Southern Man

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Music, Then and Now

When Southern Man listens to the radio on the way to work, he wants to hear music, not commercials or morning shows. But occasionally the local DJs bring up a topic that catches his attention and this morning it was "stuff that we remember from childhood but don't have anymore" with examples like multivolume encyclopedia sets and CB radios and full service gas stations - and record stores. So Southern Man called in (ten-year-old daughter was most impressed with the ease with which dad could dial a phone and get on the radio, just like that) and chatted a bit about the joys of browsing the record-store cut-out bins for obscure LPs. The DJs went with that and talked for quite a bit about the now lost (according to them) joys of finding hidden treasures in the old record stores.

Southern Man disagrees. Never in the history of mankind has so much music and video and knowledge been so easily available to so many people. Especially music. Sure, there were occasional gems to be found back in the day, but thanks to the 'net Southern Man has been exposed to more new music in the last few months than in all of high school. Teen son follows an amazing number of unknown bands who have few releases and get no airplay but reach their fans through their
MySpace pages. Pandora and Live365 provides an unending stream of new blues and jazz at work. Heck, if Southern Man has a yen to hear a little-played track from, say, the third Boston album, he can pull it up on the 'net in less time that it takes to walk into the next room and lay vinyl on the turntable. Sure, it's low quality (especially compared to Southern Man's audiophile rig) but it's usually good enough for the moment.

So don't shed too many tears for what we once had. What we have now is different but 'way better.


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