008, peaked at number five on the UK Singles Chart.

I have an off and on relationship with Razorlight. I hear songs like Golden Touch, and I begin to like the band. Then I hear songs like Wire to Wire , and I get bored. If you are new to Razorlight I suggest listening to America or In the Morning to get a feel for the band. I might not be a fan of Razorlight, but I realize that everyone has diverse musical tastes, so you may end up liking Razorlight more than I do.

I am unable to embed Wire to Wire (Youtube disabled embedding). Click here to see it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

An Ode to the Old?

Yesterday, Travis released its 6th studio album, Ode to J. Smith. For those unfamiliar with the Scottish indie band, Travis is often credited with helping bands like Coldplay, Keane, and Snow Patrol gain widespread prominence. I personally LOVE this band, and I'm excited that they continue to make great music.

Ode to J. Smith
is a return to the Travis of old. Those who enjoyed their first album, Good Feeling, will appreciate this sound. I am a fan of more melodic Travis works, which includes songs like Writing to Reach You, Re-Offender, and One Night. Take a look at Re-Offender, from the album Twelve Memories (2003), and Something Anything, from Ode. While different, both are still great. And yeah, the guys have gotten a little older too.