Seldom does a week pass when I don't buy at least one recording - mostly vinyl, but CD's sometimes. On the other hand, it has been a long time since I bought one in a bricks and mortar store. What is the internet for but to keep me in music?
Yesterday I had the misfortune of needing to kill about two hours in the neighborhood of a large shopping mall about thirty miles from my home and about 15 miles from downtown Chicago (Oakbrook, Jim). Go buy some music, I thought. Browse the bins. Do it the old way, it'll be fun.
Now I hate malls, and it had been a while since I had been at this one, but I remembered that it included a huge record store - two stories, about 40,000 sq. ft. arranged so as to segregate the classical people from the rock people etc. Well, at least it had included such a store. Gone. Space now devoted to yet another nest of boutiques of one kind or another. Mind you, this is an outdoor mall covering several acres which includes maybe 100 stores some of which sell nothing but sunglasses or soap made in France. No scotch tape store per se, but close. No source for recorded music anywhere. Barnes and Noble, I thought, surely they would have music as well as books. No dice - not at this location at least. Under the wall sign reading "Music" there were only a few books devoted to music. Of course, they had a coffee shop so the browsers could enjoy a latte and a danish while reading books they weren't going to purchase.
Off to the Tweeter store. I figured the salespeople there had to be able to direct me to the nearest record store even though they weren't likely to have any equipment that would tempt me. They couldn't think of a store in the area!
That's the most potent taste of the state of the recording industry I've had. I'm still shaking my head. Reading about file sharing, the impart of the iTunes Store etc. is one thing, but yesterday really painted the picture in brighter colors for me.