Apocalyptic visions: From Classic Rock to vinyl-doc

Today will undoubtedly go down as a day of rock apocalypse in my book.

It started early this morning, with a private viewing of Last Shop Standing - The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of the Independent Record Shop, based on the eponymous book by Graham Jones (upcoming London screening 20/02 at the Strongroom, Shoreditch - more screenings here).
With help from the likes of Paul Weller, Johnny Marr, Billy Bragg and a couple of dozen UK record shop key characters (from London's Rough Trade East to Cardiff's Spillers Records and Bristol's Rise), Jones discusses sneaky deals behind the charts, the rise and fall of different formats and, most important of all, why the friendly, uber-knowledgeable person behind the counter will never be digitally simulated. A bit happy, a bit sad and utterly insightful, Last Shop Standing makes for a thought-provoking, music-loving 50 minutes. Forever vinyl!

One thing led to another and the day continued with my immersion in Classic Rock's article Rock in Crisis: Is Rock Dying?, published last January by Scott Rowley, a lengthy analysis covering, predictably, from the gradual fall of record sales to recycling metal festival headliners, and peppered with impending doom videos like The Doors The End. Among the most interesting points to which the article draws attention, the fact that "...these days we’re in The Age Of More Of The Same, with the websites you visit storing info on your tastes and encouraging you to have, well, some more of the same. ‘People who bought this product also bought…’ ‘If you like that, you’ll like this…’ ‘You’ve been listening to so-and-so lately, why not try this…?’ The result: consumer-driven stasis". Spot on.

 The verdict? No matter how you put it - in writing, sight or sound, it's a long and heated discussion that one, with dubious results on either end. Is vinyl, or rock itself as an entity dying, or is there still light at the end of the tunnel, as both of the above doc and feature article seem to point at? Take a look for yourself and have a careful think, with The Who and Dirty Beaches playing tunes in between...

No comments:

Post a Comment