Tag Archives: music

Say ‘hello’ to Glee’s new songs, cracking the top 100 downloads… again

Glee's Triumphant return in April with songs cracking Top 100 itunes downloads

In light of Glee‘s epic return to primetime television, I decided to revive one of my previous posts about the show’s outstanding marketing ploy in releasing songs for download on iTunes after each episode. During the first half of the season, as the show grew in fan base, I noticed that each of the songs performed cracked the Top 100 downloads within minutes of the show’s end. Now, after its 5-month break, is it possible for Glee to continue this impressive track record?

Rather than divulging into one of my lengthy-and-usually-alcohol-induced obsessive over-analysis on the unparalleled success of Glee (much of which you are free to read here), I will just give you the straight facts.

This week’s show’s numbers, only one hour after the episode ended:
#15 Like a Prayer (Madonna cover)
#62 4 Minutes (Madonna cover)
#69 Borderline / Open Your Heart (Madonna cover)
#92 Like a Virgin (Madonna cover)

And if you think this instant-reaction to download these songs is just a one-hit-wonder, take a look at the songs from last week’s show that are still holding strong in the Top 100, a full seven days later:
#35 Gives You Hell (All-American Rejects cover)
#50 Hello (Lionel Richie cover)
#63 Hello Goodbye (Beatles cover)
#84 Hello, I Love You (The Doors cover)

The ability to download songs on sites like iTunes has given the show the power to market its content it venues outside the television world and spread the word to potential new followers. I am gleeful to find that apparently the show hasn’t lost any of its luster during its 5-month hiatus.

=============UPDATE 4/21 9:30 A.M.=============

And why not give my mandatory update of where the songs lie 12 hours later? I rest my case.

#7 Like a Prayer (+7)
#29 Borderline / Open Your Heart (+40)
#32 Gives You Hell (+3)
#34 4 Minutes (+28)
#92 Like a Virgin (+54)
#40 Hello (+10)
#57 Hello Goodbye (+6)
#62 Espress Yourself (new)
#67 Hello, I Love You (+17)
#83 What it feels like for a girl (new)
#95 Vogue (new)

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Why Grooveshark is the best online music player around

I could go on for hours about how Grooveshark is the best online music player in the world today. I could tell you that on it, you can find every song known to mankind. I could explain to you its “pandora-like” functions where it can autoplay a series of songs, allowing you to explore new music. I could also tell you stories about how Grooveshark has lead to new band discoveries. And the best thing I could tell you, is it’s all free.

But you know what? I won’t. I will just let Grooveshark show you themselves why they are so awesome. This time, it has nothing to do with their music playing ability; it has to do with their brilliant sense of humor (and maybe also their Where’s-Waldo-hidden ‘that’s what she said’ reference).

Grooveshark Maintenance Landing Page

Nooooo Pickles, not the coder!

(And since this is a social media-centric blog, I will also give props to their clever functional use of Twitter to update their maintenance status, essentially accessible from anywhere regardless of the website’s status.)

If Twitter tells me #Honorsociety is hot shit, it must be true

You know you’ve made it in showbiz when you’ve made it on Twitter.

I’m running through my Twitter accounts to catch up on news in the world and in my industry. As usual, I browse through the Twitter Trending Topics to see what people are talking about most. The usual come up: #musicmonday, Haiti, Titanic which just recently aired on network television, #theburiedlife, MTV’s newest coockie-cutter reality TV show… but the at the top is #honorsociety. I check the description, and the only explanation currently available is “because the gentlemen of @honorsociety rock twitter.” Thanks Twitter community for being so descriptive.

So I follow the Twitter search, and Honor Society is an r&b influenced pop band. I listen to some of their music on their MySpace page. Alright, I’ll give it to them. It’s a torrid love affair edged on the Backstreet boys crossed with Cobra Starship, subtly pre-packaged in a Disney Channel after school special. In sum, something I may listen to privately in the deepest ends of my closet in substitution for downing half a bottle of Patron to get rid of an isolated bad day. But that it neither here nor there.

Honor Society... I rest my case.

I am still baffled. How did they get to #1 Trending Topic? I became momentarily obsessed with this idea (as you can tell by having to write a blog posting about it.) For something that is so instantaneous like Twitter, I would expect a big event occurring for them to rise so quickly. The most recent appearance of Honor Society in the news was on January 31st when they sang the National Anthem at the Pro Bowl. Before that, they announced their next concert tour “Here Comes Trouble” on January 21st. Moving back even further, their most recent album was released on September 15th, 2009. Google Trends shows them on the up and up, but nothing standing out in a spike. Looking at their @honorsociety Twitter account, there is no activity out of the ordinary, no recent calls to action.

How did this happen? Are their fans really that obsessed? Are they really that much more technically savvy than the hundreds of thousand other mainstream bands out there? And for this to happen at 11:30 p.m. on a school night when most of the Disney Channel audience is counting sheep in their toasty beds?

I do not have the answers yet. But I have a sneaking suspicion that these answers will unlock the nexus of the universe.

