Coming soon, unfortunately

Music you don't want
By DAVID THORPE  |  June 15, 2010


Despite last month's record sales (the lowest since anyone's been keeping track), some artists still don't get the picture: nobody wants music anymore. If people wanted it, they'd pay for it. America's album-buying youth demographic has, it's clear, moved on to more exciting things, like cowboy video games and sack tapping — but let's have a quick look at all the foolhardy, soon-to-be-unemployed musicians who don't see the writing on the wall:

RYAN ADAMS has written a batch of new songs inspired by an unlikely event. "Day after Dio's funeral, they just fell out," he revealed on Facebook. "Soft mellow acoustic jams." Only an infuriating contrarian could release a sci-fi-metal album out of nowhere and then get inspired to write slow jams by Dio's funeral. Maybe he's so bored with alienating his fans that he's trying to alienate Dio fans, too.

Irish cock-rock dynamos SNOW PATROL are writing material for a new album that's due in 2011. "I live by the sea in Ireland, and I find that's the most inspiring time, sitting with a guitar on the beach," said asdkkkkkkkkkkkkkklj — whoops, sorry, fell asleep on my keyboard for a second.

Venerable dance duo UNDERWORLD are preparing for their first record in three years. Their core audience is probably getting a little long in the tooth for all the drugs and dancing, but Underworld have the advantage of vocals, occasional guitars, and arrangements that approach songlike, so there's the option of an un-high, couch-bound listen.

On the other side of that coin are the CHEMICAL BROTHERS, who are planning some kind of extravaganza for their seventh album. Billboard promises a "concept-driven multimedia experience that aims to expand how their fans engage with their work." Maybe it'll include a special virtual-reality headset that can transport us back to 1996 and electrocute our brains into giving a shit.

Also: yes, it's become impossible to sell albums, but all the crazy deluxe-multimedia-experience crap is getting a little desperate and unseemly. Maybe just put a little post-it note on the sleeve that says "please?"

FAT JOE's new album, The DarkSide, is due out next month. I think the title is a reference to a massive, sunless area of the Earth that exists behind Fat Joe at all times. (Wait, can I still make fat jokes if the dude calls himself "Fat Joe," or did he already pre-empt that and make a fool of me — like, when Eminem was in that battle rap in 8 Mile and said, "Yeah, we already know I'm a shitty white kid, what else you got?") Fat Joe told Billboard he can't rest on his laurels "in an industry where you're only as good as your last hit." He'd better hope that's not the case, since his last Top 10er was "Get It Poppin' " with Nelly.

SCISSOR SISTERS (remember them?) are finally set to release their once-awaited third album, Night Work, at the end of the month. They completed a version some time ago, but it was scrapped: "[Band member] Babydaddy played it to Elton John, and next thing I get a call from Elton," singer Jake Shears told the UK's Sunday Times. "He just says, 'This isn't it, this isn't the record. It's just not right.' So I went to Berlin and pressed the reset button." It might sound a little weird, but it's an open secret within the music industry that all albums must be approved by Elton John before release.

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