Over the weekend, NPR intern Emily White raised a stink — and a very forceful retort from musician David Lowery — by saying she'd purchased almost no music in her life, even though she considered herself a huge music fan. She meant to illustrate her doubt that young people will ever be convinced to pay for music when virtually all of it can be downloaded for free. Lowery answered her with various facts about the music industry and about how artists (don't) make money, basically giving moral reasons for the purchase of music. Well, we'd like to offer other kinds of reasons — selfish, image-concerned, semi-factual ones — why even young, lazy, convenience-obsessed broke people (like us) should spend their money on music, instead of, say, overpriced coffee, iGadgets, and bath salts. Here are eight of them.
8. Because physical album packaging is a cardboard-and-paper universe of wonder.
The packaging and artwork for a piece of music can be almost as iconic as the music itself: When you see a ray of light going into a prism and a rainbow coming out, what do you think of? Even if the art isn't magnificent, the photos, liner notes, credits, and lyrics complete the work. You find all sorts of fascinating things in CD booklets and vinyl lyric sheets. Just yesterday we were going through McCartney II, and found the freaky photos Macca took of himself, in which he was apparently imitating the other members of the Beatles. You don't get new discoveries like that with an illegal download.