Tuesday, February 12, 2008

33 1/2

I recently made the most ironic music purchase of my life: a copy of In Rainbows that cost me $20. Radiohead's most recent album was released (essentially for free) on the internet last October, so why would an otherwise rational consumer such as myself spend $20 on a product that is otherwise free?

The logical explanation is that I chose my own price ($20) on Radiohead's website because I wanted to support an artist that is standing up to the status quo of the record industry... but that isn't the case. I paid $20 at my local record store for a vinyl copy of In Rainbows. Why vinyl? It just sounds better. It's more fun to collect. It provides a more captivating group listening experience. It includes album art - the way it was meant to be.

I'm not claiming to be a trend-setter. Audiophiles never gave up on vinyl. For Hipsters, it's an image thing. But these days, twenty-somethings from all walks of life are raiding their parents basements for records and turntables, and even buying new ones. You want quantitative data? There isn't much. But Wired was on top of this last fall. Even CBS has taken notice.

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