Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The New Van Halen is Here!

And it is stellar. Wow, been a while since I've put any new posts up here, but this is worth it. Looking back on my skeptical, believe it when I hear it posts about a new VH album and tour, I look a little cynical, but that's what not having a new album in 14 years will do to you.

But the record is here, and it's great. If you've somehow missed it, search on YouTube for "Van Halen Different Kind of Truth", or head over to the group's official site at And then, buy the album and by all means, go see a show. If you've never seen Van Halen live, this is the tour to see. From what I've heard of the first two shows, they're on. And when Van Halen is on, nobody is better.

A lot of things have happened since VH put out their last record, including a complete shift in the way the music industry works. We've talked a little about that here, but Michael Lefsetz has written a really nice piece you should read here:

Here's a snippet:

Now if you grade on a scale, "A Different Kind Of Truth" entered the chart at number two, beaten only by Adele. So, if you’re someone who enjoys rankings, you can take pleasure in this.

But the sales number is piss-poor.

In other words, the old paradigm is dead.

You know, the one that began in the SoundScan era, twenty years ago. Where your project was front-loaded, where you amped up the publicity to get a good first week number, to get retailers to stock the CD. And if you got a high number, you were on your way, if not, and you were an established act, you were dead.

But now recording income is no longer the primary revenue stream. It’s just a piece of the pie. Albums are advertisements for the tour. And based on reaction to "A Different Kind Of Truth", Van Halen will be able to tour for years to come.

As for going to see the band live, I'm following my own advice, and going to see them at the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN tonight. Really, really looking forward to it. The band is allowing cameras this tour too, so I hope to get some good shots.
I'll let you know how it goes.