Still—like Fishbone said in a song I just heard on a streaming radio station—problems arise. Sometimes it’s a little too easy to get to a song: think, type, retrieve. What about calling up your friend, making him drive you to the record store, waiting patiently behind the guy who won’t move away from the “B” bin, and then flipping through to see what Beach Boys records (or Beastie Boys or Brothers Johnson or Buckingham Nicks) are left? All of that’s gone now. And, counterintuitively, because it’s gone, it’s harder and harder to truly fall in love with a song or album. What was your cost of entry? How hard did you have to work? Which leaves the ultimate question: How do you build a relationship with music? How do you find your way to those songs that draw you in and—like Eddie Floyd and Mavis Staples said in a song I heard just yesterday on a randomly shuffled playlist—never never let you go?
“What was your cost of entry?” That’s a quote from a quote of an article in the latest issue of Wired magazine by Quest Love of the band the Roots.
How hard on the head of the nail can you hit something?
That’s the thing that I’ve been feeling right along…that somehow everything becomes kind of disposable when it’s so easy to get ahold of.
With the click of a mouse, I can find pretty much any song that I ever want to hear.
I can see pretty much any movie that I want to see.
With the click of a mouse, I can do that.
That’s kind of cool…no, that’s very cool.
I like having access. It’s so much cheaper than driving to every pawn shop that sold used records and looking obsessively through the bins. It’s so much faster.
But I’m alone in my search. I don’t see people I know or rub shoulders with anyone. It’s just me and my headphones and my computer…getting on Grooveshark or Google to look up some band that I was curious about.
It’s too easy.
There was a store in Marietta called Woolco that was kind of a competitor to Kmart. I guess that it was a “super” Woolworths. That was before I knew what Walmart was.
Anyway, they had bins of albums that they’d discount heavily.
I bought a lot of “classic rock” when it was still just music that was outdated. Five year old music isn’t even classic rock yet…it’s just old music from the 60’s and very early 70’s that no one was buying anymore…so it was cheap at Woolco.
I’ve never felt the thrill clicking a mouse that I felt pulling a new/old album out of its cardboard sleeve and putting it on the turntable for the first time.
Never, never, never.
This article…and the whole article can be found here…is a short one. It’s really an essay, I guess.
Quest Love says it best when, at the end of the essay, he says…
“We did it one way in the past; now we have to figure out how to do it in the present, which, in so many ways, is the future. I try to navigate the waters by remembering where I’m going. When it comes to players, to programs, to services, think of them as ships bringing you to the music you need, have always needed, will continue to need. They’re not the voyage. They’re the vessel. Learn how to steer in the prevailing winds and soon you’ll be sailing.”
We have a lot of new options in how we get our music. It’s easier to share music than it’s ever been. There are a lot of good things that the new streaming services offer.
Man, it sure was fun looking through all the records at Woolco, though.
This was a great essay….and a really good issue of Wired with a lot of good tips on “modern” ways of finding new music. Check it out.