an open letter to the recording industry of america…
(or at least the bands thereof)
today is tuesday. as anyone familiar with the world of recorded music knows, tuesday means new release day. for those who REALLY know their music, it means best buy day. now don’t get me wrong – i worked for an indy record store for four years, and i am ALL about supporting local businesses. i know that all the major chains (wherehouse is already gone from here, and this is tower’s last weekend after they moved into the former varsity movie theater over a decade ago) are dying due to downloads and places like best buy who’s main marketing plan is to have new release CDs and DVDs at BELOW wholesale cost so the little guys can’t POSSIBLY compete with their prices because they hope that you’ll go in for the new lenny kravitz cd and then also buy a tv or fridge.
i don’t fit that trend…
i’m in and out in five minutes. no additional purchase except for a cd or two. and even then, i ONLY buy when the cd comes in at $9.99 or below. local loyalty aside, if it’s FIFTY PERCENT cheaper to go buy my shit from some guy in a blue polo shirt rather than a guy in a faded out shirt from the first wilco tour, so be it. when it comes to back catalog and box sets, my money goes to the locals. and if the new stuff clocks in at $12.99 or higher at best buy, it goes to the locals. but for only $9.99? i even know LOCAL record store guys that buy there because it’s cheaper than their COST.
but never mind all that now…
the biggest kick in the crotch to the recording industry these days are illegal download sites. i always criticize my friends.
“you’re killing the industry”, i say.
“your favorite bands will go away if it keeps up”, i say.
“why don’t you support the popular arts?”, i say.
(this all from a guy that refuses to pay to see a concert, but never mind that now)
but i had an epiphany. a moment of clarity. i was listening to the new slipknot cd and realized about half way through (which is about as far as i’ve made it at the time this is being written) that with the exception of the radio single, the rest of it is pretty lame. surveying the bulk of the new CDs i’ve bought over the last year, most of them have one, maybe two listenable tracks and the rest pretty much blows.
(there are a few exceptions, but they are few and far between)
not all of these come from new artists that are destined to be shatnerized on vh1’s one hit wonder show later – some come from established artists, who i own other full discs from and i’m happy with – it’s just that if the chinese zodiac was what determines the album quality for the year (which it might very well – i don’t know such things as i should) then this would truly be the year of the LAME ASS cd.
so why drop $15 for a future coaster when you can just go to www.get_a_real_job_you_suck_ass_whiner.com and download the ONE song you give a shit about and forget about the fourteen you DON’T?
for once, it actually makes sense; except i don’t own an mp3 player. yet. but once i do, i will probably join the masses that don’t pay for shit until i HEAR it. now, let an album have three or four tracks that catch my attention, and i’ll go buy it. but i’m running out of storage space and you band fucks don’t seem to be doing a whole hell of a lot to convince me that doing it the RIGHT way is a good call.
plus, it all goes back to something i’ve said time and time again about, shall we call them, “fuller figured gals”. a friend once decreed (and accurately so) that “big girls need lovin’, too”. without missing a beat i responded, “well, they also need food – and since i’m not COOKING for any of them, why tease them with PART of the equation?”. well, i’m not paying to get in any lame bands SHOWS, so why am i teasing them with part of the equation by buying their cd only to have their show undersell and cancel a couple of months later? i’m actually CONTRIBUTING to the problem.
fuck all that. pass me the iPod.