Here’s this week’s Essential stories and the best new music we’ve heard this week (that haven’t already featured on the blog). Click the jump to see the 10 articles, then on the next page are some new videos by the likes of Crystal Castles, School of Seven Bells, an awesome mix by Cardiff’s Bodhi (seriously, you have to hear it) and a new Vampire Weekend song, ‘Unbelievers’. But first, check out the new song and video by Cork band Young Wonder.


Why Bon Jovi at Slane Castle will be the yawn gig of 2013
The band, like so many heritage acts who haven’t scored a crossover hit this century (hello Red Hot Chili Peppers) have overplayed their hand. They keep touring because they are not having big hits so they keep hitting the dedicated fanbase for the cash. That dedicated fanbase is happy to keep paying but everyone else just shrugs their shoulders and walks on by. Bon Jovi? Are those mullet heads still going?

Irish band the Ambience Affair recently made their debut album Burials available as a free download. Here are their thoughts on the experiment
We gave away as many downloads in the first 24 hours than we managed to sell in the previous year.We were overwhelmed with the response from journalists and our fans alike.But it is still such a hard thing for me to accept as a songwriter.I’m wondering if the profession I’ve chosen really is the right one, and if talent is becoming less and less of a valid excuse to continue this pursuit.

I’m Sad Taylor Swift Just Sold 1.2 Million Copies Of “Red”, But Not For The Reason You Think
This one album by Taylor Swift accounted for 19.3% of all albums sold in the U.S. last week. Look at just country music and “Red” accounted for 62.6% of all albums sold last week. 62.6% of all sales…

13 Extremely Scary Things About the Music Industry Today…
85% of indie digital revenue comes from iTunes … and 95% from iTunes, Spotify and Amazon MP3

Live review of Beach House’s show in Cork last week. Some interesting thoughts
There is no getting away from the fact that Beach House are an odd band. They are clearly reluctant pop stars (effusive thanks to the venue, the festival, the support act and the audience showed that beyond doubt), a “small” band begun simply as a recording project, but somehow catapulted into the indie stratosphere. Although many of the newer tunes are big, the stage presence is still small, so to speak. There are no grand gestures

“I think festivals are the death of art” – DiS meets Jason Pierce from Spiritualized
It’s just as miserable making a pop record as it is any other. They’re both difficult to do. I think when you record you get involved in music in a way you never should in that you’re trying to capture something. Performing music is the most joyful thing in the world. It’s like being in an avalanche, but you can manoeuvre around it and make a space for yourself. It’s a glorious feeling. Trying to nail that is horrible, and you’re trying to recreate something that should be natural. You end up listening to the same piece of music over and over trying to achieve something. I wound up thinking I never wanted to make another record ever again.

Led Zeppelin: ‘There was a swagger – we knew we were good’
“It’s the music,” Page says. “My life has been about that, not just trying to create a stir over something else that’s irrelevant to the music. I’ll tell you something: in all those books you won’t get any more understanding about the music than you will by actually listening to it. It’s not about some bit of insanity over here, it’s about that music that’s recorded across those albums.”

“Music fans have to stop being so fucking menopausal” – Teens, emos, chavs, music – an interview with Neil Kulkarni
Subcultures have ‘meaning’ to kids in as much as they’re used as terms of abuse – no kid will willingly stand up and admit to being either a “chav” or an emo, but both groups use those terms against each other with definite ideas of what each means. I think old-folks keen-ness to be able to demarcate kids into those categories in the same way they were demarcated when they were nippers causes resistance amongst most kids to being part of any category. The subcultures definitely exist but they’re not something worn like a badge anymore

How the Internet Killed Carly Rae Jepsen
It’s important to note first just how much of a fluke “Call Me Maybe” was. It was written entirely by Canadians — Jepsen, her bandmate Tavish Crowe, and Josh Ramsay of pop-punk band Marianas Trench — who were all but unknown in the U.S. and, it should be noted, who wrote no new material for Kiss. The song was a Canadian hit, but thanks to Canadian airplay regulations, so are lots of singles that never leave the country

What are an Artist’s Metrics for Success in the Digital Age?
Until a clear path is carved for physical album buyers into the digital realm, album sales will continue to dwindle. And that not only matters in industry revenue terms, it matters from a creative perspective as well. I am not arguing that we try to turn back the tide of album atomization (many consumers will forever more only want individual tracks from many artists). But what must happen is the emergence of a new generation of album products that deliver not just as much, but more value to music fans than CD albums currently do.