Dancing about architecture! What is it good for?

Back in my day, we had to search the dial for radio that didn’t suck and search the city for the one record shop that didn’t suck. And pay money for music! On pieces of plastic!

Now culture is preserved endemically. I see records on Australian indie MP3 blogs with thousands of downloads — the original was a pressing of 500, twenty copies even leaving that city.

To sell records, you need to (1) compete with every record ever made; (2) convince people who can get your music free to want to give you money; (3) after they’ve already listened to your record repeatedly (“try before you buy” can be assumed). If you can make people want to give you money for a record they’ve heard lots of times that competes with every record ever made … then you can sell a record.

The scarce commodity is people’s attention. The only telly I watch is YouTube to amuse my baby daughter, and even that has a hard time keeping my attention more than sixty seconds. I load my MP3 player with fresh stuff and dispose of the weak links daily.

Which catches your attention, a rock journalism blog or an MP3 blog? Industry news gets readers, before the bitterness becomes terminal. Live performance can be written about, but you never see that linked from the MP3 blogs. And I’d have to leave the house.

Where’s room for the modern Lester Bangs? Does good rock journalism require music to be hard to get for dancing about architecture to substitute? Or just never-mind-the-quality-feel-the-width bloody-mindedness?

Where have you gone, Byron Coley? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Bangs pic by Roni Hoffman.

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