Local Current Blog

Today’s Music News: The Who are coming to town, probably for the last time

Pete Townshend (l) and Roger Daltrey. Photo courtesy the Who.

“This is the beginning of the long goodbye,” Roger Daltrey said as the Who announced a world tour behind their Who Hits 50! anniversary set. The tour will stop at Target Center in Minneapolis on Oct. 10, 2015. (Billboard)

Another farewell: Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young will never tour again, says Neil Young…”but I love those guys.” Not that the individual members are slowing down: Crosby, Stills and Nash have been busy on tour, and Young will release his new album Storeytone on Nov. 4. (Consequence of Sound)

Katy Perry will be the halftime performer at Super Bowl XLIX, to be held on Feb. 1 in Glendale, Arizona. Responding to reports that the NFL had been proposing artists pay for the privilege of having the high-profile gig, Perry said, “I’m not the kind of girl who would pay to play the Super Bowl.” (Billboard)

The rock turn Prince took with his band 3RDEYEGIRL on their new album PLECTRUM ELECTRUM has paid off: the album has debuted at number one on Billboard’s rock chart, the first time Prince has ever appeared on that chart. (Billboard)

As album sales continue their freefall, Billboard reports that not a single artist (except for the animated Queen Elsa) has sold over a million copies of an album—not even Beyoncé, whose self-titled 2013 album is the year’s top seller except for the Frozen soundtrack, which is running laps around everyone with over three million copies sold. CD sales have been in steep decline for years, and now digital sales are also declining quickly as consumers switch over to streaming. Good news for the Record Store Day crowd, though: vinyl sales (though still a small fraction of overall sales) are up almost 50% compared to last year, and independent retailers are growing as a segment of the industry (though their sales are still declining slightly overall).

The future is looking bright for most streaming music services—but not Grooveshark, which is likely going out of business amidst revelations of illegal behavior. The site, which includes bootlegs as well as legal music, has been sued by every major label at least once. (Billboard) Also struggling is London-based music discovery service Last.fm, which is facing declining revenues and is trying to adjust its strategy to focus on partnering with other streaming services instead of streaming music itself.

The American Music Awards, which have become the world’s biggest fan-voted awards show, announced their 2014 nominations. Iggy Azalea leads the honorees with six nominations, including artist of the year. Her fellow artist-of-the-year nominee include Beyoncé, Luke Bryan, Eminem, Imagine Dragons, John Legend, Lorde, One Direction, Katy Perry, and Pharrell Williams. The winners will be revealed at a nationally-televised ceremony Nov. 23 at L.A.’s Nokia Theatre. (Billboard)