New Records Rising

Nick Cave in live action
A new article on Music Jobs testifies for some very positive news and stats for us vinyl suckers.
Indie record shops have seen a significant rise in album sales the first half of 2013 (44%, to be exact) - and as for vinyl, in particular, you'd say it flies off the bin in comparison to what it used to be ("around one in seven albums bought from indie stores are on vinyl, compared to one in 250 for the rest of the market").

QOTSA: Maximum cover
See more numbers and the article in its entirety here and rejoice.

Before I go, let me send here a cyber-thumbs up to a couple of Top 20 best sellers, widely responsible for making these numbers possible:
Hail to Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (at No5 with Push The Sky Away) and Queens Of The Stone Age (at No 8 with Like Clockwork) - their work never quite falls short...
And Savages (at No12 with Silence Yourself) - a rookie more than welcome.

Credits: Nick Cave photo © Fabrizio Sciami/Flickr. 

Listen to the Banned

This is definitely not a new collection, but I just bumped into it while writing an article on Marcel Khalife: The Rebellious Master of the Lebanese Oud for The Culture Trip.

Listen to the Banned is a collection of music that "makes dictators tremble and fundamentalists angry", packed with artists (Palestinian Kamilya Jubran, Afghan Farhad Darya, Western Sahara's Aziza Brahim and more) who have been censored, persecuted, taken to court, imprisoned and even tortured for their music. It is a record that celebrates and creatively reflects on freedom of expression, presented by artist and human rights activist Deeyah and Freemuse.

 Check out the video for Aziza Brahim's Regreso here:

...And even though this is not what got Marcel Khalife's music banned, I love the oud master's sheer avant gardism in his stage collaboration with his two sons: