A necessary article. The anecdote about discovering “Float On” in Degrassi (and not The OC!) is my favorite part.
I wonder about her seeming tech averseness. Is Bittorrent a man’s game in the same way making lists and posting on music message boards has been? So much of the digital music experience of the last decade, at least the black market/bleeding-edge portion of it, seems like it’s been dude-driven.
A) This piece is in my paper and I copy edited it so, like, yeah. Full disclosure blah blah.
B) I have never, ever, ever used a torrent site to download music and, like Emily White, I have downloaded the majority of what’s in my iTunes library. (I am also probably one of the closest people in age to White in this entire debate. I am 23 and graduated from college in December 2010.) Everything I got for free via the Internet came from Googling and/or, like, belonging to LiveJournal filesharing communities. The difference between White and I, I think, is that I buy a lot of physical music (also, I never ripped anything from WMUC’s library; I just drank in the studio a lot, which was against the rules.) First it was CDs—I would hear songs online and beg my mom to drive me to Best Buy (the Record & Tape Traders that was walkable from my high school closed just before I got there) on Tuesdays so that I could buy new releases for $9.99; when I started driving my car didn’t have a CD player, so I would record everything onto tapes to listen to while I was driving (this meant that I ultimately ended up making a lot of mixtapes. There are a bunch at my parents’ house. I shudder to look at them when I go back.)—and now it’s records, because CDs take up too much space and I don’t have a car anymore. I prefer to listen to full albums before I buy the record. If that means I have to stream a full album via Bandcamp, OK, fine. The drawback to that is that I can’t post the track on my Tumblr or some shit. If I like the record enough, I will buy the record. (Today I went to Crooked Beat and exchanged Jawbreaker’s Etc. for Mazzy Star’s She Hangs Brightly, because I apparently already owned Etc. Yep.)
C) Is torrenting a dude’s game? Most people I know who torrent are dudes. I think I asked my high-school boyfriend to torrent something (probably a Taking Back Sunday album) for me and he never did it, so I went back to Googling for shit. Does it matter now that, given the busting of RapidShare and MegaUpload and whatever else, it’s much harder to Google for shit? I don’t know. Do I care? Probably not, because I have less disposable income than I did in high school and I’m still not torrenting stuff. I buy records largely because I want to support local businesses. I like hanging out with the people who work at the record stores that I go to, and I want them to keep their livelihoods. So I buy from them, and not from InSound (unless I really, absolutely have to.)
D) I maintain that I don’t make “best of” lists and post on music message boards because I am busy doing Other Shit In My Life. (The Pitchfork list shit came out when I was on vacation. In Lithuania.) Given my interests and the kind of stuff I consume, I would love—probably more than anything—to be a music journalist. I’m not. I’m not because I don’t feel confident in writing about music beyond saying, “I love this. It makes me feel like ______________.” I’m pretty critical of myself; the fact that I don’t play an instrument and have zero technical understanding of, like, how to actually assemble any sort of melody is enough for me to say, “Oh, yeah, I’d be complete shit at legitimately critiquing a new album beyond anything other than how it compares—to my ears—to this artist’s other work.” I don’t even bother to try, because I have nothing to go on other than how I think an album sounds. (This strongly reflects my feelings on music criticism overall, but this post isn’t about that.)
TL;DR yeah yeah digital music is dude-driven, um, yeah, I guess? I’m so fucking tired of trying to stabilize the gender divide with my own body that I’ve started to dislike things I really love.
P.S.: How much does all of this have to do with living in the suburbs? the urban-planning person in me wants to know.