This song reminds me of you
It is interesting to me how flows of capital energize engagement. Back in the early 1990s, we were paying 17 or 18 dollars for the latest CD release. With inflation that is the equivalent of 34 or 35 dollars in todays money. Wow!!! Now that I can pay 10 bucks for a whole world of music, the savor of the individual track seems to have diminished. Don’t get me wrong! I still get hit by individual songs, but the pay structure doesn’t necessitate I keep listening to that track or album over and over again until I can afford the next one as it did with CDs. It is kinda sad and humbling to realize your biggest loves were driven somewhat by market dynamics. And yet, from this vantage point, I wouldn’t trade them for any other loves!
this really resonated with me as I've also been contemplating about deleting my spotify throughout this month. like you, I also have dozens of playlists encompassing several music genre. I've been called the playlist architect, curator of vibes and tastemaker by friends in group chats (have made wedding playlists for a friend and my sister in the past). but at some point, the frictionless ease of music takes the element of wonder out of it. if it is available to me 24/7 then I don't appreciate the art as much. maybe i'll do it after backing up these podcast episodes and all these hidden gem type international singers i've found over the years. i should get to it :) thank you for writing an excellent piece. it reminded me of the now-defunct real life magazine (from snap)
You need an mp3 player! Plenty of iPod Classics on eBay
While reading this, I immediately thought of this 2017 article from Liz Pelly (i see you linked to a different one of hers at the bottom): https://thebaffler.com/salvos/the-problem-with-muzak-pelly
Ultimately I still use Spotify but similar to the writer, I have created some concrete rules for how I consume on the platform. In simple terms: I use a playlist called “get to this eventually” to basically queue up music I come across from basically everywhere else on the web and IRL. And then I eventually get to it, decide if i like it, and add it to a playlist for that year.
I do miss CDs though - especially in my car!
Quitting Spotify is for sure a unique choice but I am all about encouraging others to try what it is that they are wanting to do. I love music and will be keeping Spotify myself. There are quite a bit of inconveniences that I can see happening from not bring on Spotify but if you are able to live past those things I am sure it will be an experience that will be unique.
To buy a new Cd: the inherent risk of it back in the day. What would it contain? Everything or nothing? You only had enough money for one every other week. You had to make the right choice. I am definitely happy I got to experience music that way. Musical value enhanced in the clutches of an older economic regime!
This resonated with me deeply and I'm glad that Substack pushed it to me. Computing Taste is now on my to read list.
I also wanted to let you know that I think you've misgendered Adrienne Lenker, possibly based on her appearance. All material I've ever read about her uses she/her, which is also what her Instagram currently states.
enjoyed reading this! you’re right, we can open up multiple pathways for discovery rather than less. my favorite way of diversifying is bandcamp. seeing what good fans, artists and radio djs are buying opens up a new world.