Sun, 10 Apr 2016
The Power of Physical Media
Let me preface this by saying I love digital media. I'm not one of those that grouses about the soullessness of digital music, and I love that in one small physical device I can carry enough text to read to satisfy me for days and music to listen to to satisfy me for weeks.
Last Friday at work we somehow got talking about the cartoon Powerpuff Girls and somehow came across the fact that the end-credits theme song to the show was performed by the Scottish band Bis. I was convinced I had heard of them somewhere, although I thought they were the house band on some late 1990s/early 2000s television show. In looking them up, however, I came across an image of one of their early albums, New Transistor Heros.
I was taken aback, since I own that album but hadn't even thought of it in probably a decade. That prompted me this evening to dig out the two physical boxes of CDs that I still own, and dig through them, both to find that album and to see what other gems were lurking around unthought of.
Two things became readily apparent. One, I had some dubious taste in music between, say, 1998 and 2003. Then again, those were interesting times, and who didn't? Second, there are some amazing gems in there, stuff I hadn't digitized and so haven't thought of in ages. And that's where the joy of physical media came through. Several of the CDs I dug up brought back vivid memories, way more than scrolling past them in a playlist. A random CD I bought in Portland, Oregon. The off-brand chain bookstore in Ames that was mediocre but strangly had a really good local music section.