I made a shot movie as an assignment of the class. It is about how to dig vinyls at stores. Enjoy.
Tag Archives: Record Record Record Record Record
Recently, many record companies(shops) are closing or reducing their business in scale. There are some other factors for that, but one of them is definitely the arrival of online music. I wanna introduce this article because it is expressing my feeling for current music scene really well, and I cannot tell you guys what I’m thinking by my crappy English as well as he did in this article. Check it out.
I was born and raised in Tokyo, so I was not in the extreme situation like him. Also, I started to go to record shops frequently in last 2 or 3 years. Yet, I totally agree with him and this article makes us think about what we got and what we lost because of the arrival of digital music.
“For me the HMV store wasn’t just a place to buy music; walking into it felt a bit like slipping through the back of a wardrobe into Narnia.”
I like this sentence very much. Yes, the entrance of record shop is definitely the entrance of new world. To me, the feeling is completely different from the one you feel when you are looking for new discovery on youtube.
“it is true that today there is even more available online but it is not the same as seeing rows and rows of albums.”
Yes, it is. I cannot describe the feeling, but if you’ve been to any record shops, you can tell for sure.
Pain makes gain. In this case, pain can be time or money to go to record shop or paying for CDs or vinyls. This sacrifice is an important component for happiness that you can feel when you “physically” grab your treasure.
What you need for music? Just wanna listen awesome music? Yeah, of course the final destination where we want to reach out is getting a good music on your library. However, there are other things you can enjoy through music. See it. Touch it. Listen it. When you file you music with your own memories, the song is different from the one of other people. This whole experience gonna be your pleasures and treasures.
I found an interesting interview and an article that is really “to the point” for my blog topic. Theo Parrish, one of pioneer DJs from Detroit, strongly insists the problem of laptop DJs in this interview. On the other hand, the author of this article completely argues against Theo’s idea. Click these links below, and check out the opinions of each side before you read my article. I wanna talk about this controversy based on the interview and the article.
link to: 4 Reasons Why Theo Parrish Is Wrong About Laptop DJs (You can access to Theo’s interview from this page.)
How did you feel when you watched the interview and read the article? To me, only in this debate, the author of this article is winning though I’m a big fun of Theo’s music and his style. This is my impression. What he mentions in his article is totally make sense, and there is no room to dispute his opinion when we consider about entire DJ culture. At the same time, I strongly feel I don’t wanna be like the blog author. It means that I really appreciate the development of technology and I think people should receive its benefit as much as they need. I’m also taking advantage of technology for my music style as “life”, but what I wanna say is that I still don’t wanna take his idea in my music style as “DJ”.
I won’t discuss specific topics in the article because each side’s opinion is “true” for each side. At this point, Theo’s extreme idea is wrong. He can’t deny digital culture. He shouldn’t say laptop DJs can’t be great DJs. Also, this is not true “Personalities magnetise crowds, equipment doesn’t” that is what the author states in his article. I don’t know exactly what he meant by the word “personality”, but equipment can definitely fascinate (more or less)people, equipment can definitely represent the styles of DJs, personalities of DJs. By what people are fascinated cannot be judged by DJ, but by people.
The factor that makes this argument endless is they are on different ways, in different fields. People who don’t even care about DJ’s equipment, for example, can have a good time at the same level whichever equipment a DJ uses. Yet, there are people who think DJ’s equipment, media, background and of course music, everything is a part of his personality and feel something from his DJing. Some people think the DJ who play only top chart music is better than legendary DJ like Theo Parrish. I cannot believe it. But, I shouldn’t say “These people are stupid” or “They are lacking of sense” because there are no correct and incorrect, there is only preference. It all depends on what people want. When the DJ’s style fits for the demand of audience, the gig gonna be epic both for the DJ and for the audience.
Like Theo Parrish, many vinyl DJs have a firm resolution and belief for their styles. Then I’m wondering that how many laptop DJs (In this case, laptop DJ means a DJ who started their DJ career as a laptop DJ and have never used another media.) have a strong persistence for their style, using laptop. Personally, I cannot find any reasons to use laptop for DJing except its convenience. As long as I’m on this way, I’ll never use laptop when I want to tell “something specific” to people by my music. That’s the reason why I don’t wanna be like the author of this article though his opinion makes sense to me.
Being unique means getting sympathy from people on the same way. At the same time, It means losing sympathy from people on the other side. I think to have my own style is almost self-satisfaction because it’s almost impossible to tell all audience exactly what I wanna tell through my DJing. But, It is really important to think about how I should be to tell my soul as much as possible.
Well, the blog author says “Jimi Hendrix wasn’t a DJ”. When I saw it, it made me think “what is a DJ?”. I thought Jimi Hendrix was not DJ as well, and also I thought DJ was a person who mixed music by turntables. In this definition, laptop DJ is DJ? No! However, laptop DJ is DJ for sure! So, DJ is a person who mix music by “his or her own way”? Did Jimi Hendrix always play his songs separately? He might sometimes transfer to next songs without taking a rest like DJing.
Jimi Hendrix,,, might be,,, a DJ.
