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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

See You Next Year

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 5:00 PM

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C-Notes is taking a little break during the holidays.

We have some last-minute shopping to do, some parties to hit and some movies to watch (can you believe we haven't watched Elf yet?).

So we'll see you next year, all shiny and happy and ready to bitch about 2010.

Remembering Diane Duncan

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 3:34 PM

Artist/musician/teacher Diane Duncan passed away a couple of weeks ago at the far-too-young age of 47. Duncan was best known in the local music scene as the vocalist for the boundary-pushing indie-rock quartet the Vivians in the late ’80s and early ’90s. The group’s 1989 EP Vivicide featured five tracks of the band’s unsettling music, fronted by Duncan’s feral howl. The band also released a single, “Spades,” in 1994. An underground pre-supergroup of sorts, the Vivians also included bassist Rae Martello, who went on to play with the Heathers, current Pere Ubu bassist Michele Temple on guitar and, at different times, two drummers who also went on to play with Pere Ubu — Scott Benedict and Steve Mehlman. Duncan, who had a PhD in philosophy, also taught at several colleges and universities, and most recently had been exhibiting her artwork under the name Diane Moira Duncan.

There will be a gathering of family and friends to celebrate the life of this brilliant if difficult woman at the B-Side Liquor Lounge (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd.) from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, December 27. It’s free and all are welcome. — Anastasia Pantsios

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The Best Christmas Song. Ever.

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 3:03 PM

As C-Notes prepares to shut down shop for a couple weeks, we leave you with the best Christmas song of all time.

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It's Because He's Black, Right?

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 2:12 PM

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Cleveland-bred rapper Kid Cudi was pulled over by cops and held at gunpoint yesterday after LAPD's best figured Kanye's pal and his crew must be robbers because, you know, they're black.

Apparently Cudi was doing a photo shoot for British music magazine NME when police officers pulled over Cudi and his three-car entourage and ordered everyone to kneel. According to witnesses, officers pointed guns at the group as they handcuffed them.

The cops quickly figured out that they got the wrong black people, set Cudi and his pals free, and went looking for other black people to harass.

In other recent Kid Cudi news, the rapper last week announced he was leaving his highly publicized opening slot on Lady Gaga's tour. At the time, word was that Cudi wanted to get back into the studio. But now it looks like it probably had something to do with the fact that Cudi punched a Lady Gaga fan at one of the shows.

But seriously: If you're gonna punch a music fan, don't you think Lady Gaga's would be at the top of the list? —Michael Gallucci

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Further Proof That Radio Is Clueless

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 1:58 PM

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Wanna know the No. 1 reason radio is dying? Because it sucks.

According to decade-end Nielsen stats — I'll send you to The New York Times for the full story — Tim McGraw's "Something Like That" was the most-played song of the 2000s.

Really? Can anyone out there even tell me how that song goes? Seriously — I know I heard the song because I've listened to every Tim McGraw record that's been released since the mid-'90s. But I have no idea what "Something Like That" sounds like.

Other big spinners (which are broken down by genre) include Train's "Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)," Papa Roach's "Last Resort" and Staind's "It's Been Awhile." You know what they all have in common, besides being played many, many times on the radio over the past decade? They all suck.

So if you're still wondering why radio is dying and why people are turning to their iPods or Grooveshark or Pandora or places other than commercial radio for music, here's your answer: Because all those stations are playing really shitty songs over and over and over again. —Michael Gallucci

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Cleveland Music Sales: The Decade in Numbers

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 1:40 PM

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Check out this week’s Scene for a rundown of the Northeast Ohio’s ten biggest music-related stories of the decade. It covers the changing music business and the careers of the scene’s top-selling artists, including the Black Keys, Kate Voegele and Chimaira.

(R&B singer Avant, a 1995 graduate of the Cleveland School of the Arts, hasn’t been an active presence on the day-to-day scene over the decade. His five albums have sold a combined 3.3 million copies and 864,000 digital songs.)

As we researched the piece, we dug up all-time sales figures for some of the area’s biggest musical exports from the ’00s and the ’90s. Record sales are down across the entire industry, and Ohio acts are no exception. What’s your take on why the Black Keys — the top-selling locally spawned group of the decade — aren’t putting up Nine Inch Nails numbers? Is it due to downloading, less time on the shelf or something else?

Increasingly, sales are tracked by both albums and digital songs. “Album sales” includes both 1) physical CDs/records sold and 2) purchased downloads of entire albums. “Digital song” sales refer to single tracks sold. So if someone bought the Black Keys’ entire Rubber Factory album, it counts as one record sold. If someone downloaded 12 of its 13 tracks, that transaction counts as 12 digital tracks sold. Transactions only count in one category.

All figures are courtesy of Nielsen SoundScan, the service that tracks sales for the music industry. All numbers are from December 9, except the Levert group and Black Keys bands’ figures, which are from December 16; we wanted to see how the new BlakRoc disc was selling.

Black Keys bands and projects:

Black Keys: 5 albums and 2 EPs. 747,000 copies sold. 413,000 digital songs.

BlakRoc: 1 album (released November 27, 2009). 24,000 copies sold. 1,000 digital songs.

Dan Auerbach: 1 album. 49,000 copies sold. 23,000 digital songs.

Drummer: 1 album. 1,000 copies sold. 1000 digital songs.

Total Black Keys-related sales: 821,000 albums sold. 438,000 digital songs.


Gerald Levert projects (1984-2007, RIP 2006):

LeVert: 7 albums, one best-of comp. 1.32 million albums sold. 115,000 digital songs.

Gerald Levert solo: 10 albums. 5.51 million albums. 374,000 digital songs.

LSG (Levert-Sweat-Gill): 2 albums. 2.1 million copies sold. 106,000 digital songs.

Gerald & Eddie Levert: 2 albums. 705,000 copies sold. 6,000 digital songs.

Gerald Levert-related sales: 21 original studio albums. 9.43 million albums sold in SoundScan era (1991+). 601 digital songs.


Others:

Avant: 5 albums. 3.3 million copies sold. 864,000 digital songs.

Bone Thugs-n-Harmony: 9 albums. five best-of comps, 16.6 million copies sold. 1.8 million digital songs.

Chimaira: 5 albums. 425,000 copies sold. 111,000 digital songs.

Kid Cudi: 1 album. 216,000 copies sold. 2.44 million digital songs.

Mushroomhead: Six albums (including XX comp). 650,000 copies sold. 171,000 digital songs.

Nine Inch Nails: 8 albums (if you count the EP Broken as a major release), four remix EPS. 13 million copies sold. 3.1 million digital songs.

Kate Voegele: 2 albums. 350,000 copies sold. 1.1 million digital songs. —D.X. Ferris

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What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2009 at 12:40 PM

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Still no plans for New Eve?

Pick up the December 30 issue of Scene for a full, detailed list of Northeast Ohio's parties.

Or get a jump on your planning by clicking here
to see Scene's clubs listings.

It's an advance look at some of the biggest clubs and coolest parties. —D.X. Ferris

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