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  1.  
    Interesting interview with Colin here: http://www.thebrag.com/2011/01/24/interview-colin-newman-wire/
    He says: “90% of people who buy records aren’t really interested in music, they just want to get the record everyone else is talking about. To them, it’s like owning the right stereo or the right TV. I’m not saying these people are dumb – they may be in the top 10% of sport or visual art. The other 10% of the music market, though, are completely the opposite; they know what they like so much that they’re annoyed by all the other rubbish that does so well. From my point of view, with anything that I work on, I can only think of that 10%.”

    I would go further, in that a long held belief is that most people hear music, they don't listen to it. To listen is to actively engage. What Colin says about people buying music as commodity goes to the heart of the 'yoof' scene of today where celebrity is more important that genuine originality and talent. I am convinced that Simon Cowell is not looking for either of these on 'Britains Got X Factor Talent'. If you have a so so voice and can sing like Celine Dion or Beyonce you're in. If you have a very unique style then it's unlikely you'll get beyond the first stages.

    Maybe I've joined the bands of old farts who still think music (and art) matters and the kids of today are happy to listen to music through their tinny mp3 players or on the phone where the latest r'nb rap fodder is flavour of the day. Perhaps Andy Warhol was right...

    Like Colin I too can only think of the 10%....in fact I think it's less than that.
  2.  
    Coiln is right, but this isn't exactly big news: it's been like this for as long as I can remember. I tend to associate it just as much with 'fans' of 'indie/alternative' music just as much as 'manufactured pop' fans though. For me , they are the worst. Through the (late) 70s, 80s, 90s to now - with the only caveat being that things seem more vacuous now than ever before.

    I was at Reading 91 and met an 'acquaintance' who was 'completely out of it, maaaan'. I asked what bands he'd seen so far. His reply: 'Who's here for the music?'

    So, nothing changes. The fact that Glastonbury sells out BEFORE any line-up is announced just goes to prove that.

    As for the R'n'B (it's NOT R'n'B!!) stuff and other pap of today, this has always existed in some form or other. Things seem worse today because the 'alternative' (ahem) bands in the charts are so poor - Kasabian, Radiohead, Muse, Arctic Monkeys. me, I tend to listen mostly to 'old' music, or a few newer bands that seem to have a bit of spunk about them - The Kills, Libertines offshoots, etc. But there ain't much.
  3.  
    Availability of 'stuff' is part of the problem. Once, people revered a record player and the one album they could afford to get with their wages each week or month or so. Now, technology is dirt-cheap and media so readily available that there's none of that 'special' quality. We're deluged by 'stuff', meaning music often gets relegated to something 'on in the background' as opposed to entertainment and something to engage with in and of itself. Frankly, I can't see this changing any time soon.
  4.  
    I agree with hp that this is nothing new and with Craig that it won't change any time soon. I think the problem is much wider than technology becoming cheaper and being bombarded with 'stuff'. But that's for a wider socio-political debate.
    I'm just glad that there are groups, like Wire, who still push the envelope and even if we don't always like where they've pushed it, it remains genuine and original. Roll on the new VDGG album! (and I mean that seriously).
  5.  
    I'm happy to be in that 10% I guess, but I prefer to stop just short of crapping on music that other people enjoy - whatever my perception of its "quality". Whatever the reasons of the other 90% for liking what they do, they're their reasons, and unless I have to take a road trip with them and they insist on being DJ it just isn't worth it for me to throw more divisiveness into the air.

    I'll still stomp around to record stores to find the stuff I'm really after; they'll still download the top ten via iTunes. Fine by me. "But look out 7jlong, record stores are dying too." Yes. Some of them have. Some will not. But perhaps we need to take our own individual responsibility for helping make sure that situation doesn't get worse. I mean, not to pick on Craig, but in the Manscape/First Letter thread he suggests picking up individual tracks - when the reality is that because of the reputation of those two albums most record stores I've ever visited have a copy of one or both at rock-bottom prices - certainly less than cherry-picking the list of songs he suggested. Not to mention availability from small sellers online. Even new copies - which presumably Wire still gets a cut of - are relatively inexpensive.

    If we want our way of enjoying music to survive, we have to fight for it I'm afraid.
  6.  
    7jlong's argument sounds like the old 'home taping is killing music'. I don't have a problem of digital cherry picking. If it helps people get a flavour then hopefully they will want to investigate further.
  7.  
    Huh? No, that's not what I meant at all. I've bought more used albums than I care to mention, which basically amounts to home-taping because the band sees nothing from the sales. I even added that last line about buying the records new since it seemed a bit rude to suggest buying used copies of in-print albums on the band's own website, knowing that they'd reap no returns from a used album sale.

    My point was only that - in this case - if I didn't have Manscape I could spend $3 on iTunes buying someone's 3 favorite tracks, or I could take a 15 minute walk down to Cheapo Records where I know for a fact they have a copy of the CD for the same price.