It’s kinda late, but I found an interesting video for a Valentines Day gift to you guys! Enjoy!
Before, I start to talk about the main topic, I wanna say thank you to people who left comments on my previous posts. This is actually my first blogging experience, and I realized how nice medium blog is and I’m really glad when someone reads my articles seriously and leaves a comment with their ideas. It is beneficial both for me and readers because I can get new hints for my future topics and I can know what kind of topic you want me to discuss. I wanna reflect your idea as much as I can.
Also, I’ve been saying some ideas from analog side so far. Yeah, in fact, I’m pretty much on analog side as I mentioned before. But, I wanna take a neutral stance through this blog. This is “not” a blog that I insist on and emphasize how analog(vinyl) is cool. This is “not” a blog that convince you guys that analog is superior to digital. I wanna introduce the weak points and the strong points of both sides and discuss what’s happening in current music scene on the point of media. This is my blog, so I should say my opinions. Still, I emphasize that I wanna talk about the topic objectively, and then clarify my position.
Thank you again for your comments and I need your help to make my blog more interesting one.
OK! Let’s move on and finish “The Reason Why I Go To Record Shops”.
3, I wanna go. So I go. that’s it!!
As a final reason for visiting record shops, I picked this stupid reason. At the same time, I think this is the strongest reason. When I started to go to record shops, I didn’t have any logical reasons for it. I just thought vinyl was cool(Also, I didn’t know this decision would make me spend so much money). I just like to look my collections on my shelf. Human beings tend to like putting logical reasons, sometimes complicated reasons, on what they are doing in order to satisfy themselves. Yet, in most case, the initial reason is pretty simple. “It’s cool.” “It’s easy.” “It’s convenient.” “My friends do it.” “I just didn’t know the other one.” All of these are good enough reasons to start something. While you get to like it more and more, you realize new idea and your style for it, but you will never forget the initial idea.
In DJ culture, many DJs seem to be on the same way. Some analog DJs say digital music is lacking of soul. Some digital DJs say the analog era has gone. But, nobody can deny the other side completely as long as both sides have strong points and weak points. Then, the factor that splits people into 2 sides is just “which strong point is stronger?”, “which weak point is weaker?”, and “which do you prefer?”.
If I say that, does this discussion lose its meaning? No. I’m just curious about their reason itself. I didn’t want to decide which better style is. I just think this is important to know the fact that there are very simple reasons behind their logical reasons.
When I play music in front of people, I sometimes wonder whether they do know I’m using vinyls or they don’t. I think many of them don’t care about it especially at a party or an event for mainstream people. Even though I noticed that, I wanna keep having my style. And I believe that DJ who plays music for only a few people understand his style is way cooler than DJ who can dance wasted people with top chart music at a mainstream club.
I wanna conclude this topic by this sentence. Though the reason is for yourself, not for another people, keep having your style helps you to go to next level. And… it’s… cool.
From the last post, I’ve been talking about why I go to record shops. If you miss Pt1, please check it out before read this one.
2, How much can you pay for this music?
Today, we can download music for free. It’s sometimes illegal, but most people don’t mind to take a little tiny risk even if they know it’s not good. MP3 music started to spread over the world in this century, so basically everyone still remember their experiences to buy a CD or a vinyl at a record store. But, in the future, I guess there will be many people who have never paid for music as well as many little kids have never seen a vinyl today, and sometimes they don’t even know what it is. In my opinion, this situation is pretty dangerous for the whole future music scene, not only for music industry.
Before I discuss the critical problem for music, I wanna talk about my idea that I strongly believe. From my perspective as a DJ, I think “limit” is an important concept. The ” limit” means time and money in most case. For instance, I had 10 songs I wanted to get and play for my DJing. If I was a MP3 DJ, I definitely downloaded all of them because they were free. However, I could get only 3 of them at the vinyl shop because I couldn’t afford to buy all of them. When I realized I couldn’t buy all of them, I thought the order of priority. “Which one is the best for my DJing?” “Umm, this one might not be necessary.” “This one might be able to provide new potential for my DJing.” After I had debated for a long time, I finally decided “best 3”. As I listened again and again the 3 vinyls that I got by “paying money”, I worked to earn money to buy the other 7 songs. And finally I got all of them. At this moment, these 10 songs were already more valuable in my mind than the same 10 songs that I could get for free. Also, even if I realized these songs are not very good songs after I bought them, I would try to find out the possibility to put them on my DJ mix somehow because I paid for them, worked for them. Even if I didn’t use these songs eventually, It would help me to improve my sense of mixing for sure. If I got them for free, I would have considered they were not worth playing and I never listen them. There is a big differences in my mind between these two.
Now, I’ll touch the misgiving of the future music scene. When we go to iTunes online and look at the prices of songs in the same album, we can see that every song is sold by the same price like this(I don’t know it happen to all album though).
I think this is a problem. Indeed, one album should be considered as one piece. An artist made this order of songs on purpose, so listeners are supposed to listen all of songs by this order to enjoy this whole album by the way the artist intended. But, each song has a general evaluation. Some people buy this album to listen one particular song. That’s the reason why Apple made this system that allow them to buy one by one and I think this system is pretty beneficial for these people. Then, why do they sell all songs by the same price? Each song should have each price according to its popularity and evaluation. I think that equalizing the market price of each song means songs lost their value. The same thing is happening to free music.
