Friday, February 06, 2015

Gennaro Castaldo Watch: Looking at Kim Sears' chest

The appearance of Kim Sears at Andy Murray's Australian Open final wearing a Parental Advisory shirt (following being caught on camera swearing like a Gamergater spotting a feminist) was a good joke.

And what do you do with a good joke? Why, you analyse to death. Hence, the BBC used the shirt as a leaping-off point for a piece about the Parental Advisory logo.

And who better to share a thought or two about something music-related than Gennaro Castaldo, once HMV's homme de pensee, now installed on the South Bank as BPI's thought monarch:

But Gennaro Castaldo from the BPI admits that the label can undermine its own purpose. "Yes, there is that badge of honour aspect to it," he says. "The impulse behind it is to make parents and consumers aware of the content but it does have a dual effect - after all we've all been teenagers driven by a need to be anti-establishment and anti-parents. That's not going to change."
It makes you wonder what Gennaro's anti-establishment teenage years were like - sticking out press releases without notes for editors, perhaps. "Screw you mom, screw you dad, I'm not going to indicate where more follows and there's not a thing you can do about it."

I'm not sure Gennaro's statement makes much sense - if parents are seeing a sticker and going 'ooh, this is a rude record, I shall not buy it' and teenagers are seeing a sticker and going 'ooh this is a rude record, I shall buy it', I don't think that's a dual effect; it's alerting both sets of passers-by that there is a rude record on sale.

Obviously Gennaro knows in his heart that most teenagers will see a CD carrying a parental advisory sticker not in a shop as they go about making music purchases, but as they go through their parent's record collection going 'so you had to put these in, what, a BluRay machine? Is that how it worked?'

To be fair, not all youngsters wouldn't recognise a disc if it was sharpened to a point and used to slice their modish beards off. There's the subset of The Kids buying vinyl, and it was this "trend" thatsaw the Telegraph seeking Castaldo's counsel. What's going on, asked the Telegraph:
Vinyl-record sales are booming, too. Last year they hit an estimated 1.2 million – the highest for 20 years, and a five-fold increase since 2008. Threatened by seemingly superior technologies, the old discs seemed headed for extinction, but – as with books – it is the “soul” of vinyl that has been its salvation.

In particular, fans like the covers – once an art genre in their own right and now being rediscovered by a new generation. “They are one of the key reasons people are buying vinyl again,” says Gennaro Castaldo of the British Phonographic Industry. “They help to transform a record into an artefact fans like to own and collect.”
Yeah. What Castaldo doesn't warn The Kids is that when they come to move out of their parent's homes, the purchase of vinyl is going to add boxes and boxes of weight to every time they shift from house to house in the future. Good luck with that, The Kids.

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