It appears as though HMV are closing. This is a landmark chain of record retailers in Britain. Almost every town had an HMV store. They had major operations in USA and Canada. Virgin, Tower, Our Price, have all closed. Borders have closed. Almost all of the specialist record retailers have gone. The old days of browsing in your friendly record store have gone. The growth of online stores and digital availability are hastening the demise of the record store. It is been inevitable, but it is quite depressing. It is very difficult for booksellers like Waterstones or Blackwells to compete with Amazon for example. Amazon do not need to keep physical stock in many stores, and pay almost no corporation tax.

David Bowie has released a new single and video, “Where Are We Now?”. It is a very moving song and film. Quite beautiful and very evocative. It made me go and play his record “Low”.

Another death, and again relating to my childhood.
Daphne Oxenford, who was known to millions of children for saying “Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin”, died.I loved those stories and nursery rhymes and little songs..
The good news is that Basement Brazil got another good synch yesterday for Simmer Down.

Patti Page died. She was the singer of How Much is That Doggie In The Window. This was a key song of my childhood and listening to the radio, and learning to “sing” along to sound coming out of a machine.

The last entry of 2012. It has been a year of good and bad.
My lovely mom died.
A dear friend Gil died.
I miss them both.

Basement Brazil signed a number of new catalogues, and extended the terms of others.
They also achieved some good synchronisations.
Basement has a new person, Mireille, who has fitted in very well to our great team of Maíra, Thaís and Helena. Thanks to all of them for doing such great work, and especially for being such good people.

I look forward to having more fun and success in the New Year.

There have been 2 recent tragedies that highlight different causes. The dreadful carnage at the school in Newtown, CT in the USA can be laid in the hands of those who think Americans should have the right to carry assault weapons? Why on earth would anyone want an assault weapon, unless they want to kill another person. Hunters do not use them. One kid whose mind unfortunately snapped was able to get the guns and use them.
The other is the sickening murder of polio workers in Pakistan. These workers, who are mostly women, have been giving anti-polio vaccines especially to children. The taliban ordered their deaths to stop the vaccines being given. Why? The depressing thing is that these orders are being obeyed by more than one person. Why?

My dear friend Gil Friesen died yesterday after a long battle with leukaemia. He was a wonderful, warm, big man. He was also a brilliant and creative executive. I will miss him.

Don DeVito died. What a very deep loss to all of us who love music. He was a giant of a man, trusted by Columbia Records for 40 years and by Bob Dylan, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen, Simon and Garfunkel and many other artists. I always learned something about life or music whenever I had the pleasure of spending time with him.

Robert Fisher has been playing in Ireland and heads off to Germany next.
I like this Google idea – I hope it works!!
Google’s New Music Store Favors Artists And Users, Not The Record Industry
By Matt Rosoff | Nov. 16, 2011, 5:50 PM | 292 | 2
Google just took the wraps off its new music store, which the company has been hinting at for more than 18 months now.
It’s a pretty traditional download store on the lines of iTunes (which has been around for eight years now) and Amazon MP3, but with a few interesting twists, like free music sharing via Google+.
The biggest difference, though, is that Google will allow any artist to create an artist page and upload and sell music through the store. That’s a huge switch from how iTunes and other stores do it.
This could create some logistical nightmares for Google: it will have to deal with customer support issues from potentially millions of musicians, including things like copyright (say a band uploads an unauthorized cover version or a recording that they didn’t even make) and fraud (where scammers use stolen credit cards to “buy” millions of copies of a song they uploaded themselves).
But on the whole, it’s a pretty bold move in favor of independent artists.

Adele has sold over 1 million of her 21 record on Itunes in Europe. Good for her!! There is still no iTunes in Brazil.
Jackie Leven died. What a wonderful singer / songwriter / guitarist and storyteller.