For The Record | Issue 15
I’ve owned a Kindle for the last five months. For the first three, it never left its box. Then, in a moment of acute guilt and procrastination, I decided to open the thing up and give it a test drive. I loaded a few novels on and made a real effort at using it in lieu of the traditional book. Frankly, it didn’t do it for me. Despite the convenience and sophistication of having an entire library of texts on a handheld machine, my Kindle is back in its cardboard prison.
I consider myself a tech savvy guy. I keep up to date with the latest gadgets, and, ashamedly, I’m a sucker for Apple’s manipulative marketing. But new isn’t always better. Give me a pock-marked, coffee-stained, paper-back novel over the cold efficiency of Amazon’s Kindle any day.
Same goes for online media. The place of the physical publication in contemporary society is staggeringly precarious. The exponential growth of the online publishing world threatens the very existence of print media, much in the same way that digital music is savagely destroying physical CD sales. While technological evolution and innovation is inevitable, sometimes life moves a little too fast.
The world of music criticism has also been pushed in a disconcertingly digital-age direction. The influential music magazine Spin announced at the end of last year that they planned to completely eschew conventional music journalism in favour of Twitter-inspired reviews, limited to only 140 characters. This is writing for our ADHD-afflicted epoch. Welcome to the future.
With my new column, For The Record, I offer you my unabashedly biased take on today’s music scene. I’m not here to criticise or patronise, I just want to share beautiful sounds with you – aural treats that you might otherwise have missed.
It is tragic how much music we miss in our busy day-to-day lives and how much we simply are unaware of. More tragic still is the fact that most of the music that we do come into contact with is made by machines, with the sole intention of commercial gain. But every so often an artist comes along and dazzles; an album unites a generation; a song spawns an uprising. The revolution will not be televised, but it sure as hell will have a soundtrack.
Oh and for the record, if you need a little sonic something to get you through the hot, filthy, delirious mess that is Re-O Week, try a blast of Killer Mike’s latest finger-lickin’ good release, R.A.P Music. Turn the volume up, crank standout track “Big Beast”, and go nuclear.