Guest Post: Late Lament

I’m on vacation!!! So, while I’m away, I’m going to be posting some things that I wrote in the past, I’m also going to be posting some things from friends. Today, my friend Ben, guest posts. You can read more from Ben on his blog. (And you can remind him to post more). 

I was given the privilege of guest blogging by my friend Shanella. I had previously written a long blog post about my love/hate relationship music and how that relates to the artistic impulse, so I decided to write something that builds on that, bringing together music, words, information and technology. I am writing as a musician and dedicated music listener.

It might seem strange to many youngsters living in this Internet age that people used to buy music in the format of compact discs, vinyl phonograph records (LPs) and cassette tapes. I am dating myself by mentioning that I used to have a fairly large collection of vinyl and still have a large collection of CDs. Similar to how the popularity of the compact disc caused the death of vinyl and cassette tapes back in the late 80s, the mp3, the Ipod, digital downloads and online retailers have caused the near death of CDs in our time, and with that, the death of brick and mortar music retail stores.

I really grieve over the death of brick and mortar stores like the Tower Records that used to be on West 4th Street in the Village. During my high school and college years it was a place of comfort and refuge, my ‘go to’ place when I had some free time. It was where I could see thousands of music albums in one place, with selections ranging from the most obscure albums to the most popular hits for sale and displayed beautifully. I could touch the actual physical items, not just see them as images on a website. The employees there were usually knowledgeable music fans that were helpful with recommendations and suggestions. The albums there were generally a little more expensive than those at competing stores, but the excellent selection and great service more than made up for it. Continue reading