Happy endings

Bad news begets good tunes
By MATT ASHARE  |  September 12, 2007

VIDEO: Foo Fighters, "The Pretender"

Fall preview 2007
“Busy busy: Something for everyone this fall.” By Debra Cash. 
“Stage worthies: Fall on the Boston boards.” By Carolyn Clay. 
“Basstown nights: The new scene emerges; Halloween preparations.” By David Day. 
“Bounty: The best of the season’s roots, world, folk, and blues.” By Ted Drozdowski. 
“War, peace, and Robert Pinsky: The season’s fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.” By John Freeman.
“Trane, Joyce Dee Dee, Sco, and more: A jam-packed season of jazz.” By Jon Garelick. 
“Turn on the bright lights: Art, women, politics, and food.” By Randi Hopkins. 
“War zones: Fall films face terror at home and abroad.” By Peter Keough. 
“Locked and loaded: The fall promises a double-barreled blast of gaming greatness.” By Mitch Krpata.
“BBC? America!: The networks put some English on the fall TV season.” By Joyce Millman.
“World music: The BSO goes traveling, and Berlin comes to Boston.” By Lloyd Schwartz. 

“Singles scene: Local bands dig in with digital.” By Will Spitz. 
The end is nigh! And I’m not talking about the mortgage market. Like everything attached to Wall Street, it’ll rebound. But the major-label music industry that has evolved in the decades since Elvis Presley first set foot in Sun Studios appears to be in something of a free fall, with a sales downturn of 30 percent compared with this time last year staring record execs in the face, and Apple commanding something approaching a stranglehold on digital delivery services. We may indeed be witnessing the death throes of an industry we’ve all come to know and, well, tolerate. Which means the big labels should be pulling out all the stops this fall to get units moving in any way possible. On the bright side, forecasts of doom and gloom for the record industry tend to benefit us consumers: in a groundbreaking decision, for example, Capitol (finally!) allowed iTunes access to the once digitally sacrosanct John Lennon catalogue. The digitized Beatles can’t be far off. And said doom and gloom is also bound to make for some marketing ploys, like the proselytizing small-venue tour that dirty Detroit rock-rapper KID ROCK has planned as part of a “promotional blitz” to create a frenzy over his provocatively titled October 9 Atlantic release Rock N Roll Jesus. (Take that, John Lennon!)

Once all the September hoopla over who’s the biggest rapper of them all — Kanye or 50 Cent (answer: Jay-Z) — settles down, late September is looking good for the return of some familiar and reliable rockers. Dave Grohl’s FOO FIGHTERS just celebrated the 10th anniversary (yes, it’s been that long, and you are that much older now) of their second album, The Colour and the Shape, with a deluxe two-disc reissue this summer. But that was all designed to spark interest in yet another solid piece of rock, Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace (RCA; September 25), an album that has Grohl indulging in a little American guitar picking with Kaki King on the timely “The Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners.” Don’t worry, though: the first single, “The Pretender,” which is already available through iTunes (do you sense a recurring theme here?), is a classic Foo rocker, just a little bit angry and vengeful, but powered by a rousing, bloodletting chorus.

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Related: The year the music thrived, In living color, DIY all over again, More more >
  Topics: Music Features , Britney Spears, Robert Pinsky, Mariah Carey,  More more >
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