Kingblind’s Favorite Finds
Mastodon prepares new album for early 2009 release
Archive for July, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Kingblind’s Favorite Finds
Sirius XM Radio Ready To Get Down To Business
With the FCC formally announcing its approval of the merger of XM and Sirius, the satcasters announced today that the merger is a done deal. The combined company’s new official corporate name is Sirius XM Radio Inc., using the NASDAQ stock symbol SIRI.
The new company now has 18.5 million total subscribers, claiming it is the “second-largest radio company, based upon revenue, in the country.” As part of the merger, XM shareholders will receive 4.6 shares of Sirius common stock for each share of XM.
“I am delighted to announce the completion of this exciting merger between SIRIUS and XM,” said Mel Karmazin, CEO of SIRIUS XM Radio. “We have worked diligently to close this transaction and we look forward to integrating our best-in-class management teams and operations so we can begin delivering on our promise of more choices and lower prices for subscribers.”
“Every one of our constituencies is a winner. Combined, Sirius XM Radio will deliver superior value to our shareholders. By offering more compelling packages and the best content in audio entertainment, we are well positioned for increased subscriber growth. Our laser focus on subscribers will continue and listeners can be assured that there will be no disruption in service. We also believe that the completion of the merger will eliminate any confusion that has been lingering in the marketplace,” added Karmazin.
The much-tauted a la carte options have been announced as well. Some of the new options include “Best of Both” (accessing programming picked from XM and Sirius), discounted Family Friendly plans, and such tailored plans as “Mostly Music” and “News, Talk and Sports.” The new a la carte options will begin rolling out in the fall.
“One of the most exciting benefits of this transaction is the ability to offer subscribers the option of expanding their subscriptions to include the Best of Both services. Given the respective popularity of exclusive programming on both Sirius and XM, we expect many subscribers will upgrade their current subscription,” said Karmazin. “The upside potential for both consumers and shareholders is huge. Consumers have the ease of adding premier programming without purchasing a new device. For shareholders, this kind of organic growth is a key part of the company’s future and the success we expect to see.”
Karmazin added, “In addition to realizing significant potential revenue growth, the management team will move quickly to capitalize on the synergies that many analysts have predicted for this combination. We expect to begin achieving those synergies without sacrificing any of the world-class programming and marketing we are known for.”
The company also reiterated guidance for the combined Sirius XM Radio. Based upon a preliminary analysis, the combined company expects to realize total synergies, net of the costs to achieve such synergies, of approximately $400 million in 2009; to post adjusted EBITDA exceeding $300 million in 2009; and to achieve positive free cash flow, before satellite capital expenditures, for the full year 2009. The company also expects that both synergies and adjusted EBITDA will continue growing beyond 2009.
“We have all the tools necessary to begin executing as a combined company with high aspirations for subscriber growth and greater financial performance in part from the significant synergies that we begin realizing literally today — on Day One. We are moving quickly to integrate the operations,” said Karmazin.
Sirius XM’s corporate headquarters will be located in New York City, while XM will remain in Washington, DC as a ” wholly-owned subsidiary.”
Obama campaign rejects rapper Ludacris’ rhymes
CHICAGO (AP) — Barack Obama’s presidential campaign says a new rhyme by supporter and rapper Ludacris is “outrageously offensive” to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Republican Sen. John McCain and President Bush.
The song brags about an Obama presidency being destiny. It uses an expletive to describe Clinton, calls Bush “mentally handicapped” and says McCain doesn’t belong in “any chair unless he’s paralyzed.”
The lyrics don’t spare the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who recently apologized for making crude comments about Obama. “If you said it then you meant it,” intones the rapper.
Obama’s campaign blasted “Politics as Usual,” which is on the “Gangsta Grillz: The Preview” mixtape with Atlanta spinner DJ Drama.
“As Barack Obama has said many, many times in the past, rap lyrics today too often perpetuate misogyny, materialism, and degrading images that he doesn’t want his daughters or any children exposed to,” campaign spokesman Bill Burton said in an e-mail statement Wednesday. “This song is not only outrageously offensive to Sen. Clinton, Rev. Jackson, Sen. McCain and President Bush, it is offensive to all of us who are trying to raise our children with the values we hold dear. While Ludacris is a talented individual he should be ashamed of these lyrics.”
Ludacris’ publicist and manager did not immediately return calls Wednesday for comment.
Butthole Surfers gig ends in chaos
A Butthole Surfers gig in New York ended in chaos after frontman Gibby Haynes was involved in a fight with the venue’s soundman.
Towards the end of their set at the city’s Webster Hall (July 29), Haynes motioned to the soundman that his monitor was not loud enough – by showing him his middle finger.
When the soundman repeated the gesture, Haynes confronted him and the two became involved in a fight, much to the crowd’s apparent delight.
However, the quarrel resulted in Haynes being dragged offstage by security.
The band continued for one more song, with guitarist Paul Leary filling in on vocals for ‘The Shah Sleeps In Lee Harvey’s Grave’.
Despite the altercation, Gothamist reports that no arrests were made at the venue.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
The Avalanches to finally finish second album
The Avalanches have suggested that the wait for their second album may nearly be over.
