(Jussieu Music, 75005)
A long, long time ago the playing of music was based on the revolutions of a disc, but the children of the digital revolution have brought this cycle to an end. The world of music has always been a helter-skelter of cyclical fashions, but the changes today are so radical that we are still not sure what the musical landscape will look like when we get to the bottom. In the city, the first victims of this revolution have clearly been the independent music retailers. Walking along Rue Linné I see bad news on the doorstep - Jussieu music has closed. I can't remember if I cried, but something touched me deep inside.
Being a child of small town suburbia, I grew up thinking that choice was what the major chainstores could provide. Their stock could satisfy my teenage kicks whilst my musical tastes remained mainstream, but when my choices moved more leftfield and I began looking away from current fashions towards the back catalogues, and I began to see that I was lost in the High Street.
Fortunately, around this time I moved to Paris and I discovered a world of small, independent retailers. Each shop had its specialties and idiosyncrasies but all stocked huge ranges of discs, both new and second hand and sometimes more excitingly, dirt cheap pre-release discs sold on to them by music industry insiders. The golden triangle for an afternoon of browsing was Gibert Jeune, Crocodisc, and best of all, Jussieu music. I rarely went to these shops with specific ideas for purchases in mind, but instead flicked through the rows, boxes and shelves of discs, picking out things that interested me, hunting for elusive 69 Franc bargains. It was only rock and roll, but I liked it.
How quickly our youth and young manhood disappears! Today music is streamed in bits and bytes. Slash and burn then return, listen to those notes churn. Do we know what true music sounds like anymore? Files are shared, but music is stuck in individual pods. We've entered a world where quality is less important than the number of titles we can carry around with us, and how easily we can skip and shuffle. Do we still believe that music can save our mortal soul? Here we are all in one place, a generation lost in My Space.
Back to Rue Linné, and the sad sight of the four shops of the Jussieu music empire with the shutters down. What a waste! Once four proud horsemen, now a true apocalypse. It's the end of this world as we know it, and I don't really feel fine. It's coming like a ghost town, all the music shops have been closed down.
It now seems such a long, long time ago, but I'll always remember the good old days when the music played, and how that music used to make me smile. Now it's all so quiet.
Thanks to Tim for suggesting the subject. Now see if you can earn yourself more points by finding all the songs in the post!