Music Industry New Year's Resolutions
Just because the music business has been reduced to a dying ember of quarter-cent streaming services, earnest cultural analysis of the VMAs, and rappers with horn players, doesn't mean we can't make sweeping, declarative reformations to help make our proud old-media industry just a little bit better. As we enter 2014, a year you used to read about in science fiction novels, let's propose a few New Year's resolutions for our artists, labels, critics, vendors and producers.
Stop Overpricing Your Vinyl and Confusing Your Consumers
It's great that vinyl has made a comeback. Really, it is. It offers a tangible, collector's compulsion that the convenience of downloads and streams could never quite offer. But I don't know what it is with bands and their deep, pining thirst to accessorize their records until the pricetag hits the $30 mark. Color! Gatefold! 200-gram! Bonus tracks to force the package into a double! I consider myself a reasonable man, and a climate where the average piece of vinyl can range anywhere from $12 to $40 seems aggressively unreasonable and a little bit exploitative. Fix this, please.
See also: How to Write a "Vinyl is Back!" Story
Stop Reviewing Things That Totally Do Not Need to Be Reviewed
A few months ago Pitchfork reviewed a Killers Greatest Hits collection. They gave it a 6.4. I cannot for the life of me imagine someone turning to Pitchfork to figure out whether or not they should listen to the Killers greatest hits album. Is there someone in a Target right now who's putting the Killers greatest hits album back down after considering what Pitchfork had to say? I mean, it's a greatest hits album. It's The Killers. I get that Pitchfork has to run five reviews a day, but seriously, why? A review for the Killers' greatest hits album might as well be the fucking track list. It has "Mr. Brightside" on it. Does it need nearly 2,000 words? Wasn't there some other album by some other band that maybe could've used some cursory attention that day? At a certain point, doesn't our endless quest for content begin to parody the very nature of criticism?
No Cassette Releases Unless It Is Black Metal or Noise
In some ways I'm all for tricking hopeless indie kids into new, hilarious fake ways of being hip, but this one almost seems too cruel.