Friday, February 27, 2009

When Everything Got Smaller and Then Disappeared

Sad news from 2 cities in which I used to live, San Francisco and New I just pulled this off of the wire..

The slumping music industry claimed another two victims yesterday as Virgin Megastore revealed plans to close their stores in New York’s Union Square and San Francisco’s Market Street. The Union Square location will shutter at the end of May, while the Market St. store will close by April 30th, reports. As announced earlier, the Virgin Megastore in New York’s Times Square will close this April as well.

I can't tell you how many endless hours I spent in both of these stores...especially New York's Union Square Virgin Megastore. Miles of aisles and the long line of listening stations where I dissed and praised many a new band or repackaged,re-mastered back catalog. Those hours really filled my weekends as an aimless neo New Yorker. This is sad news for me. I had a funny feeling even when CDs first came out in the 80s that everything was going to get smaller and eventually disappear. We would have our music piped into our cranial circuitry via a quarter inch jack just below our ear as we reclined and sat in a virtual massage chair and were pumped full of beer or ice cream intravenously.

If any of you have seen the brilliant movie Wall-E, the cartoon-ish earthlings have essentially become that vision I had, strapped to jet powered chairs, obese with every wish and command at their finger tips in a console at their lap. Triple chinned Jane and Johnny Neumonics.

And albums became cassettes became cds became files pumped through little white ear buds....for the ease, for the compactness, for the mobility. The ipod...the trophy we all lift over our heads while dancing with a purple or green screen as background.

We all have them...even the basement stack archeologists and the DJs....soon they won't even know what a milk crate is. And soon our children's children will have to refer to history books...err scratch that, WEBSITES to see what a record store was. But they'll be doing that while sending a subliminal machine- free text to their tween friends via brainwaves while watching a 20 minute movie on the screen implanted on the backside of their will be thought of and purchased through mere consumer computers attached to our gray matter. There will be banner ads scrolling through our subconscious while we sleep... We won't leave the house...we will just float on our chairs while consuming and the waste will be sucked out of our orifices and converted to energy to run the chair.

I am to blame as well. I have an ipod. I want a bigger Ipod that DOES MORE STUFF, that CRAMS IN APPS that I'll never use. I keep downloading songs, albums, podcasts, videos to see if I can fill that thing I can say that I did, so I can have an excuse to buy a NEW one...and on and on.

The sad thing is..I can't even get through large percentages of the albums I've found,purchased, downloaded and hoarded. I don't have the time/patience/want/need anymore.....but I'm addicted to getting them and having them. Listening to them is a bother, a distraction... And as more record stores die off...I'll eventually graft myself to the couch and ferment in the empty pleasure of the ease of watching everything get smaller and eventually disappear.


  1. Thanks for stopping by and checking out my blog! Really like your site also. You speak my language ( Music!).

    I miss ol weird Eddy also! :-)

  2. Depressing news. I cried when my Tower Records was shut down. Where to go? I don't know.

  3. Wow, the Times Square one is closing down too! Uh, what will I do when I go to NY now? This is pretty scary stuff. If Virgin isn't surviving in the middle of Times Square, how will the little record stores across America fare? Certainly terrible news...