Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Bit of Housekeeping at UM

It seems that when the “news” about the Kurbans gets boring that people like to stir the mud up a bit... just to see what happens. Over the past few years the fans of Keith Urban have come and gone; some have stayed very dedicated fans; some are still fans, yet are skeptical of his idealistic marriage and family; some loathe the new music but are fans of the old music; some have hope that he will recover from the pop/bubblegum/baby girl dedicated music and produce some of the great stuff that made them fans to begin with; and some have moved on completely.

This blog hasn’t been as busy as it once was, as can be said for other boards/blogs/fansites. Lack of interest in the happy Kurban family is most likely the reason. Country music fans are fans of the music...not the sideshow. Keith is still producing music, still on tour (not as vigorously as in the past, albeit). But the enthusiasm for him has dimmed because instead of it being about “the music” and “the artist”, it’s more about “the wife” and “his savior”. Every song has a tie to his wife. The music no longer is for the fans. New fans of Keith (“After Kidman” fans) don’t know about the “Before Kidman” years and cannot fully appreciate the amazing talent he once displayed.

It has long been the policy of this board to allow opinions from everyone, fan or not; skeptic or not. Back in March of 2009, comments had to begin being moderated because there were personal attacks on posters. Over the last two years, only a handful of comments were not published. It is and will continue to be the policy of this board to allow comments from both ends of the spectrum and everything in between. We continue to ask that courtesy towards other commenters is the first and foremost concern. Comments that personally attack other commenters or use "real" names will not be published. Thanks for sticking around and remember all are welcome, whether they agree or disagree with the philosophy of the humble blog known as “Urban Myths”.

33 comments:

maclen said...

Yes, it is clear that interest in the orb is on the wane. And it must be a sore point to read of his decline as constant...as well...EVERYTIME I post a comment! But, as Ive maintained before...I'm fortunate in that I have no "emotional" attachement. So I can simply look at the orb as a failing "business." I can simply look at this business' promo and new line of product and say, I dont see much demand and it wont do well. Meanwhile, others ARE emotionally involved in how WELL this business does...and it's clear they are not very happy. And again, blaming the messenger...or the medium of the message...is not going to satisfy THEIR dissatisfaction. Either they are confident in their opinions and what OTHERS say shouldnt matter...or they will always hit a wall!

Hatti said...

Well maclen...I don't blame you for your truths. Stats are stats.I enjoy your posts. :D

I don't blame anyone for their opinion either. Everyone has a right to state their opiniion. As UM says as long as you don't attack other posters everyone should have their say.

I personally feel when all is said and done people will see this for what it is and the truth will come out. Till then what ever any wants to say is fine by me it's a free country after all!! :)

Linda said...

I so agree with what you have said in your post. Presently, I have been listening to mostly early KLU CD's. "The Ranch", and KLU's self titled blue covered CD are my favorites. I never really liked his first released CD from Austrailia. It was so over produced...especially when the cut included an orchestra.

maclen said...

Hatti said...
"Well maclen...I don't blame you for your truths. Stats are stats.I enjoy your posts. :D
I don't blame anyone for their opinion either. Everyone has a right to state their opiniion. As UM says as long as you don't attack other posters everyone should have their say."

Well, thanks for that Hatti! As any longtime reader of this blog is well aware, I AM quite relentless in my criticism of what I beleive to be the orb's weaknesses, his faults and his shortcomings.
Now basically, I feel ALL commenters come to this comment thread on an even plane. Each commenter's opinions are quite valid...to each person. And so each commenter "champions" their opinions on this thread by their willingness to put those opinions on display for debate. Now clearly, I believe I give my comments an added "validity" with the dreaded and hated "stats and data"...for they are NOT MY opinions that the orb is selling less cds or his tour is attracting less and less ticket buyers...it's Soundscan and Pollstar and Billboard who is telling you. And as alot of longtime readers are also well aware of is that I TOO offer my opinions and thoughts THAT ARE also attacked and denegrated by the opposing factions....the "pro" orb faction. So, again... all commenters come into this comment thread on an even plane...and it's how you comport yourself...and what resources you wisely utilize to give you that solid footing to survive commenting in an opinion blog that will reveal how successful you will be.

maclen said...

