As part of book giant Borders’ slashing of its DVD and CD sections, the store here in Athens, Ga., is selling its CD and DVD inventory at 50% off. The standard pre-liquidation price for a CD? $18.99. So at 50% off, most of the remaining inventory was still as much as it would have been at Best Buy, Target, or Wal-Mart. In fact, in most cases the prices were exactly twice what they were at the Big Boxers, particularly in the DVD/Blu-Ray section. I decided to document the dregs of Borders’ music collection to see what people weren’t buying, much like I did last year during the Circuit City fire sale. All of the releases documented after the jump had at least four copies for sale.
I admit it: I have a bias against literary novelists who write about music. It has to do with my appetite for immediacy. That’s what I like about pop, and pop writing, and it’s not a tendency always shared by literary fiction writers. So I see detailed explanations of milieu that I take for granted and I grow impatient. Obviously, this is my fault, but sometimes it’s the writers’ too. Once I showed a friend a piece a long music essay, by a well-known author, that seemed to spend its first page clearing its own throat. My friend summed up my response with hers: “Trying. Too. Hard.”
So it’s nice to have this bias knocked over, as happened with Hang the DJ: An Alternative Book of Music Lists (Faber & Faber), edited by Angus Cargill. I hadn’t known about the book before Simon Reynolds, who contributed two lists (“Deserving But Denied: Thirty-three No. 2s That Should Have Been No.1” and “The Dirty Dozen: Twelve Great Artists Who Are Terrible Influences”), mentioned the book’s blog on his own. I hadn’t looked beyond a couple of names before my copy arrived; I wanted to be surprised.
Our look at the closing lines of reviews of the week’s biggest new music continues with a spin through writeups of Snow Patrol’s A Hundred Million Suns, which arrives in U.S. stores today:
ARTIST: Snow Patrol
TITLE: “Take Back The City”
WEB DEBUT: Sept. 1, 2008
I applaud new ideas. When you spend time trying to find interesting things to comment on for a music blog, anything that might appear to be innovative provides a brief moment of excitement. But when every corporate entity on earth tries to find a way to make some cash from the residuals of the iTunes empire, it’s inevitable that some ideas are, frankly, better than others.
Could a Sugababes song actually get some airplay on American radio? Well, sort of. “About You Now,” which appeared on their 2007 album Change, is actually available outside of U.S. stores’ import sections thanks to some pandering to the 8-to-11 set: The track, co-written by Cathy Dennis and Dr. Luke, has been covered by tween star Miranda Cosgrove, who stars as a Webcam-wielding “online celebrity” (oh boy) on the Nick-com iCarly. “About You Now” is but one of the 29 tracks on iCarly‘s soundtrack, which also includes a “Nickelodeon mix” of the Avril Lavigne/Lil Mama version of “Girlfriend” and that dreadful Good Charlotte track about not wanting to be in love. So how does Cosgrove stand up?
“Britons like a dose of music from the rock band Coldplay to help them fall asleep, a survey from hotel chain Travelodge found on Monday…Other artists chosen for their slumber-inducing qualities were James Blunt, Snow Patrol, Take That, and Norah Jones.” More »
Every few years, a new act is randomly selected as a go-to critical punching bag: Who can forget the great “Coldplay Cold Shoulder” of 2004, or the “Belle & Sebastards” backlash of 2002? Anybody? More »