Thursday, April 12, 2012

How Vinyl Records Cause Psychosis - Or, Vinyl Is Alive, And All Other Formats Are Dead

Every word, note of music, moment of film or video that had to do with music formats - every utterance - generated by media since at least some time in 1982 has been complete bullshit.  An over-abundance of sales pitches, distortions of fact and shameless hyperbole has created a dissociative psychosis among a segment of the population - namely those who refuse to acknowledge the permanence of vinyl records in the marketplace.  

This includes hired guns too (only the insane take such work).  In February of 2011 I wrote critically about a take Billboard and NPR had on the rebirth of vinyl that advocated a view of, "nothing to see here, move along."  That post has been the second most popular of this blog, after the one announcing Vinyl Record Talk as a radio show.

Lots of powerful forces have had it out for the vinyl record, the first being the Compact Disc.  Even the meme of a "rebirth" of vinyl is a missive, sent from powers that are willing to tolerate vinyl so long as the framing is perceived along of lines of - vinyl is cool, but this is our last dance and its only a long goodbye.

Hose balls.

Rebirth?  Maybe there were a few years in the late eighties and early nineties when I couldn't find some music I wanted on vinyl.  Much of that was subsequently pressed to vinyl, by the late nineties, before the "rebirth" meme.  

As proof that vinyl is vital, I offer up this article from The Huffington Post.  Neil Young asserted that Steven Jobs, when at home, listened to vinyl records, ignoring the formats he shoved into billions of ears.  As if he had taken to heart a role as villain in a Philip Dick novel, Jobs was content to shift reality so that the masses would believe plastic toys were reality, while only Jobs himself, and maybe some handpicked associates, would themselves get to live in reality.

Seems we weren't going to take it.

The RIAA 2011 shipment statistics show vinyl records sales climbed over $100million last year, up another third from the year before . . . and so it goes.  It's getting to be undeniable.  The story has repeated itself every year for five years, and sales of anything over $100million is . . . well . . .sales of $100million and that gets a lot of attention.  This is new vinyl only by the way.  No one knows how deep the used market is, as so much of it takes place at independent record stores, on eBay, Etsy, Craigslist, and at swap meets.

It's damn bigger than anyone imagines.

Yet, confusion abounds.  I posted some interesting pictures from the brochure for an exhibit at the Miami Art Museum about the history of vinyl records used in art.  The brochure described vinyl records as a "dead format" several times.  This might classify the brochure itself as a work of art, as it portrays something very much alive as something dead.

Reality is simple.

Since 1982, the year the Compact Disc came onto the market, anyone releasing a vinyl record has had to go through an extra effort to do so.  There has been no motivation in terms of marketing conventions to create vinyl records, except that some artists just get it - the medium itself conveys a message of serious caring for the artist's work and the audience, and one that is like a secret message passed from artist to audience as enemy spotlights shine into our living rooms.

And the enemy has filled our living rooms with the fecal matter of a billion boars.  Eventually everyone is going to smell the flower that grows from that shit.  If only cause there's nothing else in the room worth taking a whiff at.

Vinyl is alive, and all other formats are dead.

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