So, to further demonstrate my non emotional advantage of not having ever been a fan of the orb...theres this today...

http://www.theboot.com/2011/09/02/scotty-mccreery-walkin-the-country/

Scotty McCreery Goes 'Walkin' the Country' on New Album

...so apparently idol star mccreery is going to cover the "orb-rust" penned song 'Walkin' the Country" written back in 1997. I mockingly posted a comment in the previous thread of how orb "pitched the 14 year old song due to what I surely believe to be orb's "questionable" songwriting talents. I thought it TOO much of a strain for orb to come up or offer a newly written song. I also mentioned I found it dubious that orb's light and fluffy 'Put you in a Song' actually took 3 writers and I also intimated that orb's "contribution" to the song was more than likely minimal. So, doing a little research I learned a few new things. First, I looked up this old song, "Walkin' the Country" and when I found the video...

http://new.music.yahoo.com/videos/Keith+Urban/Walkin'+The+Country--2159488

...the first thing I heard was simply..."Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyd...

Sweet Home Alabama Lynyrd

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Du-CWASm20

...and so once again the orb poaches the music from a past classic. The other thing I learned confirmed my suspicion about orb's rather dubious songwriting "talents"...came when I looked up orb's co-writer of "Walkin' the Country"...Vernon Rust...this interview with orb from 2001...

http://countrymusic.about.com/library/blkuinterview.htm

Keith Urban Interview
February 5, 2001


"Amy Shannon asks:4. What song are you most proud to have written or recorded?

Keith answers: Songs are like children in that you have your differences like the brainy one & the delinquent one, but you love them all the same. I was particularly proud of two songs on the Ranch album as far as the writing goes - "Desiree," & "Tangled Up In Love." Both songs' lyrics were predominantly Vernon Rust's, but I think there was a beautiful marriage of lyric & melody on those two..."

...yes...the song lyrics WERE predominantly Rust's... just as I have a feeling ALL songs orb has co-written...WERE predominately by the OTHER SONGWRITERS. As I mentioned before, orb has only penned 17 songs SOLO since his first album 20 years ago. I certainly have an BETTER idea NOW why that is!

hoosierlady said...

MacLen said...yes...the song lyrics WERE predominantly Rust's... just as I have a feeling ALL songs orb has co-written...WERE predominately by the OTHER SONGWRITERS. As I mentioned before, orb has only penned 17 songs SOLO since his first album 20 years ago. I certainly have an BETTER idea NOW why that is!

Oh yes, and may I add. . .

Chet Atkins, remember him? Named 4 other people, including himself as "Certified Guitar Pickers" below I have included their names. If you have a chance this weekend, You Tube these people and watch them play. Then we'll discuss the orbs unequalled guitar playing talent.

Chet Atkins
Tommy Emmanuel
Jerry Reed
Steve Wariner
John Knowles

here's a link:

http://rateyourmusic.com/list/exilion/c___g___p__________certified__guitar__player

HAVE FUN!!!

Hatti said...

Well maclen...When I say something I am saying it truthfully. I won't back down, how can I? But that being said I am not going to become abusive or insulting to the poster that does not agree.

When you talk to a person for a period of years you get to know that person. When things happen to the person and it's told to you or you witness things that is the truth of it. Do you have proof to display? No...not everything comes out in black and white. When the truth is so distorted it becomes very hard not to say something even though you know people are not going to believe you it has to be said. At least it's a release!!

So there you have it that is my little bag. No one has to believe it, I don't really care. I know there are people that read this stuff and report back to Moosie girl b/c she is obsessed with what people say about her. So I get warm fuzzies when I know I am burning her eyeballs! ((giggles)))

She knows I know and that makes me feel very good! ;)

Ok maclen...now watch the slicing and dicing!! ((giggles))))

maclen said...

hoosierlady said...
"MacLen said...yes...the song lyrics WERE predominantly Rust's... just as I have a feeling ALL songs orb has co-written...WERE predominately by the OTHER SONGWRITERS. As I mentioned before, orb has only penned 17 songs SOLO since his first album 20 years ago. I certainly have an BETTER idea NOW why that is!

