View larger size

I am unhappy about non-stop, social-media-style “sharing” because I feel it demeans music, turning something that is first and foremost a deep, internal experience into a unyielding, external kind of currency. To insist that anyone chooses to listen to at any time must be constantly and continually broadcast to all friends, family, and acquaintances seems to me both to overlook and to undermine music’s deep, multi-faceted purpose. Music is made to be heard. Sharing is an option, not an imperative.

Continue reading...

View larger size

The listening possibilities brought on by digital technology seem literally limitless, especially now that streaming has taken hold. We are all but drowning in songs.I would argue, however, that we are actually under-served by the internet when it comes to music. Not because we lack options. But because we lack options that relate helpfully to how we actually listen to and enjoy our music.

Continue reading...

View larger size

This was a particularly notable example of a relatively common phenomenon for me. Songs don’t always penetrate coherently after just one listen, or two, albums even less so. Sometimes I need to listen repeatedly.

Continue reading...

View larger size

Music, basically, has become the aural equivalent of fast food: consumed quickly, in super-sized portions; we get filled up but not necessarily nourished.

Continue reading...

View larger size

It was the spring of 2002. My 13-year-old had randomly pulled Annie Gallup’s album from a disorganized shelf of used books offered for sale in our local library for fundraising purposes. It was the only CD there. “Do you know this?” he asked…

Continue reading...

View larger size

When I Was a Boy showed me the way. It started so accidentally. One minute I was in Tower Records in New York City in the early fall of 1993, briefly browsing, the next minute I was leaving the store with this Jane Siberry album I hadn’t otherwise realized existed, never mind that I was going to buy.

Continue reading...

View larger size

Music has accompanied my life seamlessly; it has never occurred to me to wonder why I listen so intently, why I seem to need music on wherever I am, or what, even, I am concretely getting out of it. I have just always known that I want it and need it, that it satisfies something beyond the realm of my rational mind.

Continue reading...

View larger size

Okay, so we can all agree by now that computer technology has had a momentous impact on recorded music. And we might also agree that we are still pretty much in the middle of watching that impact unfold.

But all this unfolding, which has been going on for almost 15 years at this point, is starting to leave a bad taste in this music fan’s mouth.

Continue reading...

View larger size

MP3s first began to appear on the internet in 1994. They were at that point a kind of geek-oriented novelty. When the first widely-used audio player came online—-Winamp, in 1997—-the popularity of the format grew.

When Napster was launched in 1999, well, we all know what happened after that. MP3s flooded the internet, thanks (uh oh) to a user’s newfound ability to turn physical CDs into electronic files.

Continue reading...

View larger size

Back in the middle of the 20th century, plenty of perfectly reasonable people were convinced of not just the possibility but the inevitability of flying cars. Surely we would be zipping around in them by the 1980s, never mind by the oh-so-futuristic year of 2000

Music is not like water…but it sure is starting to remind me of a flying car.

Continue reading...

Get Updates by E-mail

Linn on Facebook

Linn on Twitter