Vinyl’s Resurgence Thanks to Indie Stores, DJs – And It’s Growing

For years, pundits have wondered what physical form would accompany the ephemeral nothingness of digital downloads. Maybe it would be USB sticks, or t-shirts, or big coffee table books, or strange sculptural totems, or USB sticks shaped like cassette tapes. Funny story. What if it turned out just to be the vinyl record? What if vinyl, reborn, really is what today’s digital music scene looks like in tangible form? The counter-narrative, domain of the naysaying cynic, is that the vinyl record is an ill-conceived throwback, a punchline to the joke of valueless music. Vinyl as hipster parody, as Portlandia sketch, …

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Deep in Debt, Big Retailer Guitar Center May Be Acquired

While the biggest US name in pro audio made headlines last week with uncertain financial news, so, too, did the biggest US name in music retail. Yes, we were so caught up watching Avid, makers of Pro Tools, Sibelius, and Media Composer, as they were dropped from NASDAQ and delayed earnings reports once again, we missed the latest on Guitar Center. The big box music giant may not be able to keep up with its debt. The Wall Street Journal [paywall] reports that the retailer’s largest creditor is in “advanced talks” with owner Bain Capital to take over the company. …

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An Ode to the CD by CD Baby; Could You Really Love Music Buyers This Much?

A tower of plastic, and a photographic reflection on the strange physical form music took at the height of the CD. Photo (CC-BY-SA) William Hook. Can music as a physical object have value and meaning again? For many music enthusiasts, that affection has turned back to the vinyl record, not the CD. (How many artists have we seen lately offering vinyl as the “premium” package for listeners?) At an extreme, there’s Alessandro Cortini’s SuONOIO, an album that has its own accompanying custom synthesizer. But while we ponder this question, the one that seems the perpetual topic for music conferences and …

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