I was one of those kids who liked to take things apart to figure out how they work.
My mom was one of those who hated clutter with a passion and strove to keep the house spotless. So obviously, there was some friction.
We quickly settled on a solution, wherein anything inside my room would be left alone, while any of my "junk" found in the house would disappear like a witness against the mob.
I endured the difficulty of moving around my room while trying to avoid stepping on pieces of metal because I was able to learn a lot about new design choices by getting to know how things used to be made.
And in my pursuit of old stuff to take apart — at garage sales, thrift stores or used gear outlets — the transaction usually included spicy conversation about the old days and how much has changed since then.
I remember picking up an old receiver at a garage sale and learning everything I could want to know about 8-track tapes and how ubiquitous they used to be. A gift of a turntable once came with a nostalgic lament about the availability of good vinyl any more (this was before the current vinyl revolution) and memories of music being something you can hold in your hand.
I bring all of this up because Amazon jumped into the streaming music game last week with Amazon Music Unlimited, and it just underscores the massive transition music has undergone in the last 10 years and continues to experience today.
CD sales still make up 50 percent of the music market in the U.S., but you can't help but notice the number shrinking — it's down 11 percent from last year. If you know any musicians who are recording these days, likely they still feel the need to produce CDs to have something physical to hand out and sell at shows. But also likely is the fact that they see the landscape changing, too, and are trying to take advantage in the download and streaming realm.
I'm not sure how to quantify this without some kind of Herculean, exhaustive research, but it feels like there are more bands and recording artists now than ever before. From my recording control-room window in the Daily's live video studio Second Story Garage ( secondstorygarage.com) to the massive listings of small-audience bands on Spotify to the bedroom recordings of Soundcloud, it's clear that the Internet Revolution has not hurt prospects for new music, even if it did disrupt the flow of money.
Which brings me to the point I'm trying to make. Many articles have been written about the pay scale on streaming music services, and how much (or little) they pay artists for their creations. I've read the same articles, which point to sites like Bandcamp as a way of giving the biggest cut to the musicians.
I love my Spotify and lossless Tidal. I've held off on Apple Music but might check out Amazon's approach. But because I know a musician's life is difficult and they need to get paid, I buy as much of my music on Bandcamp as possible.