Oh yes, and may I add. . .

Chet Atkins, remember him? Named 4 other people, including himself as "Certified Guitar Pickers" below I have included their names. If you have a chance this weekend, You Tube these people and watch them play. Then we'll discuss the orbs unequalled guitar playing talent.

Chet Atkins
Tommy Emmanuel
Jerry Reed
Steve Wariner
John Knowles"

Yeah, hoosier...I'd say they play with more feeling and emotion...and with "technique" totally lost on the orb...what with orb's CLEAR tendency to "restructuring" of other artists quitar melodies! Take for instance my previous example of orb "redoing" skynyrd's Sweet Home Alabama...or of his redoing of Bread's "Guitar Man" into "til summer comes around" or Eddie Money's "Take me Home Tonight" for "Long Hot summer"...amoung others! Orb is quoted as saying that the songs on his latest album were going to sound fantastic live. Which I have no doubt was orb's true intention with those songs. Make them simple, poppy and catchy...and let me rock out on stage. But unfortunately for orb, he wants to compare himself to "ROCK'S" Knophfler...Clapton...
Seger and Springsteen. But I simply find orb's "picking" to be about as credible as his songwriting.

maclen said...

Hatti said...
"Well maclen...When I say something I am saying it truthfully. I won't back down, how can I? But that being said I am not going to become abusive or insulting to the poster that does not agree."

Well, yes Hattie...everyone should have their own bag. And actually I prefer the "free" debate...because I know how to "self" moderate. In that I will debate until it simply becomes pointless to continue, and then I'll simply move on. Many SHOULD follow that example, but they simply end up in a flame war which then at some point they have to be "moderated"...as it is at E!

Hatti said...

Yes maclen...as on E!! :D

Tara said...

Well he got his Male Vocalist and Entertainer of the year nomination.
Was he just rounding out the category?

maclen said...

Tara said...
'Well he got his Male Vocalist and Entertainer of the year nomination.
Was he just rounding out the category?"

I call them "obligatory" noms...

Jason Aldean
Brad Paisley
Blake Shelton
Taylor Swift
Keith Urban

...again 4 dudes and one female. Lucky for swifty...ALL she had to do is have the current top selling country cd and her tour is neck and neck with country touring king chesney for the the top spot...who also didnt get a nom. Evidently chesney is not part of the CMA "boys club" as his CD AND TOUR is trouncing orb's...yet orb is in and chesney is out. And that tells you exactly what the awards criteria amounts to...lackey cronyism. But one thing I wouldnt doubt...the "odds" are a DUDE will win entertainer.

Tara said...

Chesney is very much a part of the boys club but didn't tour in the time period for the awards. I think they nominate Keith because they want to remind him of what he was.

I am also growing more and more convinced that Get Closer was a big middle finger to CapNash. Not only the entire fraud campaign about the cover- yeah I'll put this out but its all going to be about her and if it sells it does or it doesn't. But by the fact that he doesn't mention her at shows. I have gone to a lot of shows since she has come on the scene and since he resumed touring after rehab in 07 she was mentioned during the shows in some way. Now nada- and he loves touring
you can tell and what is he bitching about? The traveling home and not getting sleep because he has to get back and "Play" husband and father. Yep more and more this was a force his hand by capNash with him turning his finger up in their faces. Nashville likes attitude especially against the powers that be and Keith is popular with his peers thus his nominations. But that is just a theory.

maclen said...

