Saturday, April 17, 2010

thoughts on record store day and stuff

Today I'll be speaking to kids at College of the Canyons in Valencia, California (at noon) about what it's like to be a professional (whatever) writer.

You can come if you want.

I show them a presentation with pictures and hold up blank pieces of paper and stuff like that. Now I'm sitting here, thinking how I should show them my messy desk, too. I don't know how it always ends up like this.

Wait. Yes I do.

Anyway, I'm speaking for an hour -- which is not that hard to do, considering I'm all "professional" and stuff. And as soon as it's over, I am heading down to Amoeba Music in Hollywood with my kids, to celebrate Record Store Day.

Record Store Day is a day for us all to pause and reflect (even though I hate reflecting) on the importance of independent music stores: how they are staffed by people who love what they do, and how they give us such a wide access to artists who defy the corporate, sales-oriented, predictable sausage-meat most people listen to.

Kind of like independent booksellers, in that regard.

And we can't afford to lose either one: indie record shops or indie booksellers.

The thing about music, though, is that it kind of naturally adapts itself to being symbiotic with technology. Music, like technology, doesn't just sit there quietly on the shelf by your bed. Even still, vinyl is more popular now -- in this age of downloadable catalogs -- than it has been in 20 years. I have a feeling vinyl will be around longer than the CD will.

And it wasn't replaced by cassettes or 8-tracks, now was it?

Books, on the other hand, do not really naturally evolve as a result of technology. People expect books to sit there and be quiet -- just like I expect anyone who's going to chime in about "enhanced books" with embedded video clips, games, and interactive touch-screen wizards, flailing their arms and wringing their hands, with their evangelistic soylent-green wails of, "BOOKS ARE DEAD TREES! BOOKS ARE DEAD TREES!" to sit there and be quiet when they read this rant.

Those are not books.

I have a feeling that paper is going to be around longer than most of us.

But, then again, I like my vinyl.

See you at the record store.

(my apologies for so blatantly baiting my friend Michael Grant to come on and tell me I'm stupid)