Thursday, February 14, 2013

Blog Post 2: Record Stores Then and Now

Blog Post 2: Record Stores Then and Now
            The primary topic that this podcast revolves around is the concept of the record store as not only a space of listening, but a place where music lovers can gather together to discuss, look for, purchase, and otherwise interact with music in a physical and concrete way. One of the more interesting things that this podcast tries to do is that it doesn’t just talk about how record stores used to be like, but also covers how music stores have been changed or affected in modern times, where digital distribution and consumption is king. One of the things it mentions is that the ability to preview music online plays a part in determining what physical purchases a person would be willing to make at a record store.

An interesting aspect of listening that the podcast covers is the idea that the listening choices of a person become subject to the scrutiny of others in a record store, usually by a record store employee. It is a common stereotype that record store employees are very snobbish about music and won’t hesitate to make judgments about individuals based on their music choices; in turn, this causes people to be more reflective and aware of exactly what they listen to and what it says about them. The podcast also brings up the idea that the content in record stores, primarily CDs and records, and the record store itself encourage people to go out on a limb and try something new, and that if a person takes a chance, they might have a life-changing experience or even just find a new piece of music to enjoy.

            In terms of cultural context, the podcast presents its points in the form of various accounts, recollections, and memories from different people. Each of these people discusses their experiences with record stores and the impact that those experience may have had on their lives. It doesn’t seem to extend much beyond the historical and biographical context, but some of the speakers try to use their experiences as a bridge to discuss characteristics that encompass record stores as a whole, the role they have in people’s musical development, and how these may have changed in the digital age.

An interesting technique that this podcast uses to present its topic and themes is that it cuts between different people, who each have their own insight into what the record store is to them and their experiences in them. Rather than simply having a person make their statements about the topic, then cut to another person who does the same, they cut back and forth between several individuals, cutting back to different statements from previously heard people after others have spoken. One role this might have to play in the podcast is that it is used to retain people’s interest in it, and to keep them listening. Otherwise, the listeners might become bored with it and move on to something else. Another method that the podcast uses is that it tries to group the statements that cover similar topics and themes within the topic together. Doing this keeps the podcast well organized and helps to highlight the similarities and differences between the speakers’ experiences with record stores, giving them more credibility.

            If this were my podcast, one of the things I would try to do is play around with the audio a bit more. I would consider trying to make the podcast sound like an old record that has become slightly damaged and scratched up over the years. To do this, I would maybe have the audio skip on occasion, or sometimes get stuck in a loop before it plays normally again, or add white noise to different parts of the podcast to make them sound fuzzier than the rest. Overall, I would want to mess around with the audio to make it sound like it could be coming from a record crammed into one of the bins in the record stores they talk so much about.

1 comment:

Trace said...

Michael, this is a very astute listening to the podcast, and I particularly appreciate how in your second paragraph you zoom into such important, specific aspects. Your observations about the organization scheme of the podcast is both useful in thinking about how to literally handle content from a bunch of different sources, but also a way to let common themes resonate across different points of view. I wonder if questions asked by the podcasters led to these themes, or if they arose more organically out of the content that they gathered?