Oberst record sales good for No. 19 (and vinyl’s impact); See Through Dresses, Simon Joyner tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , , — @ 12:55 pm May 30, 2014
See Through Dresses at The Waiting Room, Nov. 30, 2013. The band kicks off its summer tour tonight at O'Leaver's.

See Through Dresses at The Waiting Room, Nov. 30, 2013. The band kicks off its summer tour tonight at O’Leaver’s.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

Billboard is reporting that first week sales of Conor Oberst’s Upside Down Mountain came in at roughly 11,000 units, enough to put him on top of the Folk charts.

Conor Oberst starts at No. 6 on Top Rock Albums and scores his first No. 1 on Folk Albums with “Upside Down Mountain” (11,000),” says the Billboard article. “It’s Oberst’s first title credited to his name alone (as opposed to his moniker Bright Eyes, or Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band) since his eponymous album in 2008, which debuted and peaked at No. 3 on Top Rock Albums. “Mountain” is Oberst’s first major-label set, released on Nonesuch/Warner Bros. He crowned Top Rock Albums in 2007 with Bright Eyes’ “Cassadaga,” which also earned him his highest rank on the Billboard 200 (No. 4).

According to SoundScan data, the Upside Down Mountain came in at No. 19 in overall sales with 10,674 units sold last week. FYI, Coldplay’s Ghost Stories was No. 1 selling 382,665 units. Mike Fratt, general manager at Homer’s Records, said Oberst would have finished higher on the sales charts had his vinyl been available — apparently it wasn’t and isn’t.

“There was a production issue, so vinyl is still not at retail,” Fratt said. “Just checked WEA b2b and (the record is) still not in stock. So, that hurt sales. Maybe as much as 4,000 to 5,000 units.” That would have been enough to push the record to No. 15.

Fratt’s estimate of vinyl sales seemed way high to me — 5,000 units would have represented about a third of the record’s total sales had it been available. But Fratt says his estimate is right on.

“Vinyl for an artist like Conor could be as high as 40 percent of first week sales,” he said.  “There have been a a handful of indie releases in the last year where the vinyl share has exceeded the CD or digital component. These have been releases that have sold less than 10k total for the first week. Vinyl now represents approx 30 percent of an indie store’s sales now.”

Fratt added that in Omaha alone, Upside Down Mountain sold 140 units, according to Soundscan.

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Onto the weekend. Two good local shows tonight.

At fabulous O’Leaver’s, See Through Dresses kicks off its 2014 Summer Tour in support of the self-titled debut LP released last fall. Opening is personal faves Gordon along with Worn Out, which I think is the band formerly known as Adtrita fronted by the man known as Steve Micek formerly of the band The Stay Awake (I’m making a massive assumption about Worn Out based solely on the fact that the link on the show’s Facebook invite for Worn Out goes to the Adtrita bandcamp page)(And you know what happens when you assume?) $5, 9:30 p.m.

Also tonight, Simon Joyner opens for Portland’s Marisa Anderson (Mississippi Records). Also on the bill is Mike Schlesinger. $8, 9 p.m.

Unless I’m misreading the data, that’s it for this weekend. Let me know if I’m missing something. And a Denny Lewis used to say, ‘Good living to ya.’

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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