Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I miss the boom box. It was never the same after the advent and proliferation of CD’s. Boom boxes worked best with FM radio and cassettes. Cassettes were the shit really. A completely useful technology. Cassettes never skipped while you worked out, walked, or held them. Ipods didn’t replace CD’s. We still use CD’s sometimes to put our music onto our ipods. Ipods replaced cassettes. Ipods became the ultimate mix tape. And actually a little soul was taken out with the advent of the playlist. Sometimes the two minute song you planned to be at the end of your mixtape was perfect even though it got cut off anyway. CD’s can’t brag at replacing cassettes though. CD’s have merely become vessels of memory. And not the most efficient ones either. Once terabytes of memory are transferred via a thumbdrive CD’s will go the way of the 8-track.
Boom boxes boomed. Ghetto blasters! To be worn on the shoulder as to get the music evenly distributed directly into your earhole. Countless decibels of noise pollution to be heard by every one within a city block. Some square marketing professional in a suit would hear it and listen obsequiously (must never make eye contact with people on the street) and he would head into a record store on his way home. He would enter the dark shop filled with rock posters, t-shirts, bottons, stickers, magazines, and depending on your location and current laws even pot paraphenilia. The square wouldn’t be frightened in this non suit wearing smoky environment. This would have been like in the early 80’s. He would have been to plenty of record stores before. He would most likely light a smoke and start browsing the racks. He would be searching mainly in vinyl. He might consider a cassette if the walkman was invented yet. But our square is looking for the song he heard on the street during his morning commute. He finds Funky Town easily enough on a point of sale end cap near the front of the store. “My kids are going to love this.” He muses. Then he remembers he couldn’t find that little dealy bob that goes on the turntable so you can play 45’s. He buys one of those too. He pays in cash. Cash he got from writing a check for over the amount at the liquor store the previous evening. Robot tellers weren’t in use in his time.
Nowadays we don’t go into record stores anymore. We would just download Funky Town. I’m downloading it now.