Kanye West’s ‘The Life of Pablo’ Hits Number One

Keith Caulfield, writing for Billboard, reports that Kanye Westʼs The Life of Pablo will debut at number one on the Billboard 200 charts.

The Life of Pablo is the first No. 1 on the Billboard 200 where the majority (70 percent, in fact) of its units were generated by streaming equivalent albums (SEA). Its 66,000 SEA units equates to just over 99 million U.S. streams for the album’s tracks in the week ending April 7. (Each SEA unit is equal to 1,500 streams from an album.)

A Bunch of Free Downloads Are Up on Amazon

Amazon has a whole lot of digital albums up for free download. Stuff like Augustana, Brand New, Say Anything, and Boys Like Girls. At first I thought this was some weird “sign up for our whatever program and then get the albums in our proprietary format” thing. Nope. I downloaded a zip file full of mp3s for that Augustana album as a test.1

Update: Not sure if this was an error on Amazon’s part or if there was a limit on the albums available, but the selection seems to have been cut immensely.


  1. Seriously, if you don’t have that album, get it.

One Week in the Books

Chorus.fm

I wanted to title this, “It’s been one week …,” but the moment I even think that sentence I’ve got Barenaked Ladies stuck in my head the rest of the day. You’re welcome for that. However, now that it’s the weekend, it means we have officially gone through our first week on the new website. I wanted to take a moment and thank everyone for the incredible response we’ve seen over the past seven or so days. I’ve been blown away by the outpouring of support, kind words, and all the amazing write-ups and tweets I’ve read remembering AbsolutePunk. I’ve compiled some of the articles from current and former staffers alike into a little round-up below, and put together some first week stats on the site as well.

Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop – ‘Love Letter For Fire’

Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) and Jesca Hoop will be releasing Love Letter for Fire on April 15th. You can stream the album on NPR.

It’s been 15 years since Sam Beam released his first collection of whispery, low-definition solo recordings, recorded at home under the name Iron & Wine. Back then, it would have been difficult to imagine how many directions Beam’s music would travel: Iron & Wine’s records have evolved into lavish exercises in horn-laden Technicolor sprawl, while Beam has most recently set aside time for album-length collaborations with Band Of Horses’ Ben Bridwell and now singer-songwriter Jesca Hoop.

Bruce Springsteen Cancels North Carolina Show

Bruce Springsteen has canceled his upcoming North Carolina show over their ridiculous new “bathroom” law:

As you, my fans, know I’m scheduled to play in Greensboro, North Carolina this Sunday. As we also know, North Carolina has just passed HB2, which the media are referring to as the “bathroom” law. HB2 — known officially as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act — dictates which bathrooms transgender people are permitted to use. Just as important, the law also attacks the rights of LGBT citizens to sue when their human rights are violated in the workplace. No other group of North Carolinians faces such a burden. To my mind, it’s an attempt by people who cannot stand the progress our country has made in recognizing the human rights of all of our citizens to overturn that progress. Right now, there are many groups, businesses, and individuals in North Carolina working to oppose and overcome these negative developments. Taking all of this into account, I feel that this is a time for me and the band to show solidarity for those freedom fighters. As a result, and with deepest apologies to our dedicated fans in Greensboro, we have canceled our show scheduled for Sunday, April 10th. Some things are more important than a rock show and this fight against prejudice and bigotry — which is happening as I write — is one of them. It is the strongest means I have for raising my voice in opposition to those who continue to push us backwards instead of forwards.

Review: Butch Walker – Afraid of Ghosts

Butch Walker - Afraid of Ghosts

Sometimes, albums need to be made. Whether motivated by the break-up of a long relationship, the death of a loved one, or some other life-changing incident, there are certain records that aren’t just artistic choices for the musician making them, but artistic necessities. Butch Walker is no stranger to these kinds of records. He made one of them six years ago, after losing his home in a wildfire and getting a new perspective on the things that really mattered; he did it again two years ago, hurrying to finish a set of songs so that his father would hear them before he died. Both of those albums, the 2008 LP Sycamore Meadows and the 2013 EP Peachtree Battle dealt with heartbreaking situations, but turned them into life-affirming statements. The former is a reminder that material possession is never the most important thing in life, while the latter is a love letter to Butch’s father and the relationship the two shared; both are the kind of personal and intimate records artists don’t make anymore.

An ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ Sequel in the Works

Deadline is reporting that Tom Cruise and Christopher McQuarrie are working on a sequel to Edge of Tomorrow.

Joe Shrapnel and Anna Waterhouse have been tapped to write the sequel to Tom Cruise and Doug Liman’s sci-fi sleeper hit Edge Of Tomorrow. The original film, also starring a buffed-up Emily Blunt, was a surprise and pleasure for many genre fans with its time-bending narrative and stylish chemistry between its leads. Although a slow opener domestically, it eventually hit $100 million in the U.S. More importantly, it was a bone fide smash internationally, grossing a further $270 million or so to make the case for a sequel pretty compelling.