Review: The Killers – Wonderful Wonderful

The Killers just can’t seem to catch a break.

You’d think that penning one of the most iconic, ubiquitous pop songs of the millennium would win you some points. Same with putting out a debut album that almost single-handedly prolonged the life of rock radio for an extra year or two. By all accounts, Brandon Flowers and company are nice guys who work hard, put on an exceptional live show, and have a better track record of radio singles than any other rock band this side of the Foo Fighters. But The Killers have never been cool. They certainly never earned the stamp of approval from critics, who took the “No Fun Police” stance against the singles from Hot Fuss and then vowed to bury the band when Brandon Flowers had the audacity to suggest that 2006’s Sam’s Town would be “one of the best albums in the last 20 years.” Most music writers expected The Killers to be a flash in the pan, and they were graciously willing to help the band reach their inevitable demise.

But a funny thing happened along the way: The Killers held on. As radio rock died, they kept writing hits. As the critical darling indie rock bands of the early 2000s slid toward mediocrity or obscurity or both, The Killers remained stubbornly present. Now, 13 years after Hot Fuss and five years after their last album, The Killers are back, and they are every bit as inescapable as they always have been. In the release week of September 22nd, which saw a massive deluge of new albums from acclaimed and up-and-coming artists, no one got as much press as The Killers.

They Took a Knee

Megan Garber, writing for The Atlantic:

The president had, once again, misrepresented the situation. The players are not, as a whole, protesting the national anthem. (There are bodies in the street, Kaepernick had said.) They are not protesting the flag. They are protesting police brutality against African Americans. They are protesting the lack of legal accountability for the officers who enact that violence. They are protesting, more broadly, the ways racism gets codified in America, the ways it is expanded from a personal evil into a societal one.

The Many Lives Of Jack Antonoff

Stereogum have a new feature on Jack Antonoff of Bleachers and his Shadow Of The City festival:

Plenty of festivals claim idiosyncrasy and don’t offer it at all. At Shadow Of The City, you truly feel like you’re at one guy’s event, from seeing his family mill around the festival grounds to those grounds’ intentional proximity to Jersey lore. (Throughout the day, you can escape the sun by going inside the Stone Pony and chilling at its dive bar corner or squinting up at the guitars lining the wall from past performers.) Antonoff’s drawing on experience here, not just from a youth spent in Jersey but from years of the touring grind and playing festivals. There’s an over-saturation in that world, a sameness. And though Shadow Of The City isn’t intended to grow beyond its specific boundaries, to some extent it feels like an antidote to all the rest of it. “The whole point was, what are other festivals doing and let’s do the opposite,” he explains.

Sponsor

Travis Barker Talks Next Solo Album

Travis Barker of Blink-182 recently talked with Music Radar:

A lot of people go, ‘Oh, Travis Barker has a solo album, I hope he’s doing drum solos everywhere.’ Well, unfortunately not every song requires a drum solo. Even with Blink it’s weird if I’m going crazy in every song. There comes a time with musicianship that you have to do what the song is asking for. […]

I am 70 percent done with my new solo album. The next part, the most important piece, is for me to go play drums on it now. We’ve got the programming, I’ve made all of the beats, the second step was to get all of the artists and find out which artists sound great on which beats. The third step is me playing drums on it, mixing it and then putting it out.

Propagandhi Talk With Punktastic

Chris Hannah of Propagandhi sat down with Punktastic to talk about their upcoming album:

Given how bands with members who are seen as marginalized in society are gaining significant traction in various punk circles than ever before, Hannah acknowledges that he’d rather see these groups be bigger rather than expand on Propagandhi’s legacy. “People are tired of hearing a white man spout off about politics and social issues. I’m tired of it too. There are far more interesting perspectives come from those involved in organizations such as Black Lives Matter and The Indigenous Resistance Movement. Whilst they might not be organizations in the traditional sense, they are important forms of social justice. They can channel our efforts of how we might be able to salvage what we call civilization.

2017 Music Sales Are Up

Peter Kafka, writing for Recode:

Music streaming is big, and getting bigger fast. Digital downloads are falling off a cliff.

Oh, and one more familiar refrain: The music industry loves the money it’s getting from subscription services like Spotify and Apple Music, but it wants YouTube to pay them much more. […]

More than 30 million people are now paying for a subscription streaming service in the U.S., which pushed streaming revenue up 48 percent, to $2.5 billion, in the first half of the year. Streaming now accounts for 62 percent of the U.S. music business.

And that’s pushing the overall music business back up again, after a fall that started in 1999, with the ascent of Napster, and didn’t stop until a couple years ago. Retail sales were up 17 percent, to $4 billion, and wholesale shipments were up 14.6 percent, to $2.7 billion.