25 September 2005

The demise of physical record shops

I'm having a hard time remembering the last time I bought a new cd release in a physical record shop. These days I opt for the cheaper and more practical alternatives online.

For someone who used to enjoy going to the local shop to check out new music and hopefully find the ocassional bargain or two, it's a very sad development and the end of an era. And with digital music snapping up increasing chunks of the market, it seems like there's only one way this can go: even fewer shops with even fewer paying customers.

But it's really the fault of the record companies and shops themselves. I see at least three main reasons why physical shops will only have an even harder time in the future:

1) The lack of instore assortment makes it much less exciting to browse through the racks. Many shops these days focus only on relatively new releases or the charts and if you can't be sure to find what you're looking for in the shop if it's a bit older, you may as well go online where the assortment is always great.

2) A lot of the record shops I go to employ a very young staff and it hits me every time how poor their music knowledge and guidance is. If you're not asking about a relatively new release or something they can look up in the catalogue, you're not likely to get a useful answer. One more reason for doing your own research and subsequent shopping online.

3) The high prices. In my opinion, the record companies have chosen a completely wrong strategy to battle the decreasing record sales. I mean, when it's been proved that a lot of people don't buy new music because cd prices are too high, and that lower prices would most likely mean that more people would buy the original cd rather than download it or burn an illegal copy, I simply don't understand why record companies insist on keeping prices and profit margin per cd very high. Do they really think they can gain the lost revenue via increased margins? I think not.

All in all, my days in physical record shops may not be over, but the visits most certainly can be counted on much fewer hands than before.

Sad...but I don't see it changing.

Le Mec

Duran Duran flashback on December 9th

As an old (and current) Duran Duran fan, December 9th will be a pretty interesting day:

Duran Duran are playing live in Denmark and I can already feel my inner '80's child beaming with expectation. I wonder how long my hair can get in two and a half months' time...

Saw the band twice in 1987 and 1988 so it's been a while. So it'll be fun to re-live the screaming and mayhem....although the female screams have probably gotten a bit deeper since then, I mean with age and all. And even though Simon Le Bon is gradually annoying me more and more, I'm sure his whining and slightly arrogant presence will be towered by the quality of the music. After all, this is the first time I get to see the original line-up.

By the way, if you're into Duran Duran, there's a live DVD coming out at the end of October, filmed in 2004 at Wembley Arena.

Anyways, I'm sure I'll be talking much more about this event after the show...

If you live in Denmark, tickets are still available.

Le Mec

24 September 2005

Reggae and R&B rubbish on the airwaves!

Oh God, free me from all the reggae/latin-inspired and R&B drewling pop muzak filling my radio and TV!

Why did they ever invent someone like Shaggy, Puff Daddy and all the R&B divas? Ever since they infested the music scene we've had nothing but hundreds of clones imitating them or taking lots of inspiration from their music.

It is definitely causing me to lose a lot of interest in chart music (more than I would have anyway, since I'm now in my thirties and officially too old to really be down with the scene).

So excuse me for asking back the 90's where chart music seemed to be a little heavier on both quality and substance.

Oh, and by the way, while you're at it - get all of those kids off the chart as well! They belong in school, not on my damn stereo!

Aaahhhh.....that felt good. Now I'm all calm again. Anyone for some death metal??

Le Mec

MEW - a Danish revelation

This post is mainly to draw your attention to Danish band Mew.

Mew makes indie-shoegazer-dreampop and is beyond doubt one of the most exciting bands within this genre at the moment.

Their fresh new album is just out and it's called "Mew And The Glass Handed Kites". Never mind the stupid title, it's a journey into fantastic soundscapes of melancholy and delicacy.

The album is available internationally and you should do yourself the favour of listening to it. It's guaranteed to bring new depths to your music collection.

Mew's website can be visited at www.mewsite.com.

All hail melancholy!

Le Mec