Friday, January 18, 2013

The Record Shop is Dead... LONG LIVE THE RECORD SHOP!

I attended college from 1997 till 2001, during that that time I had two part time jobs that sustained my need for drink, CDs and DVDs. The first was a job in a local butchers, while the second was a nice stint working in HMV.  The latter I remember with great fondness while the former I remember with a great stench of turkey poo at Christmas time.

   HMV has gone into receivership and while its sad in a way to see this last high street giant fall. I'm not too worried about where I'm going to be purchasing my CDs,Blu Rays or Games from in future. A lot of folk have moved on in the form of digital downloads and online stores that sell physical copies of albums cheaper than HMV ever could (hence the reason for their downfall) . Now the overall sales of music and films haven't decreased that much, folks are just going elsewhere to buy them, that being said a lot of folk did use the likes of HMV as their main source for music and the likes. So will there be any kind of knock on effect or will those folks just sign up to amazon and carry on?

Here is the Old man Talbot part of my rant...

                I don't buy that much new music anymore, mainly because the bands I still follow from my youth don't produce a lot of new music or they are dead ... like literally. The music that is being pushed on us by the main part of the music industry is just tripe on a stick. There have been some artists that have popped up that I have picked up their album and enjoyed, but there hasn't been an artist who I have needed to go out on day one of release and had to buy their new offering , that hasn't happened in a long while. When a band I like release an album I will buy it day one, but that's few and far between nowadays.

                                         Music label big wigs would have you believe the problem is that its easier to download albums illegally rather than pay for them. I say bollocks to this, iTunes is the reason why people aren't leaving their homes to traipse into town and browse the CD racks of their local music shop, plain and simple.  Yes folks are downloading illegally I'm not fucking naive , but overall this hasn't been overly detrimental to the industry, if it was they would be up in arms a hell of a lot more than they are and laws would be put in place to prevent it. While some governments have tried to pass SOPA like laws, these have been shot down due to constitutional issues and general freedoms of the public. There is the following factor in the equation  I firmly believe the quality of music and song writing in general has gone down big time in recent years, When a Cuntrag like Rebecca Black (I shouldn't even be aware of this gee stains existence) can release a song that could've be (and probably was) written by a retarded monkey with no fingers and make a copious amounts of money from it you try and tell me that there is nothing rotten in the state of music nowadays I fucking dare you. And with most of the shops on the streets pushing shit like an X-Factor Christmas song or the latest boy band copycats new album of course the room for open creativity in music is going to be quite small. There are some great bands out there that are not part of mainstream music and do have regular album releases, but these bands were not being pushed by HMV when it was open, these are the types of bands you would hear about from friends who heard it from one of their friends who happens to be a member of the forum and regularly posts on the forum of this bands own website and is trying to spread the word. This is how I tend to find my new music nowadays.

The majority of major recording artists I follow are touring more and producing less new music because that's how they make their money. I know that I am not the main demographic of the for where the music industry is right now, and as Ive aged Ive become what my Dad was when I started listening to my new favorite band, but when I have some disposable income I am less inclined to go and spend it on a new album because there is nothing worth spending money on. One of the main reasons behind this was the fact that big retailers like HMV were more and more pushing whatever group or artist Simon Cowell was telling them to push. Stocking and promoting copious amounts of the latest fabricated pop song rather than something actually worth the support it was garnering. Now I know that through some of this rant I may come off as an out and out music snob, but fuck it! I'm glad to label myself a music snob, because good music made by hard working passionate people should be something that is defended, supported and broadcast around the globe and music that is utter trash sung by a clothes horse who is told where to stand, what to sing and ultimately created in order to make a small group of individuals rich should be set alight and kicked into the fucking sun.

Now here is the Young Man of 15 years ago full of hope and promise part of the rant....

Best way to support the good music right now is to the support the artist directly, go to a gig, and not just every gig in the o2 go to the small venues, go see the up and coming bands, buy the CDs they are selling at the door, check out who are trying to break into the industry and support them if you like them. Look at music blogs online, listen to radio stations that aren't playing the same five songs over and over, these are the facilitators of the shit music. I know of maybe two or three stations in Dublin that do play music that is worth your time. I currently signed up to Spotify and have found it to be a decent place to find new music that fits in with your own personal taste as it recommends new artists based on your musical choices, and it also lets you receive recommendations from friends. The current industry model that needs to be destroyed and rebuilt because it is stagnant and rotten, but the only way it will be broken down is if enough people decide to go their own way.
I do understand there are thousands of bands and artists out there, and yes I do support the ones I like, but the problem is these bands are not marketed widely and the majority of folk wouldn't have a clue where to go to find them.The flip side to HMV closing is that now maybe more people will go to smaller record stores, small live gigs or be forced to go online and might be exposed to the larger scale of unknown bands and artists, the knock on effect of one of the biggest peddlers of tripe pop and cookie cutter rock dying might actually be a good one and more unknown hard working artists might been seen.

So the next time you feel the need to buy some music, why not visit one of the smaller record shops where generally the staff there have a personal interest in the shop and the product they sell, and would be more than happy to recommend something to your liking.

At the end of the day the music industry is a money making machine, and it will sell what people are willing to buy, But when the masses are force fed music through a reality show that tries to build sympathetic back stories, scored with songs from other bands on record labels associated with the show to create an emotional connection with what they are selling so when the winner is chosen its more about their journey than it is about the music and how it was created. I know when I bought my first Nirvana single I knew sweet fuck all about Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic or Dave Grohl . I bought the music because it is fucking awesome.  The End. 

Her endeth my rant


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