The Australian sample kings released their debut ‘Since I Left You’ back in 2001 – and even that record was delayed as the mass of sound clips used on the album, including Madonna’s ‘Holiday’, were cleared (or not).
However posting recently on Myspace.com/theavalanches, the band have indicated a follow-up album is on the way.
Though giving away scant details, the band’s status declares they are “putting the finishing touches on album 2 !!!!!!!!!”.
Sony BMG Lost $42M Last Quarter
Sonybmg Sales at Sony BMG decreased 6% over the previous year “due to the continue decline in the physical music market worldwide not being fully offset by growth in digital product sales” according to Sony’s latest earnings report. The division lost $42 million before taxes last quarter alone compared to a profit of $31 million in the same quarter of the previous fiscal year. Best selling releases during the quarter included Usher’s, Here I Stand, Leona Lewis’ Spirit and Neil Diamond’s Home Before Dark.
The decline left analysts scrambling to explain why Sony would still be in serious talks to purchase a controlling interest in the partnership from Bertlesmann. Does Sony really see future profits in recorded music or does it want to gut the operation to cut its losses more quickly?
Lost La’s songs available to download
Rare cuts by the Liverpool legends will go online this September
Eight unreleased songs by The La’s are set to be available to buy online for the first time this September.
The songs will be available on Lost Tunes – a new online download store launched today (July 30) that is dedicated to exclusive, rare or overlooked classics.
Lost Tunes already features a catalogue of 134 exclusive albums, with artists including Scott Walker, GENE and .
The eight La’s songs are set to go online on September 1 and include alternative versions of ‘Way Out” and ‘Son Of A Gun’ from their eponymous 1990 album.
Their release also coincides with an exclusive from Southampton band Delays, who are recording covers of their four favourite ‘lost tunes’ for the site.
A further 500 download albums are scheduled to be launched on the store in the coming six months, and all downloads on the site are available as high quality 320kpbs MP3s.
The download store is online now at Losttunes.com.
The full tracklisting of ‘The La’s – Lost Tunes’ is:
‘Son Of A Gun (John Porter Outtake 1)’
‘Doledrum (John Leckie mix)’
‘Come In Come Out (John Leckie mix)’
‘Way Out (Bob Andrews Mix)’
‘Doledrum (Bob Andrews Mix)’
‘Clean Profit (Jeremy Allom Mix)’
‘Son Of A Gun (Jeremy Allom Mix)’
‘Come In Come Out (Steve Lillywhite Mix)’
Alicia Keys, Jack White Team For Bond Theme
Alicia Keys and the White Stripes’ Jack White will record the theme song to “Quantum of Solace,” the 22nd James Bond film, which hits U.S. theaters Nov. 7.
The song, “Another Way To Die,” will be the first duet in Bond soundtrack history. White wrote and produced the song, and also will play drums. The soundtrack to the movie will be released Oct. 28.
The score for the film will be composed by David Arnold.
“Quantum of Solace,” starring Daniel Craig, will be directed by Marc Forster from a screenplay by Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Paul Haggis.
Amy Winehouse and Leona Lewis had previously been rumored as the vocalists for the latest Bond theme.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
AC/DC hit the road in October
As expected, AC/DC will embark on an 18-month world tour beginning this October. Creative Artists Agency managing partner Rob Light confirmed the news during a touring panel today (July 28) at the 83rd annual IAAM conference and trade show in Anaheim, Calif.
Light didn’t reveal further details about the trek, which will come in support of AC/DC’s upcoming Wal-Mart exclusive release. A single is expected to hit radio in August.
In addition to AC/DC, other acts touring in the near future include Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Depeche Mode, Shakira, Green Day, Kid Rock, Usher, Robin Williams, Mylie Cyrus, Slipknot, John Mayer, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and Daft Punk, according to Light. Also, “We have a great idea for KISS to go out and do big arena tour,” Light noted.
Other touring in 2009 include OneRepublic, Plain White T‚s, Jack’s Mannequin, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Brad Paisley, Rascal Flatts, Weezer, the Killers and Journey, among others, according to various booking agents on the panel, which was moderated by Billboard executive director of content and programming for touring and live entertainment Ray Waddell.
Additionally, there are talks of rolling out a non-Christmas version of the annual Trans-Siberian Orchestra tour, according to William Morris Agency’s Brad Goodman.
Amy Winehouse Released From London Hospital
Amy Winehouse was released from a London hospital today (July 29) after an overnight stay to treat what her spokesman said was an adverse reaction to medication.
The 24-year-old artist was discharged from London’s University College after spending the night in observation, said spokesman Chris Goodman.
Winehouse was rushed to the hospital’s emergency room by ambulance from her north London home Monday night. Goodman said the medication had been taken at her home, but did not provide further details.
“She had a bit of a scare yesterday because of a reaction to treatment. She was kept in overnight purely for observation,” Goodman said in a statement. “Amy is at home now after leaving with her father and manager. She is having a rest.”
