It wouldn’t be the Industry Wrap if there weren’t a collapse, a bankruptcy, a downsizing or a violent raid by pirates to report. This week, British retail giant HMV entered “administration,” which sounds good (“I made administration, mom!”) but is actually really bad (“Oh no, we’re in administration, mom!”). It’s basically like filing for Chapter 11 in America, and that’s a bad chapter. This is bad news for the company and its many employees, but, as CMU examines, this will also have immense effects on labels and distributors in the U.K. It’s unclear exactly what lies ahead for HMV, but the future looks bleak.
Are you in the market for a giant building? Maybe one in Manhattan? Perhaps a 855,000-square-foot tower? Well, you’re out of luck. Sony had one, but they sold it for $1.1 billion. Sorry, I know you had your heart set on it. I’m sure you’ll find something else to spend your $1.1 billion on.
Earlier this week Facebook introduced a new “Graph Search” function that lets you do things like find out how many people from your town love submarines or how many men from your alma mater are interested in alpaca hunting. It looks (maybe?) useful! But because this is Facebook, it also looks useful for companies and market research people who want to sell you stuff. As Billboard.biz points out the new search function could be “a fairly useful tool for music marketers to get a general sense of the likes and interests of a particular group of fans.” Finally, a way for music marketers to find out how much I love Chris Gaines.
Perennial ratings juggernaut and water-cooler discussion generator American Idol returned this week with new judges, but it seems like even the addition of Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey (and…um I guess Keith Urban?) wasn’t enough to stop the show from hemorrhaging viewers. They still haven’t gone along with my idea of having Chris Gaines and Garth Brooks serve as dual judges, so, whatever, fuck them. Gaines 4 Lyfe.
At the Industry Wrap, we like to keep tabs on America’s sweetheart Dave Grohl, so this week we’re introducing a new feature called, “The Week In Grohl.” Well, what’s Dave Grohl up to this week? AH, SO MUCH! He did a bunch of stuff to promote his upcoming documentary, Sound City, which debuts at Sundance soon, but he also did some cool weird stuff we’re gonna focus on. First off, it was revealed that he played drums on and produced Swedish metal band Ghost’s cover of ABBA’s “I’m A Marionette.” The cover will be a b-side to the band’s upcoming “Secular Haze” single. He was also on Marc Maron’s essential podcast WTF this week. Grohl!
U2 might be coming out with new music this year—like, a lot of new music. The album title that’s currently floating around is 10 Reasons To Exist, which sounds like the headline for a BuzzFeed article.
What artist is more likely to start an argument than U2? Chicago rapper Chief Keef! The “I Don’t Like” rapper was sentenced to two months in prison for violating his parole in a controversial Pitchfork.tv video where he was interviewed at a gun range. As with most things involving Keef, it’s a compelling, complex and sad story. If you’re not up on Keef’s ascent, this New York Times podcast with pop critic Jon Caramanica and RapRadar’s B.Dot is a decent place to start.
That’s it for this week. Because we like to end on a positive note, please go download the new Gunplay mixtape or the great new Master P mixtape. Please don’t watch this video about Wale and Jerry Seinfeld. Seriously, don’t watch it. Thanks.