As the sun started to set on another Sunday, the Yankees had just won their 6th in a row and The Sopranos finale was just hours away. I decided to get comfortable. I opened up both "The City" section of The New York Times and a cold beverage and plunged my face into both.
OH NO!! The CD is dead, it says here on page 6.
Here we go again.
Brooke Hauser's completely harmless piece reminds us once again that the CD is being tossed off as quickly Nicole Richie's breakfast. No one is buying CDs, everyone is downloading music and using their iPods, and music retail is over as we know it. As a music retailer for over 15 years, this is about as exciting as an afternoon with a proctologist and in some ways, quite similar. At this stage of the game, it may be a losing battle to try and save music retail in its traditional form. But what I don't understand is, why give up on the medium? What did the CD ever do to you? Is the thinking, "Well, we can't go to a record store and buy Rubber Soul anymore so, let's just throw away what we have?"
The photo accompanying Miss Hauser's article shows plastic bins filled with CDs, books, and magazines, not unlike the junk-filled bins of wire and broken light bulbs that used to be lined up along Canal Street. The CD is now being portrayed as useless. Garbage. I want to know why? If you already own it, why toss it? It sounds better than the compressed file you just downloaded off of www.screwthelabels.com. It has liner notes. Pictures. A nice plastic jewel case. And what happens when your computer crashes? Where's your music now?
Many arguments have been made supporting the new ways music is now sold. Convenience seems to be the most popular. But everything has changed. If we told our parents in 1970, that 30 years from now, we would be able to shop for fresh fish and vegetables and furniture polish and wine, all in one place without ever leaving our apartments, (see: Fresh Direct) they would have laughed at us and asked us not to interrupt them during Mannix again. So why aren't we throwing away containers of milk and pork roasts? Shopping for food has changed, not the food itself.
We are wasting energy focusing on the death of the CD and music retail. We should be doing the exact opposite. We need more articles and hoopla praising the CD and the mom and pop record shop. Elvis Presley has been dead for 30 years and he is as popular as ever. The CD is dead! Long live the CD!