I was over at Orpheus Records the weekend before last and the inevitable was occurring since their announced closing a number of months back--the bins themselves were being broken down to be removed and sold. A coupla' kids from Richmond were up to cart the things down south for a store they're opening.
There's still plenty of vinyl in the store however and one of the guys up north for the bins who had never been to Orpheus before was flipping through the vinyl like a punker in a candy store and enthused "wow - there's so much vinyl in this place!" And Rick, Orpheus proprietor for 31 years now, replied that he should have been by 8 weeks ago if he really wanted to see vinyl in volume. And for the first time in all my visits since the going-out-of-business months, I heard a genuine sadness and resignation in Rick's tone.
In a fit of irony, I've often laughed that I chose the wrong time to be behind a music blog because my opinion of the music industry and 90% of its denizens is well, rather low. I mean, the cream should rise to the top, right? And if that's the case, scanning the Billboard Hot 100, or viewing just a half hour of the MTV Music Awards as I did last evening is enough to think that the cream ain't coming at ALL these days. Zee-ro.
The days of the career artist are entirely, completely over, although the writing has been on the wall for some time now. It's currently a singles-dominated business where personalities loom far larger than the substance of one or two measly downloaded singles. Sure, Katy Perry had the single of the summer, but does anyone want to hear a full album from Ms. Cherry Chapstick? Yep, The Ting Tings nicked a tasty Blondie riff for their straight to iPod TV commercial, but have you HEARD their full release? Of course not, it's awful. Even one time 'career artists' such as Aerosmith and The Smashing Pumpkins are themselves debuting new material on Rock Band for the Xbox360 eschewing the whole notion that they just MIGHT still have a full LP up their sleeves. Embarrassing.
Putting the needle down on the first tack and listening to the very end used to be so commonplace it hardly bears mentioning. So, this week, TVD's going to give the finger to the single and delve into what FM/Album Oriented Rock stations used to call 'deep cuts' cuz, well, they used to just as worthwhile as the 45 that heralded a new release. And they were purchased in stores, such as Rick's, that fostered creativity and community. (And we're tossing this in the name of downloaded convenience?)
I played 'Fat Bottomed Girls' and 'Bicycle Race' to death, but the rest of the record got just as much of a workout if not more, really. (Don't get me started on the poster.)
Queen - Dead On Time (Mp3)
Queen - In Only Seven Days (Mp3)
Queen - Jealousy (Mp3)
Queen - Leaving Home Ain't Easy (Mp3)
Queen - Let Me Entertain You (Mp3)