Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Cathartic Release of Outer Channel Weight

I sold 85% of my vinyl records yesterday. I carried two heavy boxes of vinyl and cardboard to one of the last record stores and received money for them. I felt like the weight had been lifted from my chest. I used to so love the Vinyl LP and its cover but I now find the whole medium tedious and depressing. I looked out across the floor of the record store and saw all of this plastic and vinyl and realized I was so happy that these items would be here for evermore rather than taking up both physical and psychological space at home.

I also sold off 85% of my compact discs. The compact disc packaging is every bit as ridiculous as the vinyl LP. The plastic and paper and the images all seem so unnecessary. For the past several years I have thought that the recording artist would be better served to release the music digitally and if they need images or notes to accompany the songs they could release an annual detailing their musical outpourings for that year.

I am happy to see the change coming and wait eagerly for the day when I can purchase all of my musical entertainment without having to interact with a human being. The best case scenario would be music-creating machines that would randomly generate beats, hooks and vocals in the style of your favorite artists - that way you would always have something new to hear and you wouldn't get disillusioned or bored. It would be like having an Elvis Machine that would put out a new single every month, or every week, or day or hour if you wanted. And you could save them all, collect them all, and they would all sound exactly like Elvis.

You'd say, give me one like the last one and the machine would oblige. The collection would be a simple list of the tracks. No paper. No plastic. Weighing nothing, collecting no dust, sort of a audio version of this Plaza of the Mind.