The new school of Rock?

    The world is digital. This we know. We may not like it, but the future (and present) lies in streaming video, music, podcasts, magazines and newspapers. But what happens to the school of rock meme? That is, how will one generation learn about the arts from the previous without album covers, old rolled up newspapers, and broken cassettes?

    I got a first hand education in classic rock thanks to my parent’s venerable record collection. Many of my childhood days were spent flipping through colorful album covers like Hair, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Troggs, and Led Zeppelin, stored in dusty cardboard boxes and metal racks.

    Even the smell was right.

    I’d examine the photos for hours; study the lyrics. It took me to another world. When I tried to play the records I was at the mercy of a dodgy old turntable with questionable fidelity and timing. A small dial allowed me to vary the speed, but songs always sounded warped. The Kinks Tired Of Waiting took on new meaning. And I soaked in every second (or 7/8s of one).

    My first air guitar performance was to Herman’s Hermits I’m Into Something Good. I remember strumming like crazy in front of an imaginary crowd. To this day that song puts a smile on my face.

    Another of my favorites was the Cruisin’ series. Listening to these collections of songs mixed with actual DJs was my ticket to a virtual life as a teenager in the 1950s. The Diamonds, Little Darlin’ – thank you Dad!

    But will today’s generation hand down a hard drive? A USB stick? Or just point their child to a web site somewhere in the cloud?

    This is the new school of rock.

    I’m not sure how I feel about it. I do know I’m a tech junky at heart – layered on top of a creative soul, however sketchy.

    The merits of MP3s and digital technology in general are too convenient to ignore. When it comes to social impact; the art of it all, however, I believe we’re living in a disposable time. For meme enthusiasts, especially those that value arts and culture, that is a concern.

    Note: all Duran albums are property of yours truly who some would say tainted the veracity of my father’s collection. Although I grew up with sounds of the 50s, 60s and 70s around me, I’m ultimately a product of the me-too 80s… with no apologies, skinny leather tie and all.

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    • Josh

      Great article! It will be very interesting to see how this generation discovers older music. One of the pro’s of the digital world is that teens can simply search for older artists and have the music at their fingertips! Sites like last.fm, pandora, blip.fm,grooveshark, spotify make it incredibly easy for people to find and discover new music! Also, now with Itunes cover art, liner notes and additional interactive material available when you buy the digital tracks takes listening to music on a rainy saturday to another level.

      On a side note , “I do love the smell of an old record collection and the ritual of putting the record on the player being careful not to scratch the vinyl! ”

      However, as with any technology or movement there is a backlash and here in Los Angeles we are seeing a trend in Indie record stores (origamy vinyl, & yes,were vacation) popping up and only selling vinyl records of current artists!

    • Josh

      Great article! It will be very interesting to see how this generation discovers older music. One of the pro’s of the digital world is that teens can simply search for older artists and have the music at their fingertips! Sites like last.fm, pandora, blip.fm,grooveshark, spotify make it incredibly easy for people to find and discover new music! Also, now with Itunes cover art, liner notes and additional interactive material available when you buy the digital tracks takes listening to music on a rainy saturday to another level.

      On a side note , “I do love the smell of an old record collection and the ritual of putting the record on the player being careful not to scratch the vinyl! ”

      However, as with any technology or movement there is a backlash and here in Los Angeles we are seeing a trend in Indie record stores (origamy vinyl, & yes,were vacation) popping up and only selling vinyl records of current artists!