Local Current Blog

Today’s Music News: Garth Brooks—and vinyl—come back

Garth Brooks has announced plans to come out of his 13-year quasi-retirement with his first new studio album since 2001. “Are there going to be cowboy songs?” asked the blockbuster country star in a video announcing the news, then answered his own rhetorical question. “You bet there’s going to be cowboy songs on it.” Not pulling any punches, Brooks will also embark on a world tour and break his digital downloading freeze by releasing his catalog online via his own website. Whether or not you’re into cowboy songs, Brooks’s comeback is newsworthy: in the entire history of the U.S. music industry, only Elvis Presley and the Beatles have sold more albums than Garth has. (New York Times)

Vinyl sales are a bright spot in an ailing record industry—who’s buying all those platters? Turns out it’s (surprise, surprise) indie rock fans and nostalgists. The best-selling vinyl of 2014 so far is Jack White’s Lazaretto; also in the top ten are Abbey Road and a Bob Marley greatest-hits collection. (The Atlantic) For comparison, by far and away the best-selling album of the year so far when all formats are considered is the Frozen soundtrack, followed by Beyoncé’s new album. (SFGate)

SoundCloud is reported to be nearing a deal that would make the independent music-streaming service—a haven for indie bands—slightly less independent, with a 9%-15% share of the company being sold to the music industry’s three major labels. The deal will allow SoundCloud to stream music from the majors, moving it into competition with services like Spotify—which is also partially owned by major labels. (Billboard)

Another YouTube group has found fame. Teenage metal band, Unlocking the Truth, fresh off the Coachella stage was offered a $1.8 million record deal from Sony.  The band, Drummer Jarad Dawkins, 12 years old; guitarist Malcolm Brickhouse and bassist Alec Atkins, both 13, are excited about the news. Check out the video that pushed them to stardom: (Gawker)

The last original member of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, passed away this weekend. (The Current)