Mu­sic is still about com­mu­nity, it’s just that it’s moved

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

IT’S RECORD Store Day to­mor­row. And the day af­ter that and all next week and all next month too. I know, you thought it hap­pened last week, but that’s the prob­lem. Record shops are not just for Record Store Day (or Christ­mas).

As the an­nual hoopla about cel­e­brat­ing in­de­pen­dent record stores fades for an­other year, many at the coal­face will won­der, as they look at empty stores and de­serted tills, whether they will still be around for Record Store Day 2013.

Hav­ing a nom­i­nal day that fo­cuses on in­de­pen­dent mu­sic re­tail­ing doesn’t change the big­ger picture and an an­nual Record Store Day can­not and will not bring the good times back.

The game has changed and your av­er­age mu­sic con­sumer is not re­turn­ing. Spe­cial in-store per­for­mances and limited vinyl re­leases (as if you have to be a for­mat snob to fre­quent record stores) are not go­ing to save the sec­tor.

For those of us who grew up in those stores, spent all our money in them and can re­mem­ber ex­actly where we pur­chased which al­bum, it’s a sad state of af­fairs. You don’t like see­ing your old haunts dis­ap­pear­ing.

Yet for those who still love new mu­sic, the ar­rival of the in­ter­net means hav­ing a record store on tap 24/7. (It’s at this point that some­one will men­tion the so­cial as­pects of stores and it’s at this point that we will point them to­wards Twit­ter and gigs.)

Mu­sic has al­ways been about com­mu­nity, but that com­mu­nity has sim­ply moved else­where.

Some will still fre­quent bricks-and-mor­tar stores, but that di­min­ish­ing num­ber is prob­a­bly not enough to keep the doors open in the long run.

Start plan­ning now for itunes Day 2020 and Beat­port Day 2025.

Record Store Day: it can’t bring the good times back

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