If we go to used record shop, some CDs and records have more expensive price than the price when they were released. There are a few possible reasons, for example, they sold only a small number of the records or these records are limited editions. But, another reasons are people keeping the records because they still like it, record shops sell records by the price because people buy them even though they are expensive. I think it’s good that people can get music anytime anywhere without effort. At the same time, I think “something” will be disappeared. It can be a blissful moment that you finally find a rare record that your friends don’t have. It can be a satisfaction when you buy an expensive record that you have wanted to get for a long time. I think, however, this “something” seems more important than the thing I stated above. I cannot guess exactly what will be happened when the “limit” will be disappeared. DJ scene is also changing simultaneously. Currently, we can completely copy the mix of another DJs and make the same one for free if you know their playlists.
In 2007, Radiohead did a groundbreaking project. They released an album called In Rainbow, and customers can put the price by themselves.
According to an Internet survey conducted by Record of the Day of 3,000 people, about one-third of people who downloaded the album paid nothing, with the average price paid being £4. (from Wikipedia~In Rainbow~ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Rainbows)
Now, time is changing from “How much can you pay for this music?” to “How much do you WANT TO pay for this music?”
It’s been almost 2 years since I started to go to record shops that especially handle vinyls. Today I wanna talk about the reason why I keep buying vinyls before I introduce some ideas of famous “vinyl DJs”. As I mentioned before, I’m still wondering why I adhere to analog sound this much and I have not found out the clear reasons. Therefore, I will introduce a few ideas I already realized. Also, I want to introduce what I do in record stores.
1, Process and New Discovery
I like the process to look for my “treasure”, sometimes it is what I don’t know. When people get MP3 music online, they just go to iTunes or another web site and click the button to download it. There are no processes, just the results you get the songs you want. I go to record shops 2 or 3 days on an average. My record hunting starts day before I go to record shops by making a list of my “treasure” and charging the battery of my portable turntable. And I pick a record shop that has my “treasure” most likely. When I go to a huge record shop like Amoeba, I cannot check all of records in the store in a day, so I focus on a few genres. For example, today is a Rock day, today is a Techno and House day, like this. When I have enough time, I go to at least 2 or 3 record shops to get the cheapest one. This is a interesting point. On iTunes, there are no price differences, but basically vinyls are sold by different prices depend on stores and conditions.
Imagine you go to an old used record shop. There are vinyls of Soul music, Disco, Rock, Blues, Jazz and etc. The owner are really familiar with these kind of music. While you are looking their great selection, you find a small dirty box at the corner and you find some house records in the box. Maybe someone sold these vinyls at the shop with old music that the owner likes to sell. You find an awesome vinyl you have wanted for a long time and ask the owner about the price. You know the record is sold by $30 at another modern music record shop. He says “1 dollar” because he doesn’t care about the House record and he doesn’t know the market value of it. The awesome record for you is almost “trash” for him.
This is a story I actually experienced many time at record shops and this is such an exciting moment. But, It never happens at iTunes. This is definitely interesting story and the reason why I like to go to record shops, but this story cannot be the reason to being vinyl DJ because MP3 is still cheaper than vinyls.
I think there are some factors to be a good DJ. One of them is knowledge. In this case, knowledge means simply “how many songs do you know?”. Even if you have a very good sense to mix music, you cannot be a good DJ, I mean you cannot put your soul on your music without knowledge. In the process I hunt for vinyls, I have to see another vinyls I don’t know just because I don’t know where my “treasure” is. It often happens that I cannot find my “treasure” at all. Some people might think this is waste of time, but this is one of the most important reasons for me to go to record shops because we “cannot” waste time on iTunes. All you have to do is just type the name of song you want. There are no time loss. At the same time, there are no unexpected new discoveries.
Let me explain the factors that make me want to listen unknown vinyls. 1, It has a cool jacket. 2, It is released by my favorite music label. 3, It is made by a producer I like. 4, Just I feel something I can’t explain. Then, I check out the year they were released, and if I still wanna listen them, I keep them and listen them by my portable turntable. This is my process to find my music and to find new possibility for my DJing.
Of course, I also use the internet to search music. However, I believe it is harder to find a “new discovery” on the web than at real stores because people use the internet to search something that is already in their mind. The strong point of the internet is an enormous mount of information. Yet, because of that, I think it’s hard to find new discovery. You can get music, but a new discovery never comes to you by itself. Best case scenario, you can search something new that is related with your knowledge. On the other hand, if you go to record shops, sometimes you can skip these steps and jump into completely new world because a new discovery come to you by itself. There are vinyls, so only thing you have to do is just check all of vinyls at the store and be sensitive while doing that. The one might not be the best one. But, it definitely takes you to the new world. In contrast, you can’t check out all of music on the web, needless to say.
I feel happiness and appreciation for this “fate”. I went there, so I could find it. I strongly believe this fate makes your DJ style unique and “unimitatable”.