It was bound to happen sooner or later. Even my favorite magazine finally found itself the victim (hopefully not fatality) of the economic times we’re living in. Paste Magazine, beloved highlighter of wonderful music, film and books, recently announced their own financial issues and began a campaign simply titled “Save Paste” that asks fans to help them out by donating to the cause to keep it alive.
It’s a funny thing, these times we live in. I’m a keen appreciator of technology, with my relatively new MacBook, my iPhone, etc. I have an external hard drive for all of my music and gave up collecting any physical musical product a few years ago. I have a few vinyls lying around, but I’m not cool enough to actually dive back into that format and sit still long enough to appreciate it for the effort. And I’d eventually like to get my hands on a Kindle from Amazon, the iPod of literature, to see what that would be like
Yet I also somehow hold a longing for the tangible, for the medium that you can truly taste and see and touch and smell and feel. I sometimes hate my virtual world and refuse to use Twitter because it seems the last great stand a person can make against the constant broadcasting of our lives. Ridiculous, I know, but a man’s gotta draw a line somewhere, right? I love a great book and the feel of it in my hands at night. I totally get the vinyl argument. And I hate seeing this part of the industry slowly crumbling like the planet Vulcan (sorry for the spoiler).
So I wonder what balance will eventually be displayed, if any at all. Will all that is tangible and real decay in a landfill while virtual forms rule the earth? I’d like to believe that there will at least be a community of people who reject that in various ways to create a consistent market for things you can truly hold. It’s this community as well at the Rabbit Room where some of these things will saved, I believe – smaller niche communities where people appreciate the same common things. But I wonder what you all think. It’s an interesting shift in front of our eyes and I wonder what the artists and art appreciators among us see (and hope for) in the future.
Matt Conner is a freelance writer and music journalist. As the founding pastor of The Mercy House, he led a church community for more than six years in intense community development across racial and socio-economic lines. As a writer, he’s interviewed thousands of musicians for multiple print and web-based publications.