This Week’s Sales

1. Justin Timberlake "Future Sex/Love Sounds"

Sales this week: 684,461

If this is the future of sex, Woody Allen was right, the orgasmatron is coming!

Funny thing about today’s landscape…  If you don’t like something, you can ignore it.  It’s not like the sixties, we don’t live in one big homogenous society.  Justin Timberlake might as well be the biggest star in North Dakota in terms of the impact it has on me.

The scary thing is that all those kids who bought ‘N Sync records actually think this dude is talented, that he’s the real thing.  Talk about warped, degraded standards!

I think this world can be separated into two factions.  Those who get "SexyBack" and those who don’t.  Those who think music is to fuck to and those who believe it’s about setting your mind free, not that they’re opposed to coitus.

This is not the Beatles.  The baby boomers are not going to wake up one day and say they missed the boat, Justin Timberlake was a great songwriter, a true talent.  Justin Timberlake is an ENTERTAINER, who takes himself WAY too seriously.

As for those who say the acts of yore were no different, you might as well live in China, where they keep rewriting history.  Music drove the culture in the sixties.  Now the mainstream stuff is a lubricant at best.

2. John Mayer "Continuum"

Sales this week: 299,664

Jeremy Segal:

I’m a longtime Esquire subscriber and DID read John Mayer’s columns.

He came across as a giant tool. Sounding hipper-than-thou, he name-dropped and generally presented himself as an authority on music. And he’s, what, 27? I know he’s got the musical chops and all but get out of my face, punk.

I was a mildly casual fan before he did those articles. Now I cringe when I see anything about him.

I’m so glad Esquire stopped using Johnny.

If you think all exposure, all publicity is good, you’re still living in the nineties.  Who even KNOWS or CARES what this guy’s music sounds like.  Hell, he’s for housewives, ain’t he?

5. Bob Dylan "Modern Times"

Sales this week: 93,143
Cume: 414,035

What I wrote last week but didn’t print:

Story of the year, but have you LISTENED to this record??

I don’t believe it deserves the hype.

Love the opener, "Thunder On The Mountain", but then there’s "Someday Baby", which is a rip of the Allmans’ version of "Trouble No More".

Really, there’s nothing wrong with this record, but I believe writers want to focus on a STORY, and don’t realize that first of all people listen to the MUSIC!

If you love Dylan’s XM show, with its eclectic old music, you’ll love this.  Otherwise, caveat emptor.


This week:

So now plagiarism is the FOLK TRADITION?

The reviews of this album are demonstration of why you can no longer trust print/reviewers.  To look cool, to be a member of the club, to remind you of the way things WERE, you’ve got to dig deep and give a good review of this record.  Whereas you’ve got to listen to it almost a dozen times for it to reveal itself, and almost nobody’s gonna give it that time and should you have to TAKE the time?  Isn’t that like saying if you’re alone on an island with a member of the opposite sex for three months you’ll grow close?

This is not a bad record.  But it could have used an outside producer, the sound is anything but revelatory, never mind ear-pleasing and Dylan could have used a Jacques Levy. 

If you consider this to be classic, you’ve never listened to "Blood On The Tracks", never mind "Bringing It All Back Home", "Highway 61" or "Blonde On Blonde".

Now if you were alive back then, if you weren’t looking at the past through rose-colored glasses like the aforementioned writers, you’ll know that Bob Dylan released a turkey, "Self Portrait", and after the reviews were SCATHING, he went back into the studio and released the almost classic "New Morning" within six months.  Maybe if they gave this guy BAD reviews, he’d come to his senses and make something more accessible.

Oh, don’t tell me "Modern Times"’ virtue is its INACCESSIBILITY.  "Anna Karenina" isn’t inaccessible.  And if inaccessibility is the criterion, "Trout Mask Replica" is the best record ever made, maybe challenged by "Metal Machine Music".

This is not a word of mouth record.  These same worthless print writers are selling this record.  Getting baby boomers who want to look cool and in the loop to buy it.  Because if you heard it at a friend’s house, you’d NEVER buy it!

9. Mars Volta "Amputechture"

Sales this week: 59,078

Okay, it’s time to make some good music.  The mood, the energy, the fire, you’ve brought that from the beginning.  Now we want some memorable TUNES!  Otherwise you’re the Mahavishnu Orchestra, people GIVE UP!

Stunning how few members are in the core.  Because you know this record’s heading straight to the dumper after this.

12. Audioslave "Revelations"

Sales this week: 49,102
Cume: 191,553

Hopefully that’s what Chris Cornell had, and is really leaving this group.

Audioslave is no better than Asia.  A supergroup formed by lost souls looking for continued income.  If Audioslave floats your boat…you’re the kind of person who thought REO Speedwagon was cool twenty five years back.

17. Barenaked Ladies "Barenaked Ladies Are Me"

Sales this week: 36,735

Chris Beytes:

The Barenaked Ladies performed at the recent NASCAR race, the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 in Richmond, and the band’s image was on the hood of the car driven by Kevin Harvick, who eventually won the race. Talk about exposure and growing the core – they performed for 107,000 people! Not to mention the television audience during and after the race that will see images of the winning car over and over again.

I assume we can give Terry McBride credit for setting up the deal? – and give Chevy credit for going for it and NASCAR credit for figuring their fans will listen to more than just shit-kicking country.

Who needs the majors, indeed!

Terry McBride:

that one took months to put together … to persuade Chevy, who now love the guys …. even Bruce Allen who loves to poke fun at me thought that was a smart one …. one thing for sure … with our freedom, we have gained back our imaginations and our ability to have so much fun!….

