Braff Rock Re-Emerges, Thanks To The Power Of Matrimony

Sep 16th, 2008 // 10 Comments

For a while, it seemed that between Hotel Cafe tours and the irresistible lure of Zach Braff’s personality, the sort of Triple-A singer/songwritery pop performed by artists like Cary Brothers was ready to take over the world. But then, the limited success of Braff’s film The Last Kiss and Coldplay’s increasing tendency toward writing strange epics about the overthrowing of royalty helped that hype die down rather quickly. For one shining moment yesterday, though, the dream of sensitive, guitar-strumming guys everywhere was realized.

Despite Metallica’s likely chart dominance for awhile, Joshua Radin took the top spot on the iTunes chart for a few hours yesterday, although it’s back down to No. 2 on that chart at last check. I couldn’t quite figure out why a digital prerelease (the physical album hits stores on the 30th) by an artist who only hit No. 37 on the Heatseekers chart with his last album managed to push aside Metallica, if only for a day. A few moments of Google sleuthing turned up the likely source of the sales surge: A nationally televised wedding video.

Last week’s season premiere of The Ellen DeGeneres Show featured the above video, which used Radin’s song “Today”; he’d performed it at the ceremony. Somewhat strangely, the track doesn’t appear on Radin’s new album, but maybe people were just that inspired by the montage. If Radin’s sales hold up to push him into the Billboard top ten, look for a dozen articles about the emergence of “whisper rock,” Somewhere in Florida, Sam Beam is totally psyched.

Ellen DeGeneres Debuts Wedding Video and Pics on Talk Show, the Footage [Ace Showbiz]

  1. Anonymous

    STILL doesn’t make sense. God love Josh, but there’s no F-in’ way that’s legit. It COULD be some manipulating by his label, Mom & Pop Music Co., which is run by Metallica’s management, Q Prime. Kinda like, “Hey we’ll give you first dibs on selling the Metallica album, but you’ve gotta show some love to our boy Joshua”…

    iTunes chart numbers are arbitrary anyway, in case you didn’t know…

  2. Chris Molanphy

    Daytime-TV-watching ladies: the only reliable album-buying demo left in all of Christendom.

  3. Chris Molanphy

    @owenmeany: iTunes chart numbers are arbitrary anyway, in case you didn’t know…

    I don’t want to come off like some shameless Apple fanboy or anything, but: O RLY?

    So how exactly do you explain the nearly one-to-one relationship between what’s topping the Apple Top 10 list of songs and the following week’s Digital Songs chart from SoundScan, which includes actual sales totals? I mean, I dig through those numbers weekly for my column, and whatever topped Apple’s list over the previous week is almost inevitably the No. 1 or No. 2 seller on SoundScan’s list.

    So: arbitrary? huh?

  4. Anonymous

    actually, i think sam beam’s somewhere on the outskirts of austin. maybe he was just copying bill callahan, but he’s lived here for a while now.

    anyway, i think that fellow’s right about the daytime tv ladies. too bad they buy one cd a year.

  5. silkyjumbo

    @karenjeannette: as a former manager of a B&N music department, i beg to differ. they are usually in the store by 6pm, asking for the cd by the young man/lady that was on GMA/Today/Ellen/Oprah that day. they will do this many times a year. that’s why we know who il divo is.

  6. Anonymous

    @Chris Molanphy: Until they start publishing actual sales numbers, I’m holding strong on this one.

    I’m a fan of iTunes, trust me. I love that they’ll give the occasional little bump in chart position to a newbie who they feel could use the love.

    And, as an aside, if you’re saying that SoundScan isn’t easily and regularly manipulated – well, I’ve got a bridge to sell you…

  7. Chris Molanphy

    @owenmeany: And, as an aside, if you’re saying that SoundScan isn’t easily and regularly manipulated – well, I’ve got a bridge to sell you..

    Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Outlying sales numbers from a single account are regularly thrown out of SoundScan’s weekly total and the offending retailer barred/reprimanded. Digital sales numbers regularly conform to what you see on iTunes every day.

    I’m all for healthy skepticism, but I find your SoundScan conspiracy theorizing on a level similar to that of people who claim every sports contest is a fix and a nationwide cabal (the Stonecutters?) fixes every election. Sometimes the smarter assumption, a la Occam’s Razor, is to assume things are too difficult to fix, not that the whole world’s corrupt…

  8. Chris Molanphy

    @owenmeany: Also: Until they start publishing actual sales numbers, I’m holding strong on this one.

    You might not get Apple-specific numbers sent to your doorstep, but SoundScan receives them weekly. And it’s not too hard to extrapolate what Apple’s songs sell. In fact, multiple times this year alone, we’ve seen what all-iTunes tracks sell: from Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” (iTunes-only for the first month of its digital existence) to Yael Naïm to numerous other exclusives. Should I assume Coldplay/EMI (a nearly bankrupt label group, BTW) bought off Apple to inflate the numbers Coldplay sold back in May/June?

    Again, I know it’s cool and badass to claim you have the inside dope on something, but honestly…

  9. MrStarhead

    @Chris Molanphy: The “all of Christendom” comment struck me. Given that there’s more daytime lady viewing in the red states than the blue states (I’m fairly sure), wouldn’t the fact that this soundtracked a gay wedding in California be a turnoff to some prospective buyers?

  10. Anonymous

    @Chris Molanphy: Let’s see what the numbers are for Joshua Radin’s album when they’re published. That’s all I’m sayin’.

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