In Lost Episode 12 1/2, Joe and Matthew explore the nature of authenticity. Geekdom lurks just behind.
Encounters with Authenticity
Following up on an earlier promise to report, Matthew recounts a Blind Boys of Alabama show and submits a very positive review.
Despite a very pleasant experience, Matthew did avoid Rough Trade’s cassette section. The recent revival of the cassette medium is discussed. Joe recalls an episode of Brian Alfred’s Sound and Vision podcast speaking to the trend and the difficulty with which mix tapes are made. Matthew posits that Guardians of the Galaxy may be to blame for the tape resurgence. Both question if this is simple nostalgia or if there is something bigger afoot.
Having asked Joe to bring his copy of The Rolling Stones’ Hot Rocks on vinyl, Matthew shares a story regarding early pressings of the record marked with “Shelley.” The bigger question: What is the real value of an item with a story, sentimental or otherwise?
Authenticity and the role of found and repurposed objects plays a role in the work of Michi Meko, a recent podcast guest. It is central to the work of Lonnie Holley, whose work Joe and Matthew have been discussing lately. The thread also runs through an upcoming guest’s work.
A Turntable Teaser
Matthew is expecting a delivery of his new Fluance RT81 turntable. He’ll give it some spins and report the results. The two debate turntable costs versus features. Do you really have to spend $1000 or more?
A Potential Thesis
With all of this talk of turntables, cassettes, and the pursuit of authenticity, perhaps a bigger trend is unfolding before our eyes. What if our wealth of conveniences has given rise to a perverse need for complication?
Struggle begets value and meaning: The making of a mix tape, the long wait for an espresso, artisanal toast, a handcrafted wooden station for an iPad point of sale.