Terry McBride:


$ 978, 127.99 in revenue from Intellectual Property in 1st week

Desperation Records and Nettwerk Music Group  is pleased to announce that Barenaked Ladies did  $ 978, 127.99 in first week music sales from " Barenaked Ladies Are Me"

also on a side note the release was the #4 Digital seller in the USA, #3 in Canada

it’s spread over so many IP assets (over 200) ….. I can show you some big ones:

Full length Digital sales (Deluxe & regular version)  12,724 = $160,898.94

Other Digital = $ 59, 292.58

Direct sales = $ 89, 488.00

various physical retail = $659,860.64, not all tracked by soundscan as we had so many versions from regular CD, to Deluxe, to USB, to Vinyl, to Regular cd+bonus live version of the same album & on and on

then a small bit of other $

And it’s GOOD!

21. Black Label Society "Shot To Hell"

Sales this week: 31,747

Like Zakk Wylde’s liver…

Another dude who hasn’t delivered on his promise.  Maybe if he hadn’t drowned his pain in alcohol.

Great work on Ozzy’s "No More Tears", but he hasn’t truly delivered since (and neither has Ozzy!)

This is selling because of the Ozzy/Ozzfest connection.  It won’t CONTINUE to sell.

63. Dixie Chicks "Taking The Long Way"

Sales this week: 14,915
Cume: 1,611,024

They’re only a hit single away from this album truly becoming a phenomenon.

I don’t think the movie will sell records, but place a song as a TV theme, whether it be a series or sports, and this record would blister up the chart.

The Chicks have sold more albums than Red Hot Chili Peppers (1,385,202) and the only acts that have outsold them who are higher on the chart are Nickelback (3,537,784), Rascal Flatts (2,461,863), Pussycat Dolls (2,146,583), High School Musical (3,072,039), Carrie Underwood (3,406,241) and James Blunt (2,177,019).  Except for Nickelback, the others are all phenomena, riding a crest that might not be repeated.  Whereas the Chicks have had a string of multiplatinum albums.

Disappointing cume compared to the way it USED to be, but in this era of diminished expectations, since you can’t get mindshare and Top Forty only plays urban/kiddie pop, this is a DAMN good number.  Not all blue state come late to the show people either.  No, some red state folk are buying this album.  Proving the mainstream hype about southerners and Republicans not liking the act might just be that.  Who’s gonna take a risk at country and play the Chicks?  Who’s gonna be a hero?  The audience is ready.  Hell, have you looked at George Bush’s approval ratings?

85. OK Go "Oh No"

Sales this week: 11,411
Cume: 89,127

But number 22 on the Digital Tracks chart, with 27,946 copies of "Here It Goes Again" downloaded, for a cume of 86,060.

And the record is number 12 on the Digital Albums chart, with 4,946 moved and a cume of 27,671.

In other words…  This is an INTERNET phenomenon.  The band broke on the Net and if you were exposed/know that, there’s a good chance you purchased the album ONLINE!  Whereas if you’re not Net/YouTube savvy, chances are you’re out of the loop.

And they say the Net doesn’t sell records.

Every asshole who keeps saying that no Net star has broken yet…  I’ve got just one word for you…CAMERAS!  We heard for fifteen years film was gonna die.  But it stayed alive.  And died overnight.  Same deal with the CD, and terrestrial radio for music for that matter.  The tighter the playlist, the lower the common denominator, the more people who find what they’re looking for elsewhere.

109. Shawn Colvin "These Four Walls"

Sales this week: 9,461

Close readers know that Shawn’s "Steady On" is my favorite record of the nineties (although released in the fall of ’89).  Listen to that record and this, and you might think it’s not even the same PERSON!  Shawn’s voice has changed completely.  Its girlish charm has been replaced with a restrained adulthood that’s off-putting.

As for the fact that she once won Grammys for Song Of The Year AND Record Of The Year…shows how much THAT means.  She went from being a respected cult artist to being a mainstream one hit wonder.

116. R.E.M. "Best: IRS Years 82-87 2-CD Set"

Sales this week: 8,733

Nobody cares, and everybody who did already owns this stuff.

129. Peter Frampton "Fingerprints"

Sales this week: 7,928

So I’m driving home from the shrink and I hear Bob Mayo’s piano, starting a live version of "I Wanna Go To The Sun" from BEFORE "Comes Alive".  I had a warm fuzzy feeling as I drifted back and forth in the car.  My mind was set free in a way Justin Timberlake’s music can’t seem to make it.  Listening to Justin is like having a lobotomy.  You can move your body, but you don’t know why.  Whereas music used to set your mind adrift.  You could be in the concrete jungle, yet in your mind you were on a boat in the Pacific, or skiing down a slope…you were your best self.

Dee Anthony killed Frampton’s career.  By playing to the wrong demo.  An evanescent kid market rather than the musos who adored him.  "I’m In You"…BLECCH!!

If you were around in the beginning, if you bought those Humble Pie records and saw the band live (I was THERE when they recorded "Rockin’ The Fillmore"), you know Peter can play.  Turns out this is an instrumental album.  Who knows if I’ll ever hear it, who knows how ANYBODY knew it came out, but I do know "All I Want To Be (Is By Your Side)" is one of my top tracks of all time, showcasing Peter’s fluid, melodic playing as opposed to his cuteness.  Listening to it brings me back to college, lying on my bed, reading "Rolling Stone" and thinking about all the women I couldn’t connect with, but didn’t worry about, since I had this great music to keep me company.

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    […] , I had to pass on this review from my favorite music critic/analyst/whatever, Bob Lefsetz wrote up So now plagiarism is the FOLK TRADITION? The re […]

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  1. Pingback by | 2007/07/24 at 06:24:29

    […] , I had to pass on this review from my favorite music critic/analyst/whatever, Bob Lefsetz wrote up So now plagiarism is the FOLK TRADITION? The re […]

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