Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Something I Remembered Today

It is that time again when, and never more so than this year, somehow looking forward seems more appealing than looking back. It is true, but the two can happily co-exist in a world that seems to have become just too complicated and frantic of late. Yes, we can have the immediacy of the internet, MySpace and the all rest of the new technology, but it also means we have hitherto unimagined access to music of all kinds, both new and old.

This really matters for it is more realistically indicative than almost anything else. I think it is not a sign of bunker-mentality, rather the opposite in fact. While it may matter to the individual listener the fact is that, be it acoustic folk, thrash metal, wonky, dub step, anything in-between or even something as yet unknown, it can be made available to millions of potential listeners almost as soon as it is recorded and - although it might help oil the wheels - that no longer necessarily requires major label backing.
Twenty five years ago it was a thrill to spend hours in dusty, sometimes flea-ridden, second-hand music stores on the lookout for anything rare or unusual on vinyl. There were things called "stock lists", available by snail mail and typed on wonky manual machines, that were probably out of date well before they were completed! I still adore vinyl but would be amongst the first to admit that the technology that we now take for granted has bought with it both new opportunities and, if used wisely, untold potential. The real challenge, and that is which is almost always the case in such circumstances, is a matter of balance; it is to make the best of the newly revealed potential and the avarice that will probably accompany it.

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