Under 30

I can't complain but sometimes I still do

Thursday, February 23, 2006

News flash: Pitchfork hates Best Buy

The world headquarters for music snobs has a news item about a recent Best Buy promotion where CDs by "outside the mainstream" artists like Cat Power, Antony and the Johnsons and Arcade Fire were selling for $7.99.

Predictably, there is much gnashing of teeth at Pitchfork about this because of the supposed affect on indie record stores. Several points come to mind: (1) Where the $#%$# was I when this promotion was going on? That's a sweet deal! (2) Even without this promotion, Best Buy typically is cheaper than the indies because it is a massive corporate chain that can buy in bulk. So price already isn't a motivating factor for shopping at the "cool" stores. You go to the "cool" stores to find the obscure stuff the chains don't carry, and to (hopefully) find a non-a-hole record clerk that can hook up some sweet recommendations. (3) Most Americans live in places that don't have "cool" record stores (cough, cough) and must rely on the Best Buys of the world for their music purchases. (If they aren't hip or rich enough to shop online.) So what's wrong with selling cheap CDs that might get a matchbox twenty fan hooked on some great music that might not otherwise hear?



Anonymous kbl said...

I saw that. My favorite part is this: "In my humble opinion, the blame falls on the labels and bands who are participating in this co-op advertisement deal."

Yeah, those horrible labels and artists that want to up their exposure and broaden their audience. How dare they?!

I like indie music and book stores and I like the handselling and personal attention, but I can't really act like it's some crime against art or humanity if Borders or Best Buy decides to try a new marketing angle and heavily discounts certain items. Would it suck if everything were a chain? Sure. But do these indies have some sort of ordained right to exist at the expense of the interests of other businesses and artists/lables that I didn't know about?

Damn pinko commie bastards.

12:32 PM  

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