Saturday, January 29, 2011


This is just a note, as much to myself as to the world. Since I've been working on music from the 40s-60s I've used Youtube as a source for performances and recordings that I have a hard time finding otherwise. It's been very helpful and I've been reminded of Mike Albrecht's talk at the IASPM conference last year about youtube as the last repository of all popular music. I wasn't convinced then but I am more so now, though that's not my main interest today.

One thing I am finding more and more interesting are videos like this one:

This raises all kinds of interesting questions for me. I think that it says something about the uploader's feelings not only about the music, but about the technology that plays the music back. One thing that jumps out is the way that technology, which we often think of as perpetually forward-moving, is itself a repository of memory and feeling as well as having the ability to reproduce content which triggers memories and feelings. And these are feelings that the uploader expects to be shared to some degree, and which I think are shared, given the number of videos of LP records of various speeds and sizes that you can find on Youtube.

I wrote a little about this in my Nat Cole chapter, tho there i mainly focused on the comments that people post on videos and the opposition usually constructed in such comments between Cole's music and "all that noise they call music today." I think this has to be some kind of genre: videos of records on turntables or in jukeboxes playing old songs, often with model numbers specified and sometimes with information about the digital transfer. It's analog authenticity, which is ironic if you think about the meaning of the word "analog."

It's unlikely that this will come up to a great degree in the Gillespie chapter, but I think that it will in the Ronnie Hawkins chapter, as there I will specifically dealing with media forms in as part of the story of the invention of Americana and the search for the great bootleg in the sky.