Stray Sounds

On the cusp of the new millennium, dizzy with pre/post apocalyptic fervor, I marvel at the wonders that the record industry has brought. The most laudable of their treasure being the box set. It is a testament to their indomitable will to be able to track down every stray note of multiple ARTISTS and preserve them in the box set. History will recognize no greater tribute than this hermetically sealed product. In its own way, the box set is a fitting legacy for modern music. If there is any rallying cry for the modern person, it is BIGGER, BETTER, FASTER with EVERYTHING in its place. It’s no longer enough to know a band, to witness their radiance in concert, now one must know every stray chord, every missed verse, and every false start. The complete (re)packaging of an artist leads one away from being a fan; no one needs to know history anymore as long as they have credit cards. I interpret this to be the ultimate goal for our cult of youth. The question, “Remember when?” can now be answered with, “Sure, I’ve bought the box set.” Youth culture is still preserved, intact, in much the same way as a wax museum. The illusion of action in perpetual stasis, Johnny Rotten forever condemned to “We mean it man!”

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