December 15, 2006

In The News

Time for a wrapup of what's happening in and around the biz, so let's get down to the nitty-gritty:

- The unshakable Rolling Stones earned the highest grossing tour of the year, according to Billboard Boxscore. Mick Jagger and Co. took in a hefty $437 million to claim the top spot. Also noteworthy was Madonna's Confessions tour at the number 2 slot, which became the most profitable tour ever by a female artist at just under $195 million. For the rest of the top ten, click on the link.

- CBS Records will be returning to the global market with the launch of a new record label, the AP reports. CBS will release music online and through iTunes as well as potentially via other digital outlets over time. The company also intends to promote its artists on its cable network television programming.

- Radiohead's often praised yet quite likely overrated 'Kid A' will get an orchestral treatment. Despite being in the camp of people who did not feel that Radiohead's late 90's and early oo's experimental inventiveness was so monumental, I am particularly interested to see how the new arrangement would sound. I have made the argument that one quality of outstanding music is that it has the innate ability not to lose anything, in fact to gain something, when reimagined (such as through stripped down acoustic performances or in this case by an orchestra). Even though the saturation of 'string tributes' has begun to just leave a stale taste in my mouth most of the time, the occasional one will still scintilliate. The best example of this was Apocalyptica's magnificent 1998 metal tribute - Inquisition Symphony. I am most curious, though, to see how the ambience and eerie evocations of songs like 'Everything In Its Right Place' and 'How To Disappear Completely' will sound in a more classic interpretaton.

- Finally, in the category of "been there a thousand times," Axl Rose has declared a tenative March 6 release for the essentially theoretical 'Chinese Democracy' album. This is one of those items that I don't think I will believe until after I see and listen to it. Although in a way, perhaps Axl is the most brilliant marketing genius of our time. His hints, taunts, and whispers about this album, which include less than half-realized tours and celebrity guests (such as Sebastian Bach), have created a buzz of anticipation as to whether or not fans will ever get to hear the fruits of GNR's last 10+ years in and out of studios. That's the flirtatious kind of heat on par with George 'I'm going to wait 16 years to finish my epic and culturally omnipresent story' Lucas's antics, but I am sure Axl is hoping for an ultimately more well-received result. 'Chinese Democacy,' already legendary in the making, will have to overcome the fact that it's been dreadful in execution. Which means the enduringly relevant question remains - What will happen first? Democracy in China, or 'Chinese Democracy'?

1 comment:

Doughnutman said...

I've always thought that Kid A would sound great without the lyrics. I felt they were fake and just added to sell some more records.