Monday, September 22, 2008

I Am Officially Out of Touch

Once upon a time I was so cool and hip, for example I once not only owned but frequently used a hair crimper. But recently I have really felt like I am falling behind in the newest fashion and trends and last week I had two nightmares in which I went to JC Penny's and bought mom jeans and bragged about the 9 inch zipper to all of my childless friends. But is was this morning, while enjoying my new routine morning cup of joe and reading Entertainment Weekly (OK, skimming) for the first time in what seems like months that I realized that the music world really has it in for my hip status.

First, of the Billboard Top 20, I have only heard one song (Coldplay's Viva la Vida) and haven't even heard of half of the artists on the lists (Flo Rida? Leona Lewis? T.I.?). But this was the real stinker, in the Fall Preview section there is mention of one of my favorite artists upcoming new release;

"Forgoing CDs altogether, the Portland, Ore., band wil instead release three multitrack downloads..."

WHAT? I thought we were friends Decemberists? Did you perhaps overhear my conversation at Bunco last week that I don't even have a digital library or even want one? I have never even purchased a single song from iTunes, I only own an iPod Shuffle, and one of the archaic cumbersome white ones not those cool colorful petit ones.

So all morning I have been thinking, are CDs really dying off? Are Digital Libraries the norm now? Am I one of a dying group who wants the tangibility of CDs and cover sleeves? I am a collector, a fan of clutter, who will I become without my CD cases and educational liner notes.

The next thing you people are going to tell me is I need a Blu-Ray player.



James said...

In the U.S., physical CDs represent 70% of all music purchases. And that number is dropping rapidly. Hate to say it, but physical music purchases are going the way of the 8-track and vinyl.

But once you let go, iTunes can be quite the blessing. I've spent days browsing through artists I've never heard of and dowloaded some great music. It's like accessing the world's largest indie record store. It's easy to whittle away several hours without realizing it.

Here's to change!

Chris and Erin said...

I too have a hard time dealing with digital-only releases. Some of them do end up seeing the light of day on CD, but not all of them. I have gotten spoiled to my iPod and putting everything I can find on there, whether I legally own it or not. But I have also bought more albums on vinyl in the last month than I have on CD, so go figure.

Ward and June said...

Supposedly these released tracks will be available on Vinyl. Could anyone explain that to me? Why vinyl, why now? And where am I supposed to buy an affordable record player or are these only supposed to be collectible, not really intended for use?

I guess I will have to set up an iTunes account.

Chris and Erin said...

Well for me, vinyl sort of fills a void. See, I can find ANYTHING online and burn it to a CD or put it on my iPod. Now I do enjoy having something tangible to look at and put on a shelf, but in the end I still have a piece of plastic with the same songs on it. With vinyl I feel like I have something more substantial. Sure I can't play it in my car (or even leave it in my car) and I have to get up and flip it after a few songs, but most new releases on vinyl actually include either a copy of the CD inside or a code for a digital copy, so for me that's a no-brainer. And as corny and cliche as this sounds, it actually does sound better. I have even downloaded digital rips of vinyl versions because of the better fidelity. Now I'm no snob and really don't have that much vinyl by comparison to some, but there's a reason why vinyl sales have remained steady (and even increased) over the last few years during the digital boom, even though they still pale in comparison to other formats.

With all that being said though, I do think the CD still has some time left because most artists won't want to completely alienate part of their fanbase. I know that when all is said and done I will ultimately still buy a ton more CDS than I ever will records because I am a sucker for convenience even though I have a greater appreciation for vinyl.