Thursday, January 1, 2015

Nostalgia Sells

I think this trend has more to do with the fact that nobody has figured out what to do with their music so they're staying home and playing a few records instead of trying to arrange a collection and manage it through a computer.

The experience of listening to a vinyl record requires a level of attention that you can't get with a computer. Years ago, I bought a computer that came with RCA jacks, figuring that I would hook it directly to my stereo equipment and bridge the technology gap. After a few frustrating days of trying to get that to work, I gave up. I kept ripping CDs and I kept all my vinyl, adding a few titles here and there. But the ability to take music and play it and enjoy it remains as elusive as it was when vinyl went away.

Someone out there is going to figure out how to make, distribute, and survive by giving people an experience with music that won't be corrupted by format changes and business interests looking to cheapen things for the masses. I don't know what we'll see this year, but I doubt it will be cheap or worthwhile.

The saddest thing is, everyone bought that Pink Floyd record thinking they were going to get something. It was the cynical repackaging of twenty year-old material deemed not worth putting on an album, reworked and recycled so that the name could hit the shelves and trick everyone into a moment of nostalgia. It didn't consist of anything more than a few new vocal takes or overdubs and it sold like crazy because we don't have anything new happening in music that's worth anything at all.

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