Year End Wrap-Up

What a totally odd year it’s been. As some of you may be aware I work in the newspaper industry; on the advertising side, not editorial (“well, DUH!”), and while we had a pretty decent year revenue-wise it felt like crossing the river STYX in terms of difficulty, and getting past Cerberus (in this case the multi-headed hound of hell being the U.S. economy) was no easy task. We had to fight for every dollar we got. The competition, little ankle biters that they are, made a play for our pie and through some innovation and pure tenacity we were able to fight most of them off and retain our market share. The most difficult problem for those of us in this industry is the prevailing notion that we are locked into a dying industry and that we’re all crusty old Luddites desperately trying to hold on to an antiquated and ineffectual medium. After all, nobody reads newspapers anymore, right? Maybe some of you do, but you’ll all be dead soon, reading Dilbert and doing your NY Times crossword puzzle (in PEN!) on a fluffy cloud whilst gentle harp music plays ad infinitum. The youth, the FUTURE, get their news online, not from some anti-green medium like newsprint. Our circulation remained fairly steady although our obituary section remained healthy, so what does that tell ya? While the BIG GUYS continued to see massive declines in both circulation and ad revenue us little local rags held our own, due in large part to our focus on hyper-local news content, stuff you can’t get anywhere else. Wish us luck…

Music. Perusing all of the “Best Of” lists across the web has been kind of depressing this year. At least 90% of the albums on these lists are a mystery to me. I really don’t want to jump on the “music in 2010 was shit” bandwagon, but damn it music was shit in 2010! When an arrogant turd like Kanye West lands the #1 spot we’re all in serious trouble, you know?

The industry, as they are often wont to do, took a page out of the Beatles marketing handbook and delivered a ton of remasters this year. Some were stellar and necessary and some were sub par. The term “flogging a dead horse” came to mind more than once. To be fair, though, The Beatles remasters are a hard act to follow. As a matter of fact, the remasters proved that The Beatles themselves, no matter what the sound quality, were the best. Somehow, after listening to these albums with new ears, all others seemed to pale in comparison.

My standards have changed, too. An album has to be at least an 8/10 for me to keep it in my collection. A few good songs just ain’t enough anymore. Has the focus to songs changed the medium so much that it’s now “ok” to put out a 3/10? Are people really buying into this crap?

The good news is that throughout history years that end in a “1” have been excellent years for landmark albums. Let’s all hope the trend continues.

On a different note, a gentleman from the U.K. will be joining us here at The Nightmare in 2011, offering a distinctly British point of view from time to time. We’re all really excited, as your Uncle E needs a bit of a break, quite frankly. He’ll be sending me his bio, which I’ll post as soon as I get it. He’s the guy that went toe-to-toe with Philbert in the comments on my “Worst Albums” post a while back. Nick, we’re looking forward to you coming aboard!

Oh, and a BIG “Thank-You” to all you fellow bloggers out there for continuing to offer inspiration and many, many conseutive days of entertainment! Keep it up. Please?

Well, all, I hope you have a terrific holiday season and a terrific new year!!!!