JANUARY TO MARCH
January begins with rumors flying that The long-defunct Police will reunite for some live shows, the ever-elusive Sting included. Bjork plans a tour - with a rumored appearance at a big summer event - and simultaneously works on her newest album, while Wilco wraps work on their latest, Sky Blue Sky. Switchfoot tours to promote their latest album, and V2 Records closes their doors, leaving the likes of Moby, The Raconteurs, and The White Stripes without a record label.
January CD releases include: Ron Sexsmiths Time Being, Leonard Cohens Songs of Love and Hate, Bird and the Bees Bird and the Bee, and Beiruts Lon Gisland.
In February, Beck drops a special deluxe edition of his The Information album, while Ticketmaster tries to placate ticked-off ticket buyers by offering free music downloads to fans with the purchase of select concert tix to offset Ticketmasters escalating (in) Convenience Fees. And those rumors on The Police prove true, as the band, complete with all three original members, opens up the 49th Annual Grammy Awards, which also featured performances from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Dixie Chicks, and Gnarls Barkley. Winners at the Grammys included Madonna, Bela Fleck, OK Go, and Gnarls himself. February CD releases include: Apples in Stereos New Magnetic Wonder, Apostle of Hustles National Anthem of Nowhere, The Magic Numbers Those Are the Brokes, and Bloc Partys A Weekend in the City.
Iggy Pop is the big news for March, when he kicks off a tour with his old band, The Stooges. LCD Soundsystem kick off their tour, too, while Hot Hot Heat keep busy mixing their upcoming album, and Coldplay release all of their singles as a box set titled Coldplay: The Singles 1999-2006. Justin Timberlake gets his very own branded VCast mobile phone channel; a critically-acclaimed DVD of Icelandic rock music, dubbed Screaming Masterpiece, hits stores; and the SXSW Festival hits Austin, Texas, with appearances from Bloc Party, The Fratellis, and The Stroke-gone-solo, Albert Hammond, Jr. March CD releases include: the aforementioned Albert Hammond Jr.s Yours to Keep, Modest Mouses We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, Airs Pocket Symphony, and Jesse Malins Glitter in the Gutter.
APRIL TO JUNE
The Killers kick off their latest tour as April begins, and the Arctic Monkeys screech back onto the charts with their sophomore set, Favourite Worse Nightmare, complete with accompanying European tour dates. The Canadian Juno Awards are held, with nods for the likes of Sarah McLachlan, Nelly Furtado, and singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith. Earth Day is celebrated in both NYC and Chicago with the 2nd Annual Green Apple Fest, which featured sets from The Decemberists, Kaiser Chiefs, The Walkmen, and Particle. Elsewhere, U2s Bono is officially dubbed a Knight of the British Empire; Apple introduces their Complete My Tracks program so users can get credit for songs already purchased when buying an entire album; and Sean Lennon kicks off his spring tour. April CD releases include: Klaxons Myths of the Near Future, Kaiser Chiefs Yours Truly, Angry Mob, Michael Penns Palms and Runes: The Best of Michael Penn, and The Braverys The Sun and the Moon.
In May, the Bamboozle Fest hits New Jersey, with sets from Muse, Saves the Day, and headliners My Chemical Romance. Elvis Costello releases not one, but two sets of hits, rarities, and B-sides, while Cranberries singer Dolores ORiordan releases her first set in four years Are You Listening? Smashing Pumpkins kick off a full summers slate of live shows with a performance in Paris, France on the 22nd; Blurs Damon Albarn announces that there will be no more new albums from his side project, Gorillaz; and Jack White has dual news, with an upcoming new Stripes album (dubbed Icky Thump) and busy studio time with his other band, The Raconteurs, who are worked on their second album. May CD releases include: The Sea and Cakes Everybody, Squeezes Essential Squeeze, Bjorks Volta, and The Nationals Boxer.
June sees U2 embark to Morocco with producer Daniel Lanois to begin writing sessions for what is assumed will be U2s next studio album, while Super Furry Animals finish mixing their latest set, Hey, Venus! and schedule out a full summer tour, as do Muse, who wind up with a schedule of U.S. live dates. The Strokes announce that theyll be taking the entire next year off; fine news for Albert Hammond Jr. who continues to promote his solo disc, and Jack Johnson starts work on his fifth album at his own (and eco-friendly) Brushfire Studios. June CD releases include: Lifehouses Who We Are, The White Stripes Icky Thump, The Polyphonic Sprees The Fragile Army, and Hot Chips DJ Kicks.