So, some more concrete numbers to mull over...of the HUGE entertainer of the year nom...the "stock numbers"

http://www.roughstock.com/blog/september-7-2011-chart-news-jake-owen-s-barefoot-chart-topper

Jason Aldean My Kinda Party 228,470 1,790,426

Zac Brown Band You Get What You Give 12,127 1,164,100

Taylor Swift Speak Now 12,366 3,642,603

The Band Perry The Band Perry 11,511 739,982

Kenny Chesney Hemingway's Whiskey 7,307 937,978

Lady Anthebellum Need You Now
7,895 3,635,588

Rascal Flatts Nothing Like This 5,880 958,930

Sugarland The Incredible Machine3,213 1,049,346

orb Get Closer 2,570 637,054

...once again the orb is down to the mid 2k level...which is actually down from last week as the orb DID NOT make the list..it was revealed in the comments that he sold about 2,800. So once again gives me the opportunity to mention... that at that rate...wait for itl... by the end of the year in 16 weeks time the orb will sell 40,000 more cds for a total of 677,054. So obviously, cd sales have NO part in the CMA criteria for entertainer consideration. And considering orb is trailing in his tour attendence...that doesnt seem to be a criteria either! So I wonder what does? HA! Like I need to ask!

Hatti said...

Tara...I agree with alot of what you say. I think the cover was to prove to her she will never be able to reap any harvest from his fans or his career. I guess she is a bit dense it seems to take a brick!!!

I also think he is done being her lackey. No more promoting her at every show or thanking her for every little award. I believe he is done with the charade no matter what the cost.

I enjoyed watching her with her Target shopping and Target costumes trying to sell those CDs! ((giggles)) And where was KU? He was singing for WM!! ((You gotta love his sense of humor))

I dont know about you, but I feel if this is where he is? Maybe his peers are saying it's about time!!!!

Perk said...

I'm a fan of his older music. I found The Ranch co-writer and producer, Vernon Rust on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/#!/VernonRust

and on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vernon-Rust/211174280039

Cheers

Tara said...

I do think he will play no matter who is giving the invitation- lack of scruples or simply a man who likes to make money? I will go to the latter. Considering he created the life he has good or bad you have to admire the pluck to an extent. It certainly is a long way from that chicken coop in the Oz farm land.

Hatti said...

Well KU was doing very well on his own working hard and putting an envious tour together.

EOTY was won by him fairly. He earned it. What this is? This is a contractual deal that Moosie girl ran roughshod over. She bent the rules and pushed her way into what looks like what it is... a charade.

If he gets paid well for being her lackey? Well...I know he would rather be making his own money but she started this and I hope he will end it with her pockets empty so she can never do what she did to KU to any one else!!

maclen said...

In this weeks concert grosses...

http://www.newstimes.com/entertainment/article/Top-20-Concert-Tours-from-Pollstar-2161196.php

Aug 19
17. (New) Keith Urban; $440,658; $54.57.

Aug 26
15. (17) Keith Urban; $454,988; $53.61.

Sept 1
16. (15) Keith Urban; $432,768; $53.03.

Sept. 8
15. (16) Keith Urban; $432,768; $53.03.

...so, considering that orb has been on break from his tour the past 10 days his numbers are from the previous week. Which of course highlights the facts that his gross in the $400k...instead of the $600k...and eventual $700k at the conclusion on his tour in 2009 ARE up to date and CURRENT. And with only 22 gigs left...I still dont see how orb can even HOPE to get his averages up to that level and reach at least $500k average per gig. So, when you think about it...that's a $200k per gig difference. THAT would be about $12mil LESS than he grossed in 2009. And that would be $12mil LESS of the amount to pay off all expenses of the tour. And that much less that orb "gathers" into "orb enterprises."
And as is his norm...his numbers ALWAYS are in decline...and he has NOT shown so far that he knows how to recover.

Tara said...

So any guesses as to why he has three dates scheduled at the Opry close together? I do hope they will ask him to become a member but all the dates are within 6 weeks of one another.

Hatti said...

Since it seems he isn't doing AFTH anytime soon. I think that's what I heard. So maybe he just scheduled shows approx the time he would have hosted AFTH with VG. He said he wanted to wait till Vince could be with him.

maclen said...

So, orb's first Canadian gig of 11...tonight at the Scotiabank Place in ottawa...

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/entertainment/Terrific+Urban+performance+leaves+fans+swooning/5380160/story.html

Terrific Urban performance leaves fans swooning
BY LYNN SAXBERG, THE OTTAWA CITIZEN

"In a deep V-necked T-shirt that showed off his muscles, the New Zealand-born singer-songwriter thrilled the predominantly female audience of almost 12,000..."

