Monday, November 19, 2007

I Can't Get Started: Retail Blues

I often wonder if I'm the last person in Kansas City still spending money on jazz recordings.

After all, everything's free for savvy internet users. And sadly, the population of Stan Kenton fans is rapidly diminishing.

Back in the day, Kansas Citians could easily acquire jazz at Penny Lane, the Music Exchange, Classical Westport, Recycled Sounds, Exile and many other music purveyors. Today, the nearest Borders outlet probably stocks the new Keith Jarrett and Stacey Kent discs, but fans are forced to go online for Matthew Shipp and David Ware.

It hurts.

(Image of Love Garden in Lawrence, KS, captured by Plastic Sax.)


the unthinking lemming said...

I still spend money on jazz recordings but, sadly, unless it is a local artist that I can make direct contact with much of my spending goes to businesses with no direct ties to the KC area.

To paraphrase the Buggles, the internet killed the jazz star.

Happy In Bag said...

Thanks for the input, UL. While I'm going negative, I'll also suggest that local jazz artists would sell significantly more CDs if they weren't asking $15 a pop. But what do I know?

the unthinking lemming said...

$15 a pop seems to be the going rate for direct sales. Has been for quite some time. Even at $15 each for CD sales I doubt that many, if any, of the local jazzers can afford to record without expending their own funds up front and then still fail to support themselves without alternative sources of income. Nothing terribly unique to jazz musicians.

bgo said...

I am starting to have regrets I ever knew anything about the record bidness, especially the more seedy side of it.

I sold more jazz records than a symphony of thousands. Good ones. Bad ones. And the classic too. People from all over the world came to the X-change and I was happy to be a part of it till it got to be a drag. Something went wrong and well, I was getting on in age, and simply felt of little use anymore. Plus I needed a more secure job with better pay and benefits.

Happy In Bag said...

BGO- Kansas City's a lesser place without guys like you, Dwight and LeRoi putting albums directly into the hands of customers. It gives me hope, however, that it's still being done in St. Louis by loopy cats like Tom Ray and in Denver by dudes like Paul Epstein.