Friday, June 29, 2012
I'm With Emily
The indignant outcry that greeted Emily White's infamous essay for the blog of NPR's All Songs Considered annoyed me. While I've spent tens of thousands of dollars purchasing prerecorded music, I have no animosity towards members of a generation that don't see the point in buying music.
As a child I dedicated my allowance to the purchase of 45s at Red X in Riverside, Missouri. I began working when I was ten, which allowed me to by albums by the likes of Wings, Aerosmith, Elton John and Stevie Wonder. Even when I was making minimum wage, I budgeted $10 a week for new music. That money went a little further during my stint as a clerk in a record store. My friends and I swapped cassette recordings of our collections. (File-sharing isn't exactly a new concept.) The first compact disc I purchased was a two-fer reissue of Marvin Gaye's What's Going On and Let's Get It On.
During college I became a serious collector of record labels like Homestead, SST and Twin/Tone. When I caught a performance by Camper Van Beethoven in the basement of a dormitory at the University of Kansas in 1985, I purchased Telephone Free Landslide Victory. That band's David Lowery wrote a widely disseminated scathing retort to NPR's White.
Lowery's screed about the difficulties faced by artists in 2012 isn't wrong, but it ignores reality. When guys like me throw in the towel, it should be pretty clear that the traditional acquisition of prerecorded music has ended forever. My stockpile of albums and compact discs is too big to count. And it's still growing. A couple days ago I dropped a dollar on an a vinyl copy of the Mel Lewis Orchestra's 20 Years at the Village Vanguard and last week I picked up a stack of compact discs at San Diego's Access Hip Hop.
Here's the clincher- I haven't played the latest additions to my collection. I listened to those same recordings on Spotify instead. I pay the streaming service $10 a month. It's not ideal, but it's a lot more desirable than dusting off my copy of Earth, Wind & Fire's "Shining Star."
I enjoyed Wednesday's Def Leppard, Poison and Lita Ford concert. Here's my review.
Kansas City's Mon EG raps that he wants to "bring the eighties back" on "Rocstar". The video was aired on BET's 106 & Park last month.
"The biggest concert to ever hit the city!" goes down Saturday at Club Skyline.
Sam Bush is a "freshman senior". Give that bluegrass musician a reality show, stat!
Kansas City Click: I'll be at the RecordBar's matinee show on Friday.
I hope Gucci Mane takes his shirt off Saturday at Club Skyline. (See above.)
I'll return to the RecordBar Sunday for PLBB.
Black Cobra hits the Riot Room on Monday.
(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)