OK. Time to put down that special pirate pull-out colour supplement from whichever current affairs comic book you happen to be reading. Come to think of it, high time for the tabloid media to stop treating an actually seriously scary International hijacking incident like Johnny Depp and Keith Richards have just shown up and are, you know just having a bit of a drink and a laugh. Oooh Arrrr!
Of course, the term ‘Pirate’ has also taken on a slightly different meaning for the global entertainment industry in recent years. It is the end! The game is up! You can’t give music or films away! Well, you can but they will still download them. ILLEGALLY. We need to give added value. Home taping is killing music.
We need to find a new business model, new formats and instigate a paradigm shift. Get the ISPs to threaten them and sue them. Why not tear gas them? On and on it goes, vacuous and overly simplified corporate pseudo apocalyptic ramblings in the face of an increasingly complex problem for creative industries and artists. What a load of white noise.
Seemingly, Pop has not so much eaten itself as dissected itself into tiny bite size chunks and decided that it is not that hungry after all. Amongst the various hysterical arguments for the end of music is a viewpoint that there are no great, cohesive LPs made anymore. It's all about the individual tracks, the yousendit mix tapes and content, content, content!
This is utter nonsense, of course, as this year has been great for albums. I’m not going to single out one, but several immediately spring to mind. Without moralising I urge you to buy them all immediately - not to bail out the flailing dinosaur of the recorded music industry but because you will value it more on an experiential level. You will have artwork, perhaps lyrics and photographs, a tangible object and a valid connection with the great artists that created it.
Call me old fashioned and idealistic but downloading the entire back catalogue then forgetting about it doesn’t carry the same buzz as engaging in a dialogue of anticipation and appreciation via your nearest independent record store. Now sit back, get the Low Christmas album on the stereo and don’t forget to let me know what your personal favourites were.