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Death of an Era

The fastest growing segment of the music industry is recordings on Vinyl. Yeah, it is antique by today’s standards – but the audio quality far surpasses anything on the digital medias. Turntables and Tube Amps are back – big time, as Vinyl sales are rising at 50% a year.

So the death of this Chicago institution has more to do with merchandising than product. The costs of maintaining a brick and mortar retail outlet versus warehousing and distribution through the Internet. What will be interesting to see is whether the internet model will work in an industry where impulse buying is integral to sales. Last count, I had about 600 Albums in my personal collection. Fully half of those were “impulse buys” while looking for something else, where in thumbing through the bins I saw something such as a particular musician or group of musicians doing studio on the recording. Such “Liner Note” information is seldom provided on Internet sites – making searching for a “find” particularly vexing on the net.

Chicago is a bit smaller today.

Jazz Record Mart closes

The Jazz Record Mart, which long billed itself as “The World’s Largest Jazz and Blues Record Store,” closed its doors at 11:30 a.m. Monday, 10 minutes after a deal was completed to sell the business, according to manager/buyer Kent Richmond.

Wolfgang’s Vault – a Reno, Nev., operation that buys and sells music, film and other cultural items – has acquired the store’s inventory and the Jazz Record Mart name and web site.

“We had a lot of people knocking on the doors this morning,” said Richmond. “We did open at 10 and did a fair amount of business for the short time we were open.

“Once the deal was finalized, that’s when we had to close the doors.”

Also sold in the deal were “record bins, all the art work and everything,” said Richmond. The inventory will be shipped to Nevada…More

For you youngsters who have never been in one of these – this is what the Old Skool Record stores looked like. It is sort of like the difference between a Kindle and a real book.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2016 in Music, From Way Back When to Now

 

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Al Jazeera America to Close

Dang – I guess battling the cable news nitwits is harder than I thought…

Al Jazeera America To Shut Down By End Of April

Al Jazeera America is shutting down its operations in the United States by the end of April, the company told employees in a meeting Wednesday.

The cable channel launched in 2013 after Al Jazeera purchased Current TV, the progressive news channel co-founded by Al Gore.

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2016 in News

 

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The Pope’s a “Socialist Muslim”! And Obama is Closing the Vatican Embassy!

Totally absurd off the wall accusations have become standard fare for Republicans in their psychotic hatred of President Obama. When you’ve got a base who is stupid enough to believe anything – the the political thing to do is to throw as much shit on the wall as possible. Because some segment of that base is racist enough and stupid enough to believe anything.

Apparently Jeb Bush plans to throw his hat into the 2016 race.

Then the is the “problem” with the Pope. Seems he is getting ready to turn the largest Christian denomination in the world in some decidedly non-conservative directions! If Ol’ Jeb hadn’t spoiled their psychosis, right about now outraged Tea Baggers could be marching, loaded to the nines with their guns to “peacefully” demonstrate at the nearest Catholic Church to demand we pull the American Embassy out of the Vatican – a “Socialist-Muslim Institution”. They would need the guns of course to protect themselves from the Nuns, whose cassocks suspiciously look like Burkas! You never know when one of those flying Nuns might decide to run into a tall building!

“The culture of prosperity deadens us,” the pope writes in a document laying out the platform for his papacy.Pope Francis on Tuesday called capitalism “a new tyranny” and very explicitly called on global leaders to act on poverty and growing inequality.
Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a “disposable” culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new. Exclusion ultimately has to do with what it means to be a part of the society in which we live; those excluded are no longer society’s underside or its fringes or its disenfranchised – they are no longer even a part of it. The excluded are not the “exploited” but the outcast, the “leftovers”.
In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting. To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed. Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own. The culture of prosperity deadens us; we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase; and in the meantime all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us

My…My…My… Is the Pope now a (gasp!) “Socialist”? “Trickle down economics” sound familiar, Jeb? ” To sustain a lifestyle which excludes others, or to sustain enthusiasm for that selfish ideal, a globalization of indifference has developed.” Sound like a rejection of Ayn Rand, Dittohead? What the Pope laid out as the basis of his Papacy, is an utter and complete rejection of the principles of conservatism as promoted by Republicans.

Can’t wait for the “Pope Francis is a secret Socialist Muslim” from the Sno Ho, the Minnesota Birdbrain or some other illiterate, brain dead scion of the right! After all, he lives in the Vatican which is suspiciously close to the Middle East. I expect any moment for the conservative “press” to release at least a dozen “best sellers” on the “Vatican Brotherhood” being responsible for Benghazi! Dram Queen and Lawn Jockey Extraordinaire Alan West appearing on Faux News with the “bubbling blonde bimbos”  to claim he knew the Pope was a secret Muslim all along because the Church has black members!

In any event, the second part of my story — Jeb Bush, who was supposed to be the Bush brother with brains… Gets Stupid.

Jeb Bush Perpetuates Myth That Obama Is Closing The Vatican Embassy

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) called out President Barack Obama for closing the U.S. embassy to the Vatican, questioning whether the decision was political “retribution” for Catholic opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

Bush tweeted about the closure on Wednesday evening:

Why would our President close our Embassy to the Vatican? Hopefully, it is not retribution for Catholic organizations opposing Obamacare.

However, the Vatican Embassy isn’t actually closing.

Last week, the State Department announced that it would be moving the embassy from its standalone Vatican facility to a larger compound shared with the U.S. Embassy in Italy, as well as the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. According toReligion News Service, the move is anticipated to save the government $1.4 million a year.

Conservatives were quick to criticize Obama on the move.

As CNN reports, the National Republican Senatorial Committee described the relocation as “the latest anti-religion pursuit of this Administration, a slap in the face to Catholic-Americans around the country that weakens America’s position as a global leader.”

“It’s not just those who bomb churches and kill Catholics in the Middle East who are our antagonists, but it’s also those who restrict our religious freedoms and want to close down our embassy to the Holy See,” Raymond Flynn, a former envoy to the Vatican, told the National Catholic Reporter.

The administration, however, maintains that the move is not indicative of any strain on the United States’ relationship with the Vatican.

According to CNN, a State Department official said the move will result in “no reduction in diplomatic staff, there’s no reduction in ambassadors, there’s no reduction in mission.”

 

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