In my impatience I did post a sort of countdown page for the book which links back to the main site. Lately I've also been listening to my one of my favourite 80s bands who have a great new album out:
It's pretty damn cool that a band I loved as teenager is putting out good music 28 years after I first started listening to them. It would never have occurred to me back then that this was possible, namely because I never thought that far into the future. Meanwhile now I'm wishing I had tickets for Duran Duran's upcoming Toronto show but since The Phoenix only has a capacity of 1300 the gig's sold out. Sigh.
I'm still listening to mucho Adam Ant these days too
and I think “Ridicule is nothing to be scared of” has to be one of the great pop music lyrics of all-time. I also finished reading his autobiography, Stand & Deliver, not long ago and am looking forward to his upcoming album.
Incidentally, if you're an Ant fan you might want to check out an interesting new interview with Adam from BBC 4's On the Ropes. He discusses his career, his experiences with bipolar disorder and how he takes issue with the label.
When I say I'm listening to music I often mean albums (rather than individual songs) in the CD or even vinyl format because for me, digital just doesn't feel the same. I do sometimes listen to tunes on shuffle (or Internet radio) while at the computer but if I'm really into something I want a physical copy (whether we're talking about books, movies or music). More on that here and here if you missed my posts on the topic last month. Obviously I'm in the minority on that, though, because globally recorded physical music sales fell by almost $1.5bn (14.4%) last year. During the same period digital revenues grew by only 5.3%.
It's often pretty disheartening reading comments to articles like the Guardian one I linked to above because many of the posters typically blame record industry greed (those posters must be having flashbacks to an earlier time!) for the continual fall in profits, claim artists shouldn't expect to be paid for their efforts (though I'm sure these same posters wouldn't be happy if it was suggested that they themselves put in long hours at work for free) or rant that the music industry isn't raking in money anymore because music today sucks (why these folks never seem to consider that the current state of pop music might in part be due to record companies no longer having the funds to support as many diverse artists and bands resulting in their clinging to proven formula acts in an effort to stay afloat, I'm not sure).
No one is ever going to be able to completely correlate lost sales with piracy (this is another point which commenters repeatedly raise in an effort to dismiss the scope of the piracy problem) but just because we can't draw a direct line between the two doesn't mean that piracy doesn't continue to play a major role in the gutting of the record industry. I find it strange (and frustrating) that many people don't have an issue with paying for hot new digital devices (phones, tablets etc.) on a regular basis but are extremely quick to either rip off or call for bottom of the barrel prices from companies and individuals who create content for those devices (games, movies, music, books). Seems to me like those devices would get boring pretty fast if there was nothing new to put on them. The well can run dry if it continues to prove more and more unlucrative to create music, movies, book and games.
I worry about that not simply because I'd like to be able to make a living as a writer but because I want to read new books, listen to new records and watch new movies. Many, many of them! And not only by writers, musicians and filmmakers whose work is mainstream and popular enough to scrape up decent profits at a time when piracy is rampant and there's constant pressure to lower prices.
I mean, hey, I'll always love 80s music, classic screwball comedies and Jane Austen novels but I sincerely hope there are enough of us out there who realize what's at stake here and are willing to support the arts (whether through legal downloads or purchasing physical copies of works), otherwise our culture's in danger of getting pretty damn stagnant and stinky.