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Getting Past the Industry to Love Music Again
|Why Did I Wait, and Why Didin't You?
|Today, along with the New Junk Aesthetic, I picked up Thrice's Beggars, with anticipation of a vinyl to come.|
Weeks ago, I did not purchase the album digitally. Honestly, I didn't want to pay for it three times, when I knew I was going to pay for it twice.
This brings up the discussion of physical and digital releases, yet again. With the digital age, we are able to hear anticipation with the click of our index finger, or thumb depending. It also takes away from the album experience of waking up, heading to the store, and blasting it back to the house, where you will almost immediately transfer the CD, or vinyl, to a home format (probably to the computer+speakers) and continue to listen through while skimming the booklet, and awing at the album's artwork.
If you haven't already updated, this week was the release of iTunes 9. With that release, Apple announced iTunes LP, which is less a digital wax and 12 inches of artwork, and more a digital kit experience.
I hope this is not the next step in our music evolution. Virgil Dickerson had some great things to say about this as well.
Sure, if you are not a tangible nerd like me, I encourage you to continue to support great music through the new form of digital releases. I am happy that I waited to get Beggars on CD, even though I transferred it to my computer and iPod already. The artwork is stunning, and reminds me a lot of the The Artist and the Ambulance. Anyone who purchased the limited edition packaging of that record knows how awesome it was with the individual cards for each song -- stunning!
I'd really hate to get TV scanned into my brain, and I'd hate to have to go back to my computer for lyrics and great artwork. Nothing will beat a beautiful tangible medium, as well as some sort of physical back-up in case of a crash...who knows?
I also completely back, and can't stress enough to labels and vinyl distributors alike, to combine their wax with a digital download card. We can have our cake, and eat it too.
The jury is still out on how I feel about Beggars. I need a few more listens, but it definitely is one of the best records to come out this year, and keeps growing more beautiful with each listen.
Could anticipation be killing the tangible form, even if we support it in the end? Time will tell I guess, or make fools of us all.
|Tags: Tangible Mediums, CD, Digital, Vinyl, Distribution, Thrice, Beggars
|We Have to Conserve Casing and Paper!
|Well Rolling Stone, you were wrong again. This isn't the first time you've been wrong, nor will it be the last. Who am I to judge? You could have never foreseen the digital age making a mockery of your headline and all.|
What to do with all these CD's. What to do.
There's a shop here in Austin a few blocks from Waterloo called Cheapos. If you're ever looking for a used album on CD, you should be able to find it here. In fact, you should be able to find quantities of it here.
Saturday I found a Holland import of Radiohead's Amnesiac in special packaging for $5. Days before, I found a Grand Royal pressing of At the Drive In's Relationship of Command for $6.
There's a gem here and there. Combined with the ample amounts of used vinyl that includes 20 copies of every Linda Ronstadt record and the usual picks that show up at every used record store, I began to wonder where all this wax and plastic that the public doesn't want anymore will end up. Landfill? The island of misfit records?
The "greener" good aside, there's something more striking about the stacks of new arrivals that line a section of Cheapos. There are quite a few new albums available. Nothing "last week," but less than a month would be more accurate. It got me thinking, that the process of buying, burning, selling, and cycling CD's like that is something that many might be doing at the moment.
If the majority of America bought CD's for the music, but now that they have everything on one MP3 device that can be taken anywhere, even the car, what's the point in hoarding all those disc, just to take up valuable space?
If this is true, why not just buy the albums digitally? Well, the influx could be for two reasons. One, is take the same idea of buying CD's, ripping them, and selling them back, but with used records. Genius right? The difference in buying used and returning used is slimmer than the cost for a new album, or a digital purchase. Two, there may be an influx just because the masses are now realizing that those CD's in their homes are going to waste sitting there, and bam, an influx of selling back.
Without theorizing too many scientific methods here, it is obvious that CD's have lost their luster. I believe vinyl is resurging because those music listeners like me are opting for an even more tangible approach to their ritual. For those who don't care about the packaging anymore, which I believe is the majority of casual listeners, the digital option is now present for them both legally, and illegally.
I say put your money into something though. Whether it's a small investment in a CD, or larger bond in vinyl, which may gain better interest. With a selection of used CD's seeming so abundant, I say, why not go discover something you wouldn't have paid half price for, or repurchase that Alanis Morissette record that your friend never gave back to you, and then moved, and you haven't seen him/her for the past 10 years except for that Facebook request the other day.
Bastard. Declined that request. Isn't it ironic?
|Tags: Distribution, Marketing, Digital, CDs
|Irony and Weekly Blog Preview
|Well, who could predict the future when you live in the journalistic now. Going through the Beatles' break-up photo-journalism story over at Rolling Stone, I took more interest to what was on the Paul McCartney cover on the 11th photo.|
Thought it was interesting. More on this tomorrow. Thank you all for reading...25,000 views? I mean, damn!
|Tags: Journalism, CDs, Distribution
|Forced Into A Change of Mediums
|Browsing through the latest issue of Alternative Press is always a shock and awe, and this month's issue was no different.|
No seriously, how can your band of the year not be part of your 10 essential albums of the year? But that's a foray into selling magazines against having a valid opinion, because we all know, business is business, and insightful ideas and suggestions don't pay the bills.
In reading the feature on Kay Kay and his Weathered Underground, a quote from band co-creator Kirk Huffman (ex-Gatsbys American Dream if you were wondering...) caught my attention:
"So far, we've sold just as much of [our debut on our own] as Gatsbys did during the big first week of release on Fearless...That's incredible to me. At this point in time in music, labels don't do anything you can't do yourself sitting around with your laptops and wireless [Internet]."
The article does delve into the fact that KKWU only released both a digital and vinyl copy of their album (for those of you who didn't know).
What I wonder about this release is whether it was a choice or not a financial option to release the album on CD. Then I figured the release of the digital copy would be easier and cheaper to distribute (duh, lack of physical material), but it would mean that the band opted to spend their investment in the physical medium of vinyl.
If bands are doing everything on their own, they must invest wisely, with limited copies, which would lead to pressings on vinyl-- a limited medium for audiophiles until all this repressing started happening.
At this point I can only scratch my head believing that without the money to manufacture CD's because of the DIY mentality, the medium will either become as limited as wax, or simply phase out all together for underground bands' ideas of investing in a distribution model at a time of a falling industry.
This may not be the same for the big wigs, and it doesn't mean that many will continue the written path that many of taken before them-- they just may end that path the same way as well.
But seriously, was it necessary to press the Thursday/Envy cassettes!?
|Tags: Distribution, Marketing, Mediums, CDs