,,,ha..note that...ALMOST 12000. Another hilarious note...his "deep V-necked T-shirt" showed off his "muscles!" So evidently part of the reason female country stars arent taken serious in the top entertainer category is because apparently the women reviewing those "steaming hot country studs" CANNOT control their adolescent run amok hormones and gush about their "big ol' muscles" and very "tight pants!" They're trapped in perpetual and unending " high school clique" mode! See, orb gets nominated YEAR AFTER YEAR for entertainer because his is the "big man on campus!"
But I digress, so 12k at the ottawa gig...on the high side...for orb. But not too impressive when you take note that the Scotiabank arena hold a max of 19k seating. So clearly, not a sellout. Orb's next gig is at AirCanada center...another 19k max venue...does orb attendence rise...or fall? Stay tuned...

maclen said...

Hatti said...
"Since it seems he isn't doing AFTH anytime soon. I think that's what I heard. So maybe he just scheduled shows approx the time he would have hosted AFTH with VG. He said he wanted to wait till Vince could be with him."

Well, I would say Hattie...if it is true orb doesnt do it unless Gill is with him...it's due to the fact that Gill DOES all the work of the benefit...which he has been doing FOR YEARS before orb simply came along and PUT HIS NAME on the benefit for whatever mileage he could get out of it! If it turns out there IS NO benefit this year...it would have something no doubt to orb's tendency at "dwindling returns!"

Hatti said...

Well maclen there is always some politics going on behind the scenes. ((Show biz)) You know!

It was tough going for KU when he first put his face on the stage for AFTH. We saw a very poor turnout. More instrumentals than anything else. I believe that had alot to do with dragging Nash into phoney baloney HW.

The last one...after the flood seemed to be really an ALL FOR THE HALL event!! Country royalty came out and did what they should do. After all who is hanging in this museum of the greats?

They seemed to forget that VG was AFTH and focused their consternation about KU instead. Small town stuff you know.

maclen said...

Well, orb played the Air Canada centre tonight...

http://jam.canoe.ca/Music/Artists/U/Urban_Keith/ConcertReviews/2011/09/10/18667901.html

Air Canada Centre, Toronto - Sept. 10, 2011

"Australia’s Keith Urban, the husband of Oscar-winning actress Nicole Kidman, brought his Get Closer tour to the Air Canada Centre on Saturday night drawing some 12,000 fans."

so clearly, orb's max audience in the max 19.8k capacity AirCanada Centre is 12k...so, orb is clearly MORE popular in Canada than in the US. But about how much does this slight uptake in audience mean to orb's final gross? Let's look at the numbers...taking the 12k audience and orb's average US ticket prices of $53...thats makes a 636k average, multiplied by orb's gigs up north, which is 11...that's $6,996,000 total of his Canadian leg. Now, looking at that great white north average gross...and looking at his current US average gross amount of $432,768...that would raise his overall per gig average to about $534,384...about $200k lower than in 2009. Now that number multiplied by about 60 gigs...that would be a total tour gross of about $32mil...still about what I hypothesized earlier last month...and that would be $10mil lower than his 2009 total gross. And again, as I earlier noted...along with his declining cd sales...it's indicative of orb's OVERALL "declining results."

maclen said...

Hatti said...
"Well maclen there is always some politics going on behind the scenes. ((Show biz)) You know!
It was tough going for KU when he first put his face on the stage for AFTH. We saw a very poor turnout. More instrumentals than anything else. I believe that had alot to do with dragging Nash into phoney baloney HW. "

