Archive for May 2008
News about the music industry is almost unfailingly grim, from plummeting profits to plunging sales figures. Between 2006 and 2007, overall sales revenue sank almost 20 percent.
Amid the bleak news of declines, however, some facets of the music industry’s sales are trending upward. Consumers purchased over 200 million more digital downloads in 2007 than the year before, while another medium’s sales are also climbing—vinyl records.
After ten consecutive years of declining sales figures, retailers sold over one million vinyl records in 2007, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, more than a 35 percent increase from the year before. While vinyl accounts for less than one percent of all recorded music sales, a medium many people considered long dead is actually on the rise. It’s being called the vinyl revival.
Teachers Protest Budget Cuts
JOHN YANNO rushed out of a pharmacy in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, across the street from the John Jay High School building where he teaches sixth-grade social studies. A solid mass of untrustworthy gray clouds stood still above his head.
Shortly before school let out for the day at 3 p.m., most people on the street were dressed in winter coats; but Yanno wore a short-sleeved flannel shirt, his cropped, salt-and-pepper goatee his only protection from the cold.
He had gone to the pharmacy looking for poster board; not finding any, he returned to the school, sailed past security with a quick hello, and whizzed towards the art teacher’s classroom. There, he scored a few pieces.
Heading up the stairs with the oak tag under his arm, he stepped over a pair of gum-snapping girls and made his way through discarded plastic bags and candy wrappers, on his way to his studentless classroom—cramped, boxy and about ten degrees warmer than the hall, thanks to a radiator with a busted thermostat. Lockers lined one side and windows with drawn shades the other; tightly packed desks covered nearly every inch of floor space and posters covered nearly every inch of wall space.
Yanno laid out a small square of poster board on a student’s desk.
MONEY FOR, he wrote in black, SCHOOLS, in green, NOT, in black, WAR!, in red.
“This is all I do,” Yanno said. “I spend half my life making signs.”