The first rule of Record Club is……
Have a read of this BBC News item: Are record clubs the new book clubs?
What do you think? I can see both sides of this old world v new world debate.
The new world is great; I can weed out crappy music, order tunes from an album any way I like and mix tunes from various albums. I love that music is now properly portable and that it’s easy to share good tunes with other people. I can make my own DJ mixes. I can choose the sound quality I want.
The old world held some particular pleasures; it was normal to listen to an entire album all the way through and properly appreciate those albums that were written as a concept or were carefully sequenced to be heard in a particular order. A few weeks ago, a friend played our own 2008 CD, Babylon Halt, in full on an online radio station. It was the first time I’d listened right through probably since we released it. If I say so myself, it was amazing and the tracks were in just the right order. I remembered how many times we’d listened through to get it right. I realised how long it had been since had I listened to an album right through while paying attention rather than while walking around. I think maybe we’ve missed a trick along the way.
I’m sure there are still many musicians out there who write tunes to be listened to in a particular order – and I don’t necessarily mean old gits like me from before the digital age. Some younger people still have a vision for their music of creating something that goes beyond the disposable four minute stand-alone tune (not that there’s anything wrong with those!). I wonder if the ease of acquisition and use, the sheer disposability of modern digital cultural artifacts, has undermined their perceived value to the point where we don’t respect the music, art or games that we fill our lives with.