2016 sucked wind in a vacuum any way you care to slice it. The world got smaller, meaner, colder, and decidedly crueler. Next, The Reaper took took what I consider four classic performers from us: Bowie, Colin Vearncombe, Prince, and Leonard Cohen. At least Cohen can be said to have had a full life. Bowie’s death was shocking, then I had to twist in the wind to cope with Vearncombe’s death after a brief vegetative state following a road accident days later. This surprise was surpassed only by the post-mortem revelations once Prince expired. Given Prince’s clean living rep, his death due to painkiller abuse completely blindsided me. I at least maintained my music to cost ratio that took off dramatically last year. In fact, I had to adjust my graph scale to account for the purchases this year. What that means was there was a lot of music entering the Record Cell. As usual, the prices of these items, some deep in the want list, were minimal. I maintain that the cost of physical music is diminishing. I bought one “expensive” used title this year, Visage’s “Orchestral” which now appears to be OOP. Finally getting a copy cost me $30, which was definitely on the low end for that title.
My mail order excursions leaned heavily on Beautiful World Records in Philadelphia due to their deep reach of titles and generous postage costs. It boggles my mind how far into joyland $25 can go with them. By far my favorite store visit last year was when I went to Wuxtry, Decatur when seeing Midge Ure in Atlanta last October. Harvest Records Anniversary sale was a modest thing this year. This has not always been the case, but by now I expect my mileage to vary. I probably got more good stuff at local used media emporium Mr. K’s this year.
Total titles purchased: 210
Total cost: $1235.00
Average cost: $5.88/title
– LP: 23
– 12″: 28
– 10″: 1
– 7″: 18
– bundled: 2
Here’s the cumulative purchasing data on a graph from the beginning of this blog in mid-2010. The Y-axis this year gained 25%! The greater the distance between the two dots for each year, the lower the music cost overall.
Next: …Deeper into the data
I was surprised by your lack of eulogy for Leonard Cohen. I didn’t say anything at the time as I figured that he was not your cup of tea or that you felt he didn’t have enough of a post punk connection to warrant such a thing, so I said nothing. Mr Cohen was the one that was the most acute for me, although I have enjoyed some of the rememberances of Prince (the Guardian had a very nice one near the end of the year where people’s memories of him painted him as this interesting blend of ASD and fairly ordinary guy).
Tim – The only crossover between Leonard Cohen and the milieu of this blog is that by the mid 80s, Cohen’s penchant for synthpop tropes provided a slight overlap on the Venn diagram. Cohen was a songwriter’s songwriter, and a gifted performer. I was lucky to have seen him on his later tours in 2009.
I continue to be in awe of your music purchasing prowess, O Monk! Truly, music is your best entertainment value (other than the relatively free cost of blogging, which as a result of your efforts is our best entertainment value!
Speaking of blogging and your mention of the most notable music deaths of the year, I fully concur with your choices of the most heart-rending losses. I am blogging about Bowie this year (as he was the most important of these four to me, not to in any way diminish the awesomeness of the others), and as this will be of interest to your audience I’ll alert you when new entries are posted.
You’ve summed up 2016 well. I can’t recall a year passing that approached it in terms of unremitting bad news.
SimonH – Maybe 1939.
Hah! In my lifetime:)