Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thank you for watching.

I have to write this because I don't know where it goes but I don't want to lose it.

I've commented on this before, but for anyone interested in the history of pop music, material culture, and technological sociability, videos like this are a gold mine.  I think that they might constitute some heretofore unknown genre of video.  I'm going to start collecting them, and the collection starts here:

Most of them don't have the introduction.  But they share some obvious similarities.  The equipment, the styles of music, the assumption that the act of playing a record is something worth documenting, the confusion about documenting an act of mechanical reproduction: what are you hearing?  The sound of the record, the sound of the turntable, the sound of the turntable's speakers and the amplifier that pushes them, the room those speakers are sitting in, through microphones placed...somewhere, the electronically processed signal fed from the turntable and delivered to the digital converters, the digital converters, your computer's speakers and the room they're in, or the headphones plugged into your ears like mine? There are as many answers as there are turntables on the internet.  Here's a few:

I'm especially looking at records of blues videos, tho there are other styles: jazz, early R&B, early rock and roll and classical.  I'll talk about the range of genres in another post.  Right now I'm interested in the paradox this form poses for blues, a genre whose ethos is built around the value of the (supposedly) unmediated performance of authentic emotions, but whose actual history is driven in part by an ongoing fascination with solid artifacts of duplicable media.

I'll stop with these three for now.  More to come. 

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