I'm flummoxed about music media, as a collector and fan. I don't know what format to spend my money on, or in some ways, whether I am outgrowing the need to collect music. Sometimes I go to the record store and just kind of lock up at the sight of all the thirty dollar double albums by bands without the songwriting chops or chi to justify a double album. Would it be quaint to ask that we bring back the 12-dollar, 35 minute album, like this David Kilgour album I bought digitally on Bandcamp? Or this utterly belligerent, hostile progressive punk rock record by Ghetto Blaster, also a Bandcamp buy...
What we're all still after is music that moves our energy one way or another, sparks our imagination, gets us in motion burning calories and mental fog; helps us shape hostility and release it in a neutral way; makes us feel brave or sexy or melancholy or affirmed and mirrored and resonant with the universe because someone has put our feelings and story into music. Tommy Can You Hear Me, in whatever format--just personalized vibrating soundwaves.
Maybe music collecting for nerds is heading toward media management as a personal profile. You don't maintain a collection of cassettes, records, 8-tracks, or cd's, as much as you project out your personal listening station and curate your own reality. Spotify sort of does this, Bandcamp sort of does this, and social media does this in a segragated way. But an expressive social networking format that rescues actual music from streaming disposability might be relevant. And guitars around campfires, drums in garages, trombones on high hill tops, this is where it's at, too. Format is just a detail.
I put on a scratchy Yo La Tengo record the other night and made sure all the addresses on my online accounts had been changed, and made a ham sandwich, and thought about my friends who love the New Wave Hot Dogs record, Dave, Steve, and Tom. I listened to side 2 twice. The glaze on the ham was made from a third of a jar of orange marmelade, a splash of black coffee, brown sugar, soy sauce, chili flakes, and a couple cloves. Digitize that, mother f'ers.