JULY TO SEPTEMBER
July brings all kinds of music news, from the cool (The Beastie Boys extending their world tour in promotion of their latest album, The Mix-Up) to the questionable (The Spice Girls reuniting). Squirrel Nut Zippers and The Beta Band decide to reunite, too, whether spurred on by the Spices or not is anybodys guess. Zune presents a series of free hip-hop BBQ concerts, Matchbox Twenty goes into the studio to work on some new tracks for an upcoming retrospective disc, Aussie band Silverchair embark on a tour, and this years Mercury Music Prize announces its 2007 nominees, with Arctic Monkeys, Klaxons, and Maps topping the list. But perhaps the biggest news of July was the Live Earth event, which featured shows on all seven continents (yes, including Antarctica) and 15 hours of televised coverage. Performers including Snow Patrol, The Police, Madonna, Crowded House, The Beastie Boys, and RHCP, among tons of others, united for this event under the direction of Al Gore (yes, that Al Gore) to raise awareness of climate change and global warming. July CD releases include: Rooneys Calling the World, The Chemical Brothers We Are the Night, Duran Durans Big Thing, and Editors An End Has a Start.
The big music news in August, of course, was Chicagos Lollapalooza fest, which started with hot temperatures and showcased lots of equally hot acts, including Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Regina Spektor, Spoon, festival founder Perry Farrells Satellite Party, Im From Barcelona, Daft Punk, Interpol, and Muse. Other than Lollapalooza, musicians kept busy touring and making progress on various albums, including Swedens The Hives, who wrapped work on their new set with producer Jacknife Lee. Elvis Costello announced that hell be teaming up with Bob Dylan for a fall tour; Madonna sells her record label, Maverick, back to its parent company, Warner Music; and BBC Radio 1 celebrates their 40th anniversary with a cool compilation disc and various other events. August CD releases include: The Starting Lines Direction, Black Rebel Motorcycle Clubs Berlin, Northern States Can I Keep This Pen?, and Talib Kwelis Ear Drum.
While Lolla was the namesake event of August, the Austin City Limits event is perhaps the place to be for September, with Austin, Texas playing host to Bjork, The White Stripes, Bob Dylan, Bloc Party, Arcade Fire, Bela Fleck, Wilco, Queens of the Stone Ages, and tons more bands, all in one weekend. Elsewhere, Seal keeps busy working on his first album in four years with co-producer Stuart Price; Wyclef Jean announces that his next album will finally hit stores in November of this year; and the L.A. Swerve Festival hits L.A. for the first time, with live sets from Illinois, Snowden, and Black Angels. September CD releases included: James Blunts All the Lost Souls, Hot Hot Heats Happiness, Ltd., Simian Mobile Discos Attack Decay Sustain Release, and VHS or Betas Bring on the Comets.
OCTOBER TO DECEMBER
In October, Iceland was the place to be, as that was where the Airwaves Music Festival took place, with headliners including Bloc Party, Mugison, Of Montreal, Gus Gus, and more. Another fest of note is the new-ish New Yorker Festival, complete with sets from (coincidentally) Icelandic popsters Sigur Ros, Talking Head David Byrne, and others. And yet another festival - this one wrapping up the month - was the Vegoose Fest, which took place in the desert just outside of Las Vegas, complete with a Halloween theme and rockin performances from Iggy Pop, U.N.K.L.E., Muse, and Battles. In other October news, The Ramones release a new double-DVD set titled Its Alive: 1974-1996; Collective Soul and Live team up for a fall tour; and The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces its latest set of nominees, which include Madonna, The Beastie Boys, and The Dave Clark Five. October CD releases include: Underworlds Oblivion with Bells, Dan Wilsons Free Life, The Frays Reason, and The Hives The Black and White Album.
November arrived with a DVD set from none other than Paul McCartney, who offered up a career-spanning 3-volume collection titled The McCartney Years that spanned four decades of his videos, performances, singles, and more. But even bigger news were Radiohead, who released their Rainbows CD for free as a digital release. The Rock for Darfur initiative kicked off with worldwide concerts by Hot Hot Heat, Mute Math, and others to raise funds for the humanitarian crisis, while the Warchild charity event in London featured sets from Keane, the Magic Numbers, and The Raconteurs Brendan Benson. Also in November, Queens of the Stone Age play a special fans-only set in a salt mine underground in Europe; Razorlight arrives on U.S. shores for a tour; and Coldplay wrap work on their latest album. November CD releases include: The Killers Sawdus, Seals System, LCD Soundsystems 45:33, and Daft Punks Alive 2007.
And December wrapped up 2007 with plenty of events, even as the year drew to a close. Moby offered up a holiday gift - his own music, gratis, for indie filmmakers to use in their own productions. The Vines start work on their new album in Los Angeles, while, on the opposite coast, Sufjan Stevens performs his first classical-meets-indie-pop symphony. David Bowie releases a box set of his most recent albums, a whopping 60 hours of rare tracks, remixes, bonus materials, and more. In other news, We Are Scientists drummer, Michael Tapper, quits the band; Sub Pop Records opens a digital online shop; DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist announce that theyll be teaming up for a January tour; and Madonna is working away at her latest album, which is due in spring of 2008; and Bjork re-teams with video director Michel Gondry for her video single Declare Independence. December CD releases include Keanes Night Sky, Rivers Cuomos Alone: The Home Recordings, Vangelis Blade Runner Trilogy: 25th Anniversary and Various Artists on Pop Ambient 2008 and thats the buzz for 2007s Modern Rock Rewind.