If you weren’t believin’ before, you are now: Tonight’s ‘Glee’ songs already hitting Top 100

On October 29th, Columbia Records reported that the Glee Cast’s rendition of Journey’s beloved “Don’t Stop Believin’” went Gold in digital sales with an excess of 500,000 downloads. This rounds off the show’s total number of digital song purchases to over two million.

Tonight’s show (November 15th) featured “Defying Gravity” from the Broadway hit Wicked, and CCR’s classic “Proud Mary.”

As part of FOX’s genius marketing ploy, songs from each episode are released on iTunes for download as they appear on the show. Tonight, in one of my weakest moments, I gave in and purchased “Defying Gravity.”

After playing the song through a few times, I thought to myself – how many other people did exactly what I did? How many other Americans are also hopelessly brainwashed by the show’s catchy-teen-musical combination that they, too, in a zombie-like fashion, searched “Glee Cast’ in iTunes and clicked “purchase” to the two newest songs?

Around 1 A.M., I found the list of top 100 iTunes downloads, updated daily. Sure enough, within 3 hours of tonight’s Glee episode, the November 12th chart featured Glee’s “Defying Gravity” at #66 and “Proud Mary” at #81. Both songs are the only Glee songs currently featured on the Top 100.

Top 100 iTunes Downloads

How long had these songs been on the chart? Since there are no archives on the site, I looked up a Google cached version of that exact webpage. The most recent snapshot I found was taken on November 11th at 9:33 GMT, which comes out to 4:33 A.M. EST.

Google Cached version of the Top 100

I looked through the list, and I did not see the two songs in question. In fact, I did not even see one Glee song. Just to be sure of this, I used my trusty ⌘F key to “Find” the term Glee in the browser window, and still nothing came up. That’s pretty ⌘F-ing crazy.

Within just a few hours, two previously unknown songs had risen to the Top 100 downloaded list just because they appeared in a TV show.

According to the Boston Herald, the week of October 6th saw ten Glee songs crack the Top 200 download list, with “Somebody to Love” cracking the Top 10 – sitting up there with mainstream favorites Jay-Z, Mylie, and Black Eyed Peas.

All of these songs are not successful because of the phenomenal talent and energy of their performers alone. They are successful because they allow viewers to connect with the visual and emotional sensations they feel when watching the show.

A heart-felt rendition of “Keep Holding On” was sung at the end of an episode where Quinn, head cheerleader, was kicked off the squad because of an unplanned pregnancy. The performance of “No Air” exploded with chemistry between the lead male and female who are destined to cross high school clique boundaries.

This unique model allows the show’s story to continue beyond your flat screen TV. Glee is no longer just a one-hour-a-week commitment. It’s a full experience, a cult, a lifestyle.

=============UPDATE 11/12 10:39 A.M.=============

At 10:39 A.M., the Glee Cast’s version of “Defying Gravity” jumped to #41 and “Proud Mary” to #53. This is getting out of control.

=============UPDATE 11/13 1:36 P.M.=============

I am going to blow your mind with this interesting twist. Let me first start off by saying “Defying Gravity (Glee Cast Version)” is currently at #16 and “Proud Mary” quietly skipped to #39. That, in itself, is worth the blog update. However, I discovered even more noteworthy movement in the charts that merits addressing. Glee now has an additional three songs in the Top 100 daily downloads.

Last Wednesday, character Artie, a paraplegic in a wheelchair, sang a cover of “Dancing with Myself.” I originally did not mention this song as one of the ones featured in last episode because it was not a “Glee Club” song, sung on screen by the entire cast. Apparently, that did not stop the rest of America from paying attention to it. Originally a Billy Idol favorite, this Glee Cast rendition finally cracked the Top 100, coming in at #73.

In an even more mind-boggling event, the last two songs to hit the chart were two different versions of the episode’s headlining song, “Defying Gravity.” Accompanying the original Glee Cast Version at #16 are Rachel/Lea Michele‘s Solo Version at #35 (jumping from yesterday’s #75 ranking which I completely missed) and Kurt/Chris Colfer‘s Solo Version at #88.

I can’t imagine every single one of those three versions were downloaded by different people. That means with just one song, Fox’s genius marketing machine managed to potentially generate up to three times the revenue. No one in their right mind would typically download a song three times. However, as I explained earlier in the posting, these songs are more than just musical bliss. They are the emotional connectors between the viewers and the television show.

The song “Defying Gravity” was sung as part of a “diva-off” between the usual female lead, Rachel, and Kurt, the gay male who also wanted to be considered for the lead role, even though it is typically given to a female. Each character was asked to sing the song and the winner was voted on by the rest of the Glee club.

Downloading one or more of these versions means more than just defining which song displays the most musical prowess. Viewers can continue the show’s popularity debate over one character or another, or in their own way cast their vote as to who they think sang the song best. They could also sympathize with the ideal that everyone should have an equal opportunity, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or handicap.

It could be any or all of these elements. The point is these songs instill something different in everyone, and it’s those personal reasons that make them want to download a particular song – or in this case – maybe all three.