Sunday, January 18, 2009

The power of television

In a world where Virgin Megastore and Circuit City are closing their doors, it seems the answer of whether or not the CD is a dying technology is just around the corner. No longer can these big box stores afford to stock CD's because they just aren't selling. In 2008 the top selling CD Lil' Wayne's "Tha Carter III" sold 2.88 million albums (June 6 release). In comparison in 2000, NSync's "No Strings Attached" with 2.4 million albums sold IN THEIR DEBUT WEEK.

The power of television in music has changed greatly as well. TRL once seen as the ideal jump off for up and coming artists went filmed its final show in 2008. While MTV has moved away from music VIDEOS, there is still plenty of music within the shows it airs. Shows like the Hills and Real World have soundtracks that have helped to break artists. One show that has done this greatly has been Grey's Anatomy. As music supervisor, Alexandra Patsavas and Chop Shop Music Supervision has perfected the art of pairing images with sounds. Since her days working on The OC, Patsavas has been a divining rod for some of the most talented acts around. Their placement in some of the country's hottest TVs with scores of consumers watching has provided a key portal for these artists to break into the mainstream.

One such band that benefited greatly from television placement is the Fray. In 2002, Isaac Slade and Joe King got together and started performing and writing together. The band filled out with Ben Wysocki on drums and Dave Welsh on guitar. The band first broke into the scene after "Over My Head (Cable Car)" was played on Denver radio station KTCL. The single was later released on their debut album How To Save A Life in the fall of 2005. It was the albums title track however that made its way into the second season of Grey's Anatomy and the fifth season of Scrubs. Even though it was yet to be released as a single, these two appearances resulted in "How To Save A Life" entering the Billboard Hot 100. It was later released as a single and used in the promotion for the third season premiere of Grey's Anatomy.

The Fray's "Look After You" and lastest single "You Found Me" have also been feautured prominently on television and movie soundtracks. "You Found Me" is the debut single from their latest self titled studio effort to be released on February 3, 2009. In preperation for the album's release the band did a small club tour of which I was able to attend the Boston show. (Thanks Stephanie, you rock)

The show took place on Wednesday Jan 14, 2009. It was the first time I had ever been to the Wilbur Theater and I was pleasantly surprised. The show was sold out at 1100 and the floor was standing room and had enough space that I didn't really feel crowded. I found a spot about center audience 20 or so feet back from the stage and settled in. The stage was covered in lamps of all different sizes and shapes and there were even a few chandeliers. It provided a really cool ambiance for the room (which is almost 100 years old). The band came out and went right to it. On the first song Isaac's vocals were a little muddled, but it didn't take long for the sound engineers to straighten that out. They cranked through some of the new songs and a majority of the songs from their debut albums. Hit "Over My Head (Cable Car)" made an early appearance and a few songs later "How To Save A Life" was given an acoustic treatment, and dedicated for a friends birthday. "You Found Me", "Syndicate", and "Say When" were all played of the new album and can be previewed on their Myspace page.

Overall it was a great show and I'm sure will mean success for their new album. Whether that success will mean number 1 on the charts or even a million albums sold? Who really knows, but almost every date on the promotional tour sold out, I"m sure a full blown spring/summer tour will do the same.


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