Sep 10, 2011

Life in the non-digital age

Let's get one confession out of the way right now:

I love cassette tapes.

I love the scratchy, somewhat distant sound. I love that you can't just skip a song, you almost have to listen the full body of work. I love the silent buzz indicating time to flip sides and the resilience of the plastic.
But since my car no longer has a cassette tape player, I have been forced to listen almost exclusively to CDs. That's OK too. Over the past couple years, I've grown a whole new appreciation for that media form.

I can't bring myself to just download music yet. That day may come, but for now, I continue to relish in being able to touch, feel, read and carry a physical copy of my music around with me.

That love was re-affirmed this week with the arrive of two new CDs in my mailbox.
Don't even get me started on Stoney LaRue's "Velvet." I love that CD so much that I think Stoney might feel the need to hire security staff due to my stalker-ish constant tweeting. That is of course assuming that he devoutly reads all on my tweets, which I am convinced is true. 

Go buy this CD - don't download it, buy it. Caress the velvet cover, immerse yourself in the printed lyrics, play it on repeat in every possible CD player you own.

That's all I have to say about it. 

The second addition was Robert Earl Keen's "Ready for Confetti." Another beautiful work of story-telling art from the legend that is REK. And again, an affirmation that the physical CD purchase was worth the snail mail wait. You don't get to read REK's personal note without it:

A few years ago it all made sense. I was writing songs that I liked, playing to crowds that were wild and enthusiastic and had the best band in the world. After ten years of being on the road, miracle of miracles, I'd managed to keep a loving, beautiful family together. Don't worry, I still have all that, but it changed. I thought the world and my creative trajectory were one. I probably even thought of myself as a world antenna, cosmetically gathering data and disseminating vital information. Maybe not exactly, but along those lines.

One day I was at the pond sitting on the bank and tossing a lure. The sun was frying this woebegone fisherman. I sat my rod and reel down and lay on the bank with my hat over my eyes until I drifted to sleep. When I awoke, it was twilight and the bats were feeding against an orange and indigo horizon and crickets were a symphony in the cool pre night air. Everything had changed and I had nothing to do with it. I was just living on the earth.

It doesn't matter if you are cosmically connected or have your head in the sand, the world changes whether you are ready or not.

That's what I was thinking... while we were making this cool record... hope you like it.


Why yes, Robby, I do like it. And I like that reminder -- the world is going to keep turning no matter what we do while one, so we might as well make our trip around the sun worthwhile.


  1. What?! A return to the blogging world? How exciting - I've enjoyed reading your two latest posts :)

  2. Thanks for blogging again- you are such an entertaining writer! I look forward to your first book; I think The World According to LauraBelle would work.