Monday, July 28, 2008
Black Kids:: Partie Traumatic (Album Review)
Short-shrifted by overzealous myth chasers when their solid four-song teaser EP, Wizard of Ahhhs, received accolades all too obviously disproportionate to its slight stature, Jacksonville’s Black Kids had my sympathy and my skepticism heading into their full-length debut. But Partie Traumatic not only overcomes its ponderous pre-hype, it also shows that emo might not be today’s only hope for romantic pop. The tensest moment comes in the silence just after “I’m Not Going To Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance,” the hot-stepping climax. How (you might nervously wonder) will the band, just seven songs into their career, close out their so-far-scorching debut set of nü-Motown synth-soul? But the expected slow-jam comedown never arrives. Instead we get three more great pop songs (all up-tempo, pacing conventions be damned) ranging from sour-cherries I-need-all-of-you disco to strutting Rapture-redolent independence disco. Imagine a Robert Smith who asks for no pity and you have lead vocalist Reggie Youngblood, whose citrusy man-boy wailings intensify the slick “Hit the Heartbreaks” and “Hurricane Jane.” The lyrics run, uh, let’s say straightforward, but Black Kids know as well as any good sentimentalists that delivery is everything; teenage yearning couldn’t hope for a much better vehicle than their pouting power pop.
Ex-Pumpkins Members Sue For Digital Royalties
Two former members of the Smashing Pumpkins sued Virgin Records, saying the label shut them out of profits after signing a deal with the rock band’s frontman, Billy Corgan.
In their lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, James Iha and D’Arcy Wretzky-Brown, both 40, accused Virgin Records America Inc. of not paying them for music downloads and other digitally delivered Smashing Pumpkins music.
Iha and Wretzky-Brown, who were founding members of the Smashing Pumpkins, said in their lawsuit that, five years after the band first broke up in 2000, Virgin entered into a deal with Corgan, 41, and began licensing Smashing Pumpkins music through electronic transmissions.
“To date, Virgin continues to engage in the exploitation of electronic transmissions of the band’s recordings without plaintiffs’ consent,” the lawsuit states.
A spokeswoman for Virgin, a unit of privately held EMI Group, declined to comment on the lawsuit because the company had not received it.
Corgan, the group’s primary songwriter, resurrected the Smashing Pumpkins last year, without Iha or Wretzky-Brown. He told reporters in April that he has “zero” communication with them. Wretzky-Brown, who quit the band in 1999, has largely left the music business. Iha has kept busy with a variety of musical collaborations.
In March, Corgan sued Virgin Records over a promotional campaign involving Pepsi and Amazon that he said damaged the Pumpkins’ image and reputation
The Rolling Stones Leave EMI For Universal
Ending months of speculation, the Rolling Stones have split with longtime label EMI and inked a new deal with the Universal Music Group. The pact covers not only future studio albums but the band’s lucrative back catalog from 1971’s “Sticky Fingers” onward.
EMI, which has endured a rocky transition to private equity ownership by Terra Firma in recent months, is understood to have lobbied heavily to convince the Stones to remain with the company.
New recordings will be released via UMG’s Polydor label worldwide, putting the distribution of the entire Stones catalog under one roof for the first time. The deal covers both digital and physical distribution, with UMG already working on a long-term strategy to digitize the catalog.
The Stones tested the waters with Universal in April, when they released the soundtrack to the Martin Scorsese documentary “Shine a Light” through the label. U.S. sales are at 106,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
After recording for Decca Records through 1970, the Stones formed their own Rolling Stones label for the release of “Sticky Fingers” the following year. The previous deal with Virgin/EMI dates back to 1991, prior to Virgin’s acquisition by EMI the following year. Warner Music, EMI itself and Sony BMG (as CBS) had all previously handled the catalog between 1971 and 1990.
ABKCO and Decca are co-owners of the copyrights outside North America for the Stones’ catalog from 1963-1970.
The Stones released three studio albums for Virgin: 1994’s “Voodoo Lounge,” 1997’s “Bridges to Babylon” and 2005’s “A Bigger Bang.” The titles have sold a combined 3.6 million copies in the United States.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Franz Ferdinand reveal ‘wild’ new album secrets
Franz Ferdinand have revealed that they have been using some rather unconventional recording methods for the forthcoming new album, which they are currently finishing off in Glasgow with producer Dan Carey.
Frontman Alex Kapranos told BBC Newsbeat that the band had been employing some “wild” recording techniques, which involved guitarist Nick McCarthy climbing into the woodwork of the studio.
Kapranos said: “We have been doing a lot of experimenting in the studio with Dan. He’s made us record the album in a much wilder way than we’re used to.
“We did this thing in the studio called the Doppler Effect which is like when you are on the high street and you hear an ambulance go past and the sound of the siren pitch changes when it passes you.
“We were doing something similar on a track called ‘What She Came For’. We were recording the guitar in this big hall next to our studio and Nick climbed into the ceiling and fed a microphone cable down through the rafters above the guitar speaker.
“Then when we were recording Dan was swinging this microphone above the guitar amp and we got this incredible sound.”
The follow-up to 2005’s ‘You Could Have It So Much Better’ is due out in early 2009.