Sunday, April 14, 2013

R.I.P. Live 'N Loud & Le Labyrinthe

Another day, another tragedy in the local music/arts/distribution world...

First, on the morning of April 10th, legendary rock-and-roll store Le Labyrinthe announced it was closing its storefront:

Man, I started buying Guns N' Roses t-shirts there in 1989, then remained through the grunge years where I'd buy a t-shirt per week. It calmed down at the turn of the century, as I've been into funny shirts more than rock shirts for a while, but I'd still make my way down there three or four times a year, and never came out empty-handed.

They'd expanded from the music/bong/belt buckle/poster scene to add a comics/DVD section a few years ago, and I was under the impression that wasn't going too badly, but I may have been wrong.

Later that afternoon, online music magazine/review site Live 'N Loud announced it, too, was calling it quits. I knew people who wrote for LNL, and they hadn't heard from their bosses in weeks. Now we know why.

It's a tough time to be associated with the arts in any form, and the overhead is killing many a business, particularly those operating downtown, what with the city speculating on buildings' value to increase tax revenue promptly landlords to increase the rent they charge and businesses seeing their profit margins disappear.

Another proof that short-term visions are a cancer to public finance and politics: what's better, 20% of something, or 30% of nothing? If they stopped stealing from the public directly, said public would be able to afford to spend their money, which through taxes would end up finding their way back into our crooked politicians' pockets anyway. But they get so greedy they kill off their own supply - and we all lose in the end.

Labyrinthe had been open since 1970. 43 years.

My mom was twelve, Paul McCartney was leaving The Beatles, Black Sabbath released their first and second records, Guyanna joined the Commonwealth, Rhodesia and Tonga became their own countries (seceded from the British empire), the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty came into effect, Canada declared Québec under Martial Law during the October Crisis, Apollo 13 was in space, four dead in Ohio (Kent State University students, inspired Neil Young to write what could be his best song ever), journalist Ruben Salazar was killed by the L.A. police (prompting Hunter S. Thompson - also covering the Chicano crisis - to write one of his finest works for Rolling Stone), Jimi Hendrix and Janis Jolpin both died within two weeks of each other, Monday Night Football debuts on TV, Doonesbury debuts in newspapers, the Marshall University football team were among 75 victims of an air crash, and Catherine of Siena and Theresa of Avila were made Saints by the Catholic Church.

If it seems like a lifetime ago, it's because it was. It's History, and it's being disposed of like fucking garbage.

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