Yes Hattie, as I over emphasized last year...orb's "prima donna" behavior in the first "BENEFIT FOR ORB" in 2009.. doomed the 2nd annual "BENEFIT FOR ORB" to those diminishing returns I mentioned in my last comment. As I love to review my previous observances of orb's missteps...let me review them now...since I have the opportunity!
In 2009, the "BENEFIT FOR ORB" sold out the first day...in 2010, the show was not sold out the day of the show...the benefit ALSO featured curent headliners...Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Lady Antebellum, Little Big Town and Taylor Swift...in 2010, the BENEFIT DID NOT feature ANY of those performers...but did featured MARTINA MCBRIDE, MIRANDA LAMBERT, BILLY CURRINGTON, CHARLEY PRIDE, ALAN JACKSON, ALISON KRAUSS, THE NAPALM, AND DOLLY PARTON... and therefore in 2009, the BENEFIT raised $500k...and the 2010 BENEFIT raised $450k...(and IF there is another BENEFIT this year, surely EVEN less!) In 2009, orb and his band played the whole first hour...in 2010 he and his band only played about 20 mins...in 2009 orb video streamed the concert AT HIS WEBSITE...in 2010 HE DID NOT video feed the show on his website...in 2009, orb recieved flack over scalped tickets to the benefit allocated to his fansiesite...and I especially criticized his flacking for membership to his fansiesite to especially get tickets to this show...so in 2010, his fansiesite "announced" that all money made from new memberships to his fansiesite due to the benefit show WOULD BE DONATED TO THE HALL! So, yes your right Hattie...the 2009 BENEFIT FOR ORB" WAS reigned in by the actual powers that be in 2010...but NOT before the orb's behavior had pretty much lessened the impact of the benefit.

Tara said...

Even though the release for the fragrance has been pushed back to October there is talk that Keith is developing a fragrance for women.
Call me naive but what the hell does that have to do with singing songs and playing shows??

Hatti said...

Maybe he is trying to make everyone smell good!! ;) I hope he has Moosie girl try it first!! If it works on her he will have a winner! ((giggles))))

A440 said...

Everything, Tara. It pushes Keith Urban as a brand. It keeps his name out there. Gives him promotion and another revenue stream.

There may come a day when the music doesn't sell. If he has played his cards right, he'll have positioned himself as a businessman with secondary products to offer, especially in areas of his interest (fashion, toiletries, etc.).

Never question just how ambitious Keith is for success, and how fearful he is of poverty.

And, FWIW, I hear-tell that Phoenix is already on sale at Ross stores. For $15.00.

Tara said...

I thought the brand "Keith Urban" was more about publishing, recording and songwriting not about crap that takes away from the music.

Tara said...

So the chart monkeys are saying they don't expect Long Hot Summer to stay on top of the charts for more than a week and even that looks iffy. keith is lucky because this period of Country Music looks like it is very shallow with very little staying power for any single.That is too bad.
I like Long Hot Summer as a song (probably one of the few that isn't Kidman attributed)
but I am looking forward to a new single- I hope its Shut out the lights (which is From the golden period 2004-2005)
I would love to see the best song on the record Luxury of Knowing, be released but I don't think Keith is that brave to take the risk.

Hatti said...

Yes me too Tara, I've always like SOTL I was surprised he waited this long to start to bring it to his audience.

Maybe one day soon he will put TLOK out too.

I have to believe he is starting to look at his career again. :)

A440 said...

Keith Urban as a brand is, primarily, about entertainment. That's correct--for now. But if he has any brains in his head, he'll diversify. As he's starting to do now.

Think of other performers ahead of him. When you think of Justin Timberlake, do you think only of his music and acting? Or do you think of his successful William Rast clothing line?

Jessica Simpson is now making millions off of her shoe line. It sustains her in a way her singing/acting has not. I see more of Cindy Crawford promoting her furniture line than of her as a model. She's a businesswoman now, selling a successful product. Keeping her name out there and the big bucks rolling in. She can age or gain weight and it won't matter. She'll still be successful.

Keith is smart to diversify. If he gets lucky, the music will point the way to his ancillary products, and they'll be reminders of his music. They'll feed off each other.

At some point, the career will cool off. He's not Lennon or McCartney, and he won't be able to continue forever. Not at this level, certainly. He's got to have some business to grow. He's too itchy and too fearful to simply sit around.

He's establishing "Keith Urban, Inc." And I wish him luck, because there's a whole lot of other entertainers crowding the fields he wants to enter.

PS: What's the status of Niki Taylor's "Begin"?