It is amazing how fast technology changes things. You pretty much can split the decade in half before and after iTunes. Although the iPod was originally released in 2001, it was the online store iTunes that really changed the game and made purchasing music online the medium of choice. The days of the Virgin Megastore and Tower Records were experiencing record lowes in sales, and closing many stores. Itunes however, sold it's 1 billionth song in 2006 (The Speed Of Sound by Coldplay) after being launched in late 2003.
Online music was mainstream and it changed how bands generate buzz.
Arctic Monkeys took full advantage of this idea and instead of going thru a major record company, getting on the radio, and selling CDs. Social websites would be the new radio, a new form of word of mouth, and new and powerful way to get the music out.
The boys from the other side of the pond, (yeah they are boys AM was formed when they were 16) used Myspace.com when Myspace.com was cool, to allow for real time interaction with the band and their fans.
And it worked, the sold over 300,000 albums when Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I Am Not was released officially.
The sound of Arctic Monkeys is similar to the New York based band The Strokes but less pretentious, which is really surprising considering they hail from England (remember Oasis anyone, those blokes were always going at it with each other.) The album is punchy with catchy, danceable rock tunes, like I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor, and Dancing Shoes. It has been a long time since Rock was this fun.
The album is a fast 40 minutes long, which talks about teenage angst, love, and and some guy named Mardy Bum, which is a song that features throwback jam session. The cool thing about the Arctic Monkeys is that they don't know that they ARE cool. Whatever People Say... is the album that The Strokes, The Vines, and whatever other "The Band" never made, but Arctic Monkeys did.
I remember when I bought the album, actually it was one of the last CD's I would buy in the store, Marisa and I just picked it up on whim at Target. We then hit our second favorite spot Starbucks for some coffee. It was cool rainy night, perfect weather for a band from the UK. Even to this day there are times when we go to Starbucks and Arctic Monkeys just take us back to that night of musical discovery that makes us want to talk with English accents.
Side note... One of the reasons I wanted to check these guys out was because I was listening to Relevant Magazine Podcast featuring Rob Bell (author and Pastor) and he talked about how much he loved this band. Thanx Rob for tip.
Check out this video from back in 2006.
The band talks about how the internet fueled there debut success and also how being compared to Oasis is pretty cool thing.
They may not be up on the charts in The States with Taylor Swift and Kanye (insert joke here) but for those who are fans of good music, know about the Arctic Monkeys.