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They're Back


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ou just can't keep a dead dream down.I ranted with deep personal rage and regret about the tardy death of HMV when it happened a while back. We thought it was settled - big scale high street retail of wack mainstream pop noise just does not pay in 2013. And that's fine. Skrillex, One Direction, Miley Cystrus and the rest are just as well served by worthless tinny downlowloads and "piracy" as the old shiny disc format. Hell, with less frequency range and tonal variety than a pickled egg powered trouser cough at the back of a bus the uncompressed you own the damn thing reality of CD is overkill and forget about the warm final truth of vinyl.But as I warned us all before, Tom is plugged into the music business heavier than a BT phone exchange. Thus, even from his Scottish wilds, he sees and hears reality faster and deeper than I could bear.The email came like a threat from space. Subject line: "Doomed".What could this mean? Had he found the bodies and no longer wanted to hear from the dread madness of your Sleeve? Thankfully no, not yet. Tom was just offering the politest possible comment on the bizarre fact the bin diving bums who have picked up the disgusting corpse of Blockbuster had a brainwave to "get into" music.As a film fanatic, Blockbuster has a special place in my pantheon of poop flinging urban ape mega hate.When I was too small to know just how shite the world is, the local video store was a place of wonder. Sure, a greasy VHS of Fatal Fucking Womanhater Attractshun was available, along with Star Wars, Kevin Costner colonic exams, whatever were present and incorrect. However, the rest of the racks were filled with whatever the local store owner thought people should be ready to watch. Italian horror, classic Film Noir, surfing movies, teen comedies - whatever. There was always something unexpected to explore and whatever kid was behind the minimum wage counter was only too keen to share his views and suggest you check out some unclassifiable thing from far away France called Delicatessen. I did, and it made me a better Being.However, all the sheeple often came away as empty handed as they were empty headed.If there were only say five copies of Ghostbusters or Rain Man there was a good chance at any given weekend they would be unavailable. The Sheeple do not like choice or surprises, these are only routes to confusion and frustration. The men behind Blockbuster realised a far better idea was to pare choice back to a handful of obvious insults, and cut deals with the studios to buy tonnes of "Blockbuster" releases to sell on when the bad taste of the crowd moved on. Of course anything not conforming to cornbread hypocrite morality would be excluded or cut. And anyone not bringing that tapeworm back fast got stung hard in the pocket. The emergence of internet based mail order rental with a rather larger catalogue and fairer returns policy killed the nonsense. But this reeking zombie stayed on the High Street looking for a purpose to stay open like a pointless, ignored herpes hooker.It tried videogames - they are overpriced and have a limited shelf life so are rent fodder - but the mail order mavens took that away too. So we ended up with a load of stupid non shops across the country waiting to die. When bankruptcy finally appeared, these ghost shells were still there and some easy money jokers picked them up for a song. Literally. They want to bring mainstream muse-sick to the past it party. This is often the last act of the stupid.Music still looks like magic for imagination challenged companies and brands of all kinds.Anyone from a soda slinger to a blackberry bush of obsolete smart phones still thinks pop has a cool halo to add to whatever they are doing. Other than the Austrian geniuses behind Red Bull, no-one but second rate artists and third rate festivals has ever benefited. It may taste like battery acid, be often found in slutty cocktails and represent less stimulant value than either espresso or Class As, but Red Bull sponsors things in a hands off long term way that is a credit to them and a benefit to whatever community is involved. The rest is just noise.One noise worth noting is the sound of one of the more sensitive vultures attempting to revive a large part of HMV. And they will probably be more successful than anyone trying to stuff Katy Perry Special Editions into the dry carcass of an unmissed video rental chain. Nipper had a little more love.As we revealed before, nearly three quarters of books and movies in Europe are bought physically. The real problem was lack of vision and understanding of how to deal with a smaller market that is declining and moving into a more premium space. NOT the internet which is just a default excuse for failing businesses. HILCO are reasonably smart, and also understand that the old HMV were too greedy and rude with suppliers. A deal will happen soon, as it must for the majors who are smarting from a lack of places other than Amazon to sling their scat.So pretty soon you'll see Closing DOWNNN replaced with a GRAND REOPENING. Whether this lot realise that they can't have more than 100 stores and all need to be cafes/performance spaces/partially label run with free wifi and phone charging remains to be seen. The Mainstream High Street has been obsolete for a very long time. Who wants to buy 4 AA batteries for £6.99, a Martina Cole potboiler paperback for £9.99 and not be able to park? An awake Government would get involved to ease an evolution back to what High Streets were before the late 19th Century emergence of mass consumerism. That means flexible live/work spaces, arts venues, truly specialist shops, and places to eat and drink and sleep. Amazon and friends have long taken away any cause to let undead irrelevances hog space badly needed for housing. It's best to bury dead things fast to avoid rot and contamination. Cavemen sure knew that simple rule of nature, but our masters and moneymen would rather keep on poking at the stink.Jessops was bought by some bloke off the telly but that is not worth your time. At all.What is worth your time is our super amazing hoppy happening Easter New Nude In:Side Effects, Leon Ware, Deodato, Ashford & Simpson, Bar Kays, Isaac Hayes. Thirteenth Floor Elevators, Doors, Love, Jefferson Airplane, Seeds, Electric Prunes plus general Rock LP frenzy - Richard Thompson to Hawkwind.Plenty of Reggae 12"s, generally Dancehall and Lovers.More interesting Soundtracks.Class DnB 12"sIt's generally big and varied. As Always. See you in the racks...!

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