I am a textual being. There have been entire stretches of life where being carried away by the currents of sound was entirely too much, and I couldn’t give you an answer to that age-old icebreaker, “What kind of music do you listen too?” A tumblr post on my musical loves is about the closest I have gotten.
But this Midweek Media Moment will be brought to you by chords, airwaves, beats and jams. Being plugged in to media today has beckoned me to step off the page and embrace video, music and other ways of being “carried away” through time-based forms.
Last week Kendrick Lamar released “To Pimp A Butterfly.” The phrase “tour de force” is very cliche, but this is one of those times where that description is warranted. It will leave you speechless for all the right reasons. Don’t take my word for it, though. Listen on Spotify and read these two very brilliant pieces about the album.
To be honest and black is, by nature, to be a threat. To be honest and black and poor is to know deeply and personally how racism and capitalism works.
To be honest and black and poor and smart is to know who is at fault. To be honest and black and poor and smart and gifted is to know how to move others to action.
-Carvell Wallace, Pitchfork
Ann Friedman, a smart person herself, talked to other smart people about the economics of the podcast boom.
The medium feels intimate. Unlike the audience online, which tends to click through and then bounce away quickly, podcasts draw people in for the duration of the episode. They feel a deep, personal connection with the hosts. In an era when other ad rates are plummeting and publications are trying to position themselves as membership organizations, this level of fervent fandom is something that most media outlets would kill for.
And finally, I’d like to spread the word about This is My Jam, a simple network for sharing your “song of the moment.” As someone who has felt music can be evanescent, and who conceives of blocks of songs as the soundtrack for various phases of life, I appreciate its aesthetic and purpose.
Apparently, we’ve been able to post jams on the site since 2012, but it looks like a recent redesign made the platform more user-friendly and appealing.
The redesign lifts some of the restrictions the founders imposed on the site at launch: it introduces a history function, letting users see, and edit, their jams all the way back to when they joined; and it redesigns the song screens, which gel together the social and radio aspects of the site.
Also, half a million songs screens, which the site features, is described as “relatively low” in the above article. Welcome to the age of infinity.