JIM CAR­ROLL

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

I work in a tiny room full of card­board boxes. Ev­ery sin­gle box con­tains dozens of CDs wait­ing to be heard. I could spend ev­ery hour of ev­ery day lis­ten­ing to them and still not get to the end of what’s here. And that’s be­fore I get around to down­loads or what the post­man de­liv­ered.

This is a time of plenty for mu­sic fans. Thanks to the democrati­sa­tion of pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion, it has never been so easy to ex­pe­ri­ence mu­sic. That this evo­lu­tion has turned to a time of woe for the record busi­ness is a para­dox for pop his­to­ri­ans to dis­sect. Al­bums Stand­out al­bums from Panda Bear ( Per­son Pitch – be­low – is my album of the year), Cathy Davey, LCD Soundsys­tem, Burial, Dan Dea­con, The Hold Steady, Spring­steen, Adrian Crowley, Shape Of Broad Minds, Lit­tle Dragon, MIA and Robyn.

There was also plenty of re­ward for time spent with Jus­tice, White Rabbits, Su­per Ex­tra Bonus Party, Op­er­a­tor Please ( Just A Song About Ping Pong was one of the tunes of the year), Dan Le Sac v Scroobius Pip ( Thou Shalt Al­ways Kill was a de­light), Bloc Party, Cadence Weapon, Simian Mo­bile Disco, Health, Mark Ron­son, Björk, Fly­ing Lo­tus, Wind­mill, Robert Wy­att, Holy Fuck, Josh Rit­ter and The Crimea. Gigs Bruce Spring­steen & The E Street Band in Madrid, The Na­tional at Dublin’s Olympia, The Gos­sip at South By South­west in Texas, Gil­lian Welch at the Mid­lands fest, !!! in a tent in Italy, Bat­tles in Dublin, Kevin Drew’s Bro­ken So­cial Scene in Toronto and Elec­tric Pic­nic, still the bench­mark for Ir­ish fes­ti­vals. Lows The de­ci­sion by The Im­me­di­ate to call it a day was sad, while the deaths of Tony Wil­son and Lee Ha­zle­wood robbed us of two fas­ci­nat­ing char­ac­ters. But per­haps the big­gest dis­ap­point­ment was how many were conned by Ra­dio­head’s PR scam. Few both­ered to point out that the band could only af­ford to be in­no­va­tive with In Rain­bows be­cause of the fan base built up af­ter a lengthy in­nings with a ma­jor la­bel. With ev­ery new busi­ness model pro­posed in 2007 favour­ing es­tab­lished acts, it’s be­com­ing harder for new acts to get no­ticed.

In the rush to draft the obit­u­ary of the tra­di­tional record in­dus­try, it might be time to ask just where the in­vest­ment into the next Ra­dio­head will come from. What did you say? Live pro­mot­ers? You are jok­ing, aren’t you?

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