What were the 80 most important musical recordings, artists, trends, events, and performances of 2008? What were the eight things this year that broke our hearts—or, at least, our ears? We’re happy to announce 80 ’08 (and Heartbreak), Idolator’s year-end overview. The list is below the jump.
Radiohead’s “gotcha!” release of In Rainbows last year had something of a ripple effect on artists who also appeal to that band’s tech-savvy, sorta-into-paying-for-music fanbase. Jack White’s other band, The Raconteurs, played with the idea of bringing back the “event record” by shortening the period between announcement and release first, when they announced that their second album Consolers Of The Lonely would be available a week following its announcement. “We wanted to get this record to fans, the press, radio, etc., all at the EXACT SAME TIME so that no one has an upper hand on anyone else regarding it’s availability, reception or perception,” the [sic]-ly release said. Of course, this didn’t stop the damn thing from leaking anyway. (And it was all iTunes’ fault!)
Jack White may have been a little down on his hometown in interviews lately, but don’t think he doesn’t have love for the Motor City. The Raconteur may have said that Detroit’s “super-negative” music scene was part of what drove him to move to Nashville in 2006, but “those expressions of mine have never been a representation of my feelings about Detroit the city, a town that I have strong feelings about … nor were they expressions about its citizens.” To prove his devotion to the city that gave us Ted Nugent, General Motors, and some of the most successful white rappers in American history, he has crafted a poem. A series of stanzas that includes references to “malt from Stroh’s and Sanders,” “frescoed families strife fractured,” and “The water letter carrier, bringing prose to lonely sailors.” Surely the fear of another lyrical waxing of this kind will keep locals from ever daring to question his spiritual solidarity again.
Chris Martin would love for Coldplay to be one of those maverick bands revolutionizing the world of music through independent online retail and eliminating the time between the creation of an album and it’s release, but he feels faithful to EMI, much as you would to an elderly grandparent. “We have absolute respect for the Radioheads and Raconteurs and people who can do what they like. We’re in contract though, so we’re just going to make the most of it and enjoy the people we get to work with.” Actually, the Raconteurs are signed to Warner, Chris. Don’t pretend the major label connection is the only reason you can’t come up anything more novel than free concerts and recording in a church with Brian Eno.
Since many people find it hard to tell the great from the godawful when it comes to 21st-century mainstream rock, welcome to “Corporate Rock Still Sells,” where Al “GovernmentNames” Shipley examines what’s good, bad, and ugly in the world of Billboard‘s rock charts. This time around he looks at the return of nu-metal in the guises of Disturbed and oddly rap-free rap-metal.
Poor Jack White. He wanted the latest album by the Raconteurs, Consolers Of The Lonely, to hit stores around the world today with no advance warning (and, presumably, no advance availablity), but his plans were foiled by the archaic structures of the world’s traditional music-retail outlets, which… More »
The new music-recommendation service Songkick–which sends out e-mail alerts to users when their favorite artists come to town, and uses a last.fm-like recommendation engine to tell its users about “similar artists” being out on tour–has developed a Battle Of The Bands application, which is sort of like Googlefight with the added nebulousness of using data from MySpace (like number of friends and number of song streams added per week) and Amazon. We put it to the test with three artists who have recently made headlines by using the Internet as part of their distribution strategy, and the results may surprise you:
Looks like the iTunes Store accidentally leaked the Raconteurs’ Consolers Of The Lonely a few days before its Tuesday release–reports are filtering in from people who successfully purchased the album on both the US and UK versions of the iTunes store, and it’s apparently popping up on the… More »
In the press release heralding the imminent street date of the Raconteurs’ Consolers Of The Lonely, the band explains part of the reason for rush-releasing the album as follows: “[We] are forgoing the usual months of lead time for press and radio set up, as well as forgoing the all important ‘first week sales’. We wanted to explore the idea of releasing an album everywhere at once and THEN marketing and promoting it thereafter. The Raconteurs would rather this release not be defined by it’s first weeks sales, pre-release promotion, or by someone defining it FOR YOU before you get to hear it.” Those last 11 words struck fear in the hearts of a lot of people who make their living by defining (or at least trying to sorta-explain) music for potential consumers, as evidenced by rumblings in our comments section and at still-allowed-to-write-at-length outlets like the Guardian. But is Jack White really trying to clamp down on music critics specifically, given that the combination of “leak culture” and the post-Yelp society has resulted in everyone being elevated to the reviewer’s platform?
Less than 24 hours after the Raconteurs announced the one-week gap between announcement and in-store date for the group’s second album, another hotly awaited follow-up, Gnarls Barkley’s The Odd Couple, has been bumped up to… any day now. Excerpted release from the duo’s publicists after the jump.