Not so many years ago when the mighty “CD” dominated the musical world places like Warehouse Music and Tower Records were thriving, bands like No Doubt and Sublime were making names for themselves and of course the evil that is “Shrink Wrap” was all that ever stood in between us and that sweet sweet new music that we just shelled out for.

There was nothing worse then picking up that brand new release of your favorite band only to struggle for countless minutes outside the music store with the unflinching shrink wrap barring you from your new treasure. Discman open and waiting, the damn plastic just WILL NOT tear! You resort to biting, ripping, digging in with your fingernails all to no avail just when you remember your keys! Oh sweet keys who hath saved me from shrink wrap hell so many times how I love thee! Now that the shrink wrap is off, that annoying clingy, girlfriend like covering goes straight in the trash…

This might have been acceptable 10 or 15 years ago but today, when I pick up an album from a band or get handed one as a demo, and even the rare occasion I actually go to a store and buy the album,

I am almost disgusted by the presence of shrink wrap.

It seems so unnecessary to me, a waste of resources, of money, of effort. There are many better options these days and still seeing CD’s in shrink wrap like they are off to Tower Records in the morning just irks me in a way. Keep the shrink wrap for the office pranks and drunken frat parties where it belongs! If you have a retail ready CD and plan to sell it in stores the best solution is to find your local record store, which can be a bastion of musical goodness and inspiration, but you wont find as many shrink wrapped albums locked away in their spandex tight tombs anymore.

The DIY movement has produced a ton of unique musical merch offerings with bands doing their own limited edition runs of everything from signed EP’s and artwork, to handmade album covers and merchandise. It gives you a great creative connection to your fans and ultimately to your music, instead of just sending the files off to a printer who will take care of design, print, and duplication, therefore absolving you of marketing yourself in a unique and creative way that will actually get the attention of fans (and labels, pr, distrb., etc).

The bottom line is: less is more! Keep it creative and unique, not boring and wrapped in plastic like countless before you. It’s time to put shrink wrap on the chopping block, say goodbye sucka! Shrink wrap… I hate you!

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About the Author

Shea Newkirk

Executive Editor, Long Beach Independent

Shea has been involved in the Long Beach music scene since 2003 helping to promote unsigned, independent bands and musicians through various media including photos, video, event production, and marketing. Founder of and Folk Revival Festival as well as a musician with over 15 years experience, Shea has a great ear for finding the best independent music coming out of the local Long Beach music scene.

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