Music News

Design the Cover Art for Your Favorite Song? Yes, Please.

Posted by on Mar 22, 2012 in Music, Music News | Comments Off


“Secret 7″ is a project which aims to rekindle some of the excitement for sleeve art in the digital era by exploring how a track would be interpreted by an array of brilliant artists.” An open competition, Secret 7 offers artists (painters, illustrators, graphic designers) an opportunity to design vinyl covers for some of the biggest and most buzzed musicians throughout the world; each design existing as a visual answer to “how does this song make me feel?” and, “how do I convey everything that I love about it in a 7×7″ block?” 

If you ask a thousand enthusiastic listeners about what should be on the cover of an album, you’ll probably get a thousand different, equally valid ideas. And this is exactly what happened.

Devised by the brilliant minds at Talenthouse and Universal music, the competition attracted the musical talents of  The Cure, Florence & The Machine, Bombay Bicycle Club, CSS, DJ Shadow, Noah & The Whale and Ben Howard (see below for music samples from each of these hosts), each of whom contributed one single as a design launchpad. On an ongoing basis, Talenthouse’s platform welcomes creative talents to participate in design challenges / contents, such as designing merchandise for a national event, creating a music video for a famous artist or remixing a well known track. The incentive for winning is grand, immediate exposure and a tremendous resume builder; plus, the event, band or advertiser gets the rare advantage of having a multitude of “pitches” to choose from. Everyone wins. It’s a fantastic concept, and the Secret 7 project truly highlights this while bringing fresh excitement to the synergy between music and printed art. 

Over the past few months, thousands of cover-designers have submitted 7×7 designs for their chosen song. And, on Record Store Day (April 21, 2012), 700 of the best works will be displayed and auctioned off at the Idea Generation Gallery, with proceeds to benefit The Teenage Cancer Trust. To add an extra creative surprise, no one at the gallery will know which work belongs to which song, so all design work will be open to interpretation!

After the gallery opening, cover winners will be chosen by the public via Facebook and Twitter. (Don’t worry, I’ll remind you about this when the time comes!)

Discover more about the project on Facebook and their website.


Now it’s your turn! Listen to some of the music from Secret 7 hosts and see where your imagination/curiosity lead you. When the song ends, what’s the image that’s left in your mind? And, if you had to, how would you represent it on a 7×7 page?  


The Cure: Friday, I’m in Love:


Bombay Bicycle Club: Lights Out, Words Gone


CSS: City Grrrl


Ben Howard: Black Flies


Noah & The Whale: Old Joy


Florence and The Machine: If Only For a Night

Peter Frampton Finds Lost Guitar 3 Decades Later

Posted by on Mar 20, 2012 in Music, Music News | 1 comment


Peter Frampton sold millions of records with the help of a customized Gibson guitar. It was even featured on the cover of his 1976 live album Frampton Comes Alive! Three decades ago, that guitar was destroyed in a plane crash over Venezueala … or so he thought.

Just last month, he was happily reunited with his lost instrument!

Read the full, incredible story on NPR



Surprising Trends in 2011′s Music Sales

Posted by on Mar 9, 2012 in Music News | 1 comment




Last Year’s Stats Are In. Is this pretty much what you expected or are you surprised?

Music Sales Stats from the The Nielsen Company show that (somehow) music sales in the U.S. are up 1.6 percent in 2011. While physical album sales declined, this was sharply countered by a 16.8% increase in digital album sales and a 9.6% growth in track purchases. And, a few more quick facts from the May, 2011 Nielson report:

    • Digital retailers received more than half of all music transactions, propelling a 12.4 percent growth in sales over last year.
    • Vinyl sales increased 37 percent in the beginning of 2011 over the same period last year.
    • 2011 saw the most successful Record Store Day in the event’s four-year history. Album sales at independent record stores increased over 39 percent the week of Record Store Day (April 16) from the prior week – an increase of 180,000 units – and 12.7 percent compared to 2010.
    • Rock is the most popular genre of music, with 32 percent album share, while pop music represents 40 percent of all current digital tracks sold.


A deeper look into the new ditgial music landscape, brought to you by Mark Mulligan’s Music Industry Blog:

  • In 2011, Spotify hit 2.5 million paying users, Rhapsody 800,000 and Sony Music Unlimited 800,000.
  • Pandora’s IPO started trading in June, and by July it had added more than 20 million registered users, to hit 100 million in total. This makes their total active user base a whopping 36 million, aka: 3.6% of all US radio listening hours.
  • “After a year or so of relative inactivity in the digital music service space, 2011 saw the arrival of a raft of new players including Blackberry’s BBM Music, Android Music, Muve Music , and Rara. The momentum looks set to continue in 2012 with further new entrants such as Beyond Oblivion and psonar.”



Introducing.. Chigliak Records

Posted by on Mar 9, 2012 in Music News | Comments Off

Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon is now a business man! Vernon has created Chigliak Records, an imprint of Jagjaguwar. Check out Amateur Love, the first band set to release a record with the Chigliak enterprise: