Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Killers For Free

‘Are the youth of today as obsessive about music as previous generations?’ muses Jennifer K over on Popcorninmybra. It’s a fair question. If you apply it to those generations that grew up in the 1960s and 1970s it will probably yield the answer, ‘No’.

In my young day, the only distraction which kept me away from music was a bit of cult TV (Gerry Anderson, Man from UNCLE etc) but these days, there are all manner of alternatives ranging from computers, DVDs, Wiis and playstations to cinema, bowling alleys, indoor skiing, paintballing and numerous other pursuits. Despite the fact that to some, music will always be their prime passion, there is no doubt that it has slipped down the list and will probably not recover. To be realistic, it’s not new anymore, there is too much diversity diluting the market and there are too many other leisure pursuits competing for your time and money.

A further symptom of music’s place in society was recently demonstrated by my niece, who having left teenagehood behind a month or so back, decided to give away a fair proportion of her CDs on the basis that they were all ripped to MP3 anyway and what did she need with all those discs cluttering the place up?

This is where my age shows, as this is incomprehensible to someone like me who still cherishes his huge LP and CD collection and would never sell, let alone give, any away. My collection represents me and my life to date and you can trace the evolution of my questionable taste over time if you really felt like it. I’m sure musicologists would have a field day. The other aspect is that CD represents a significant increase in sound quality over MP3 and to sacrifice this is such a seemingly off-hand way is, again anathema to me who has already squandered the GDP of a small town, putting together a stereo system that will squeeze the last drop of performance out of a CD (and LP come to that).

However, the upside to my niece’s clearout was that I got first dibs on her castoffs and amongst the CDs I got my mitts on is the second Killers’ album, ‘Sam’s Town’ which despite owning their debut ‘Hot Fuss’ I never got around to buying. I felt that ‘Hot Fuss’ had some really good tracks on it but overall was a little patchy. ‘Sam’s Town’ on the other hand is more consistent and boasts a collection of hi-energy rockers with proper tunes. Generally, second albums tend to be a bit disappointing but I think this one is marginally better than its predecessor so I am indebted to my niece for passing it on to me.

Anything else going free?


Jennifer K said...

Great post! Like you, I can't get rid of my old stuff. I have four big containers of cassettes I got back in high school. I just can't part with my copy of Roxy Music's "Avalon." It's like an old friend.

musicobsessive said...

JK - You must be pyschic, I'm just compiling a post on cassettes and music recording. Watch this space!

I'm surprised that your multitude of cassettes still play as most of mine either jam or are generally unplayable. Better get that Roxy album on CD before it's too late.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

I still have all my old vinyl but no cassettes. I have most of my stuff on iTunes now but still have CDs too.

As for the youth of today - I don't think music is nearly as important to my son as it was to me...which is sad to me.

I like the Killer's!!

musicobsessive said...

Barb - I'm trying to educate my children but it's hard going. They should really discover it for themselves, as I did, but as their peers have no real interest it looks like it's down to me. *sigh*

Jennifer K said...

Music Obsessive your post is really inspirational. My friend Nora and I were discussing buying music from record stores v. downloading songs, and how going to a record store was a lot more than buying a record. It was also about community connection and discovering new music. If you want to give me your perspective on this please do.

musicobsessive said...

Jennifer - Once upon a time I would agree as record shop owners tended to be fans themselves and rifling through their racks of bent album sleeves whilst listening to whatever was playing in store and hanging out with others was always a social occasion. These days I'm not so sure - huge faceless stores manned by bored students or ambitious retail 'managers' isn't quite the same.

I still go just the same to browse, but tend to buy my CDs on-line, mainly down to cost!

Btw - thanks for the mention on your bolg, much appreciated!

d.edlen said...

It's a different time. Media is perceived differently. Content is what matters, not nostalgia for pieces of plastic.

That said, you couldn't pry my Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab OMR of "Revolver" from my cold dead hands. I did however recently record it using my iRecord so I have it MP3-ified.

I wonder what you'll think of my art. Barbara over at Layla's Classic Rock Faves is getting a Springsteen for her birthday...


musicobsessive said...

Hi D - Admittedly I am converting some of my most prized vinyl to MP3 but I still like to keep the sleeves! Must do my Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab copies of 'Dark Side of the Moon' and 'Crime of the Century', I'm sure they'll sound great.

Thanks for the tip off re Art - I'll nip over and have a look.