    I mentioned in another thread that I bought two of Weekend's tracks off iTunes to see what I was in for when Wire came to town because I thought it would be much, much harder to get a copy of the full album for a price I was willing to pay for an unknown band. I don't have any problem with cherry-picking, unless I can get more for less! In this case, I'm glad I went the iTunes route, for I do not see any reason for a full album of Weekend to be added to my collection.

    I guess if there was any variant of the argument you mention, it is "digital cherry-picking is killing record stores". That's what I don't want to happen - and it already is, in abundance. So I'll keep buying as much as I can at my local shop if it helps keep them alive to even the smallest degree.
  8.  
    I guess it depends where you are. Locally, I've not seen any Mute Wire albums knocking around for some time, and online you're still talking six quid from Amazon (usually the cheapest seller of new stuff) *if* something's in stock (Manscape isn't—it's digital only). I do the same, though: if it's cheaper to buy an album I certainly won't grab a couple of tracks.
  9.  
    There is that aspect. I haven't seen The Drill in ages, and can't remember the last time I saw IBTABA, but Manscape and The First Letter are fairly dependable "bargain bin" items around Boston.

    One could also spend the time/cash to track down the sexy cardboard Manscape CD (pictured under the discography here). Even if you have mixed feelings about the album, the beautiful packaging makes everything better.
  10.  
    My apologies to 7jlong..like Craig says it depends where you are. For me there are no local records shops. You have the wonderful choice of HMV or Fopp. Ooops! Its' the same company. Or a second hand CD shop which I frequent occassionally on the off chance something turns up.
    I have not personally bought a new CD from a shop for many years. Why pay full price in a shop when I can get it for a considerable discount on line. Yes, I know that makes me quilty of killing the shops off and I do feel guilty. The same with bookshops, but the simple economics of buying from a shop don't add up anymore.
    Going back to the original argument I too will buy the complete item (CD) rather than cherry pick digital downloads. To me the whole CD is about the listening experience.
  11.  
    Oh, no, no apologies necessary - and I certainly don't intend to point a finger and say "you did this to us!". I could spend the rest of my life waiting for a nice copy of the cardboard Manscape to appear locally, or I could buy it when it surfaced online. I went the latter route.

    I am quite pleased that I can find a seller via Amazon Marketplace or eBay who might indeed be an independent record store, or was a record store once but closed the storefront and went online, to buy these obscure old objects from. I still love the chase and leafing through the bins, but that cardboard Manscape isn't getting any younger - and is especially susceptible to age. So I grabbed it "by any means necessary".

    Also, buying albums online and having them shipped to work gives me a much stronger reason to come in every morning. Ha!

    But if I picked up only, say, Patterns of Behaviour and the LFO Take It online based on Craig's recommendations in the other thread I might have said phooey to the rest of the albums - which would be a shame as there is so much other stuff from those late Mute albums that I definitely enjoy. Better in my case to seek out an expanded sampling when possible.

    I guess my overall point as relates to this thread is: I still like physical media and will buy it whenever I can, even if it leaves me in that 10% area again. I'm cool with that.
  12.  
    I don't think the 10% thing is format-dependent, I'd say it's more a state of mind.

    I buy pretty much 50/50 download (lossless) v CDs. Still prefer listening to 'a body of work' as a whole even if a couple of tracks are 'duffers'. Buying from the artist direct if possible.

    If someone chose to cherry-pick than that's their deal... they'd be missing out though, although flawed works, the 'unpopular trio' are still worth the experience of listening to as a whole.
  13.  
    I don't think it is format-dependent either, just pointing out that chasing music in physical formats seems to be becoming the area of the 10% "know what they like" market as opposed to the other 90 who seem to be relying more and more on downloads.

    Of course: as I mentioned above, whatever and however people choose to pursue music is their bag and theirs alone - but as you point out, auditioning just the wrong track on those three album might be a detriment. For example, you can't get Lights/Craftsman's without either buying the whole album (iTunes) or paying a premium (Amazon) - it would be a shame to skip that one because one wasn't feeling adventurous enough to spring for it.
  14.  
    don't 4get what the Cash Pussies once told us - 99% is shit!
  15.  
    "Why pay full price in a shop when I can get it for a considerable discount on line."

    To be honest, the price difference between retail and online appears to be narrowing. Certainly in the first week or so of release I find that my local indie has the new release CDs often for £8-9 and it means I can support a local, independent business rather than some cash guzzling, multinational behemoth like Amazon. It also means I have an excuse to browse the racks, maybe hear something interesting on the shop stereo, get some gig tickets and so on. Quite often they have exclusive bonus discs and record-shop only promo stuff too.
    I also enjoy downloads and get some stuff online too but I do try and make a point of getting stuff over the counter when I can. For me it's a bit like the difference between getting a bottle of beer cheap from a supermarket to drink at home, or paying a bit more to have a nice pint in the pub!

