Music today

Posted by under *mixed, Music, Technology |

It’s no secret that record stores have disappeared and the ones that are left probably don’t have much time. While digital distribution and music downloading (legally of course) is something I’m a big proponent of, it’s just not always the right solution for me. If I want to buy a song, or preview an album, or even just get information on a band, iTunes is the only place I turn at this point. However, if I want to buy an album (the whole thing, not just one or two songs), I’m still buying the CD. I need to have something tangible if I’m going to commit to music on that level. I want to see the way the artwork and packaging are designed, I want to see what the CD actually looks like. Of course, it only comes out of the packaging once, goes into my computer and becomes a series of ethereal ones and zeroes like everything else, but that doesn’t mean I want to simply download it.

The disappearance of music stores creates another type of problem for me in that most of what I listen to seems to fall through the cracks. It’s primarily bands that are not big enough to be carried by a big chain store and not special enough for a speciality shop. The most recent example is the new Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine album. After calling half a dozen music stores in the city, I found one store that had it – Main Street Music in Manayunk. Upon going there to pick it up, I was told they had one copy – used. Meaning that someone bought it, ripped it, and sold it within 2 weeks of its release. This may happen a lot, but I don’t know that it helps stores stay in business. I’m fairly certain I don’t agree with it. Sure, there’s a chance that someone just didn’t like the album and had a chance to divest themselves of it, but I’ll never know.

All I do know is that I intend to keep supporting the CD format until the bitter end, in approximately 3 years 5 days and 11 minutes.

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  • lydonwrites said,

    I have to agree with this line of thinking, Pete. I don’t get out to shop music very often, but when I do, I like to go to Positively Records at 5 Points in Levittown or else Long in the Tooth on Sansom St (a stone’s throw from Fat Jack’s). I even had a partially failed experiment to listen to only about 5 cds at a time in my car, changing them out every so often.

    The 5 that have now been in my car for 2 months or more?
    Firewater’s Ponzi Scheme, Matisyahu’s Light, Luscious Jackson’s magnum opus Natural Ingredients and a Madness greatest hits package.

    I just have to wonder… what will we do when the day finally comes that CD is left for dead?

  • ptb said,

    Thanks for letting me know the name of that record store on Sansom. We went in last time we were down there (to see you and your Comedy Sports actually) and I was meaning to write something about it. I enjoyed the store and they were playing The Hookers.

    Also, you only named four CDs. I’m gonna need to know what the fifth one is.

  • lydonwrites said,

    See, that’s the funny thing: that 5th CD keeps changing. Some days it’s the Nips/Nipple Erectors CD (Shane MacGowan of Pogues fame, before he was in the Pogues), other days it’s Elvis Costello’s recent “Secret, Profane & Sugarcane”. On still other days, it’s a Flogging Molly or Dropkick Murphy’s disc.

    I think I need to dig out my lone Lords of Acid disc (Voodoo You) or else my Ministry discs for getting stalled in traffic.

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