Downloading Your Idols
Season seven of “American Idol” might be over, but the finalists’ digital sales are just taking off, totaling 1.5 million single downloads just a week after the show’s finale. The two Davids, 25-year-old Cook and 17-year-old Archuleta, topped the list, with winner Cook selling 942,000 tracks and runner-up Archuleta following with 323,000.
David and David were the only contestants to break the six-figure mark for number of downloads and their sales reflect how they fared in the contest. The order of the rest of the top 10’s download figures, however, don’t quite match the order in which they were booted from the show. Twenty-year-old Jason Castro clocked in third for downloads (64,000), but placed fourth on the show, while Syesha Mercado, 21, trailed just behind the Davids in the competition, but came in seventh in downloads (18,000).
Fifth-place winner Brooke White and eighth-place winner Michael Johns sold 47,000 and 40,000 downloads, respectively, following Castro’s 64,000. Carly Smithson placed sixth both in the show and for downloads (33,000), followed by Mercado, Kristy Lee Cook (10,000), Chikezie (5,000) and Ramiele Mulabay (3,000).
My Top 8: Headlights
We continue our My Top 8 series this week with Champaign, Ill.'s Headlights.
In the colder days earlier this year, we were pleasantly toasted by the blazing indie pop-rock of Headlights at New York's Mercury Lounge. Comprising Tristan Wraight, Erin Fein, Brett Sanderson, Nick Sanborn and John Owen, they are one of the few bands from recent memory that actually look and sound like they're having fun playing together live.
The group released "Some Racing, Some Stopping" this winter via Polyvinyl, a killer collection. Currently -- and as always -- the band is on the road; they're opening for Mates Of State for a spate of dates, as well as touring with the Submarines and hitting a few festivals.
Below is a smattering of the band's top friends on MySpace, and why they're there.
we are on tour with these guys right now. they are quickly becoming great friends and we LOVE their spooky pop music.
a newish local band from our home town champaign, il.
seriously good song writing and harmonies. new record coming out on ideal utopia records.
the beauty shop-
another amazing band from good ol' champaign, il.
john hoeffleur is the man behind the tunes. some of the best outlaw rock we've ever heard.
the living blue-
these guys recently moved to chicago. great friends of ours that make psychedelic garage rock. so good.
you've probably already heard of aloha. we think they're one of the most unique and talented bands on the polyvinyl roster.
you think battles is good? check out maserati.
this guys voice will shake you to your core.
our homies from champaign. john our new guitar and noise maker is also in this band. their new record 'rabbit in the kitchen with a new dress on' is dark and awesome.
the best looking band in the midwest.
our buddies from way back when. these guys will get yr feet movin.
"Joe Lies...When He Cries..."
When Jaded Insider was a wee lad, he spent many an hour making mix tapes for girlfriends. (Pro-tip: You can’t go wrong with Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”. Just ask Lloyd Dobler.)
Now someone has come along and made a Web site dedicated to those adolescent scrawlings and random song associations. Cassettefrommyex.com collects the songs and the sometimes wistful, sometimes awkward, stories behind them. Via Buzz Feed
Idol Chatter: The 'Moment' we decided to 'Dream Big'
Instead of analyzing the unanimous Archuleta praise/anchor-decorated attire seen on last night's "Idol," Jaded Insider’s just gonna go ahead and judge part one of the finale on the contestants’ performance of original songs:
Song: “Dream Big”
Key lyric: “If you don’t dream big, what’s the use of dreaming”
Sounds like: Christian + Rock - Direct reference to "Him"
Execution: Considering David Cook never even intended to audition for “American Idol,” we had a hard time believing this was him living out that “big dream.” Him eyeing those big dollar signs in his future, maybe, but he was more or less just going through the motions.
Song: “In this Moment”
Key lyric: “Staring through a window at my own reflection/ How can a window encompass perfection”
Sounds like: Self-help book X narcissism + flashback to Kelly Clarkson
Execution: David Archuleta’s voice/singing style was more fitting for this type of crappolla inspirational song. Whether he chose the tune for its egotistical lyrics is debatable, though we can bet poppa Archy was pompously grinning ear to ear somewhere off the set.
Verdict: We’re giving this to David Cook out of pity voting. We went into the finale not swinging one way or the other, since both Davids have repeatedly rubbed us wrong all season, but once the judges got up on their David Archuleta-rulez-all high horse, we saw a Cook’s ego deflate (slightly) and realized that at the end of the day, meaning, once both finalists release debut albums, Cook’s gonna be riding the record sales and VH1-approved wave far longer than the teen prodigy Archuleta.
Tonight – DAVID WINS!!! D'oh!
None More Black
Those still depressed over the state of the music industry should go see the Black Keys. Akron's finest will make you forget about those rampant "American Idol" conspiracies and the latest round of major-label layoffs. They have an infectious energy these days, one that's hard to rival.
Go see the Black Keys. They popped by New York's Terminal 5 last night (May 15), giving 3,000 people a shot in the arm. In more ways than one, they're a revivalist band to the core. They've mastered blues rock with a twist, inserting spacey noodles during "I Got Mine," while slowing things down to a crowd-quieting hush during "You're the One."
Early on, they exploded out of the gate with the poppy "10 A.M. Automatic," the hard-hitting "Set You Free" and the raw stomper "Thickfreakness." Frontman Dan Auerbach, his Ohio family looking on, channeled Hendrix on his six-string, while drummer Patrick Carney, hunched over his kit, bashed away as if his very life depended on it. It was all a potent reminder that once upon a time, knowing how to manipulate guitar and drums was what rock bands were made of.
They're going to Europe next week, but will be back in August for another round here in the U.S. Maybe you should go. -- Michael D. Ayers