    I am of course lucky enough to have a local Indie record shop, I'm aware many don't have that luxury these days.
  16.  
    Much as I love Wire, Colin is speaking elitist craptrap.

    To dismiss 90% of the population as easily led by whatever is in vogue would mean we'd have Cameron with an overwhelming majority and Gadaffi would still be enjoying his female bodyguard rather than worrying about which wall he might be up against.

    Colin is of course playing about with Sturgeon's law which was 90% of SF is crap because 90% of everything is crap. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturgeon's_Law) However sorting out the crap isn't always easy at the time and I doubt if many of us haven't bought/loved/etc something that you hope noone ever finds out.

    I remember in 1977 thinking ABBA was the biggest load of crap around but for many/most people that is not how they are now perceived. So all the people who went to Mamma Mia must by Colin's definition be easily led? Yet most of ABBAs pop contemporaries are rightly forgotten. So maybe ABBA are actually in the 10% that's actually got some value? (And I use ABBA as a group I don't like and can't comprehend their appeal BUT it isn't fashion (!) or metoo.It's a deeper appeal. I can't see the appeal of Mozart compared to Ravel but I can accept both are of value).

    The interview reads more like someone who's a bit pissed off they haven't invited him to The Review Show. Maybe this year Wire should make an effort for a Mercury nod...
  17.  
    Some of you sound like a 'bunch of old foggies', who are 'we' to judge other peoples tastes? I have friends who think 'such and such' an era was the best in music history, according to whom?
    these people won't/don't listen to anything/anyone else they are so 'narrow' in their tastes.
    Young people want music they can dance to/swing yer bootie to, there's time to 'sit and listen' when you get older!
    Me, I LOVE MUSIC, all 'sorts' of music, my collection has jazz, blues, blue grass, folk, minimalist, country, punk, R'n'R,alternative (whatever that is) even a couple hip hop,and some that can't be put into a pigeon hole. stop being your parents and broaden your horizons, you'll be glad you did!
  18.  
    My horizons are as broad as yours Ari - as i always tell my mates "take off yer blinkers!" I don't hink people here are slagging off other 'genres' apart from whatever Wire's is, but the target is really dull, pop/pap, unchallenging music made for one reason only - to make money eg all this x-factor dross. Some of these people actually have talent (vocally, instrumentally or as writer/producer), but they waste it (generally) cos they/their 'representatives' go down the populist route to make money rather than, er, 'follow their muse'!

    People have called me a music fascist (which makes me very proud!), but all those genres Ari mentioned & others (60's garage, 50's rockabilly, 80's goth, [some] 90's britpop etc etc ad infinitum) are not for my 'showers'. However, the likes of Cowell, Walsh & mind-numbing artists as McCartney, Timberlake etc & so-called r n b, and all those boy/girl bands are worthy of the Zyclon B!
  19.  
    I allways buy physically if it is a possibility. There's some stuff I've downloaded on FLAC & then bought the 12" of, just so I have a digital and physical copy (of course, a CD release would cover both bases, but doesn't allways happen). Not to say it doesn't stick in the craw sometimes - £27 for Love's Secret Domain is a notable example! Ultimatley, though, I don't really mind as I get excellent music and something to show its mine, if you see what I mean (though obviously I would only pay that price for a select few things).

    What's not been mentioned so far is that some people just don't care about music. Somewhere between 4-10% of people (never been able to find matching figures) have no emotional response to music. I suppose someone like David Mitchell (who claims to have only ever bought one album, and a Phil Collins one at that) would be a famous exaple of this.

    I've never been accused of being a music fascist, but have been told be people on multiple occasions that my opinions on music don't carry more weight than theirs. Of course this is often true, when you are talking with someone 'on your own level', as in with a similar depth/breadth of music knowledge & experience. Otherwise being better informed of course leads to having a better opinion.

    Christ, I sound like such an eliteist.
  20.  
    I think that what Colin is pointing to is people who are intense listeners, music fans, and possibly inclined to be in bands themselves. I am sure that the casual listeners, or that 90%, are more fans of technology than of music. And there must a lot of tone deaf people out there, and people who can't play an instrument. When I was in high school I would say only 10% were real music fans: these people went to shows, bought a lot of records, owned their own stereo, played an instrument, formed bands, worked at record shops, etc. These people read music magazines. They lived it. Maybe half of the school listened to music, but these people in the 10% were like "in the know" about new bands, and listened to the right radio stations. How it is different now, is that almost every person has an ipod, or iphone, or computer with mp3s on it. Since the technology makes it so available almost everyone has some relationship to music. But it seems that even though those 90% have songs on their ipods, they are still very lazy. They aren't really seeking it out. They are not HEARING it. A portion of them experience it in a tele-visual way. When new bands come to LA, you see people who are really interested in hearing them. If they get more popular, they play bigger places, and the bigger audience has a number of bored listeners, who are only there because they feel like they should be checking out some new bands everyone is talking about. It used to be that bands spoke to some part of yourself?