“Raise expectations to a new intention”

For the past few months, the local vintage clothing store has been hosting a mostly-weekly vinyl record night, where friends and neighbors are invited to bring records to play, or to just hang out and listen.

Sometimes it even gets on ds106 radio. We’ve heard a bit of a variety of material. Being vinyl, it all tends to be vintage, but perhaps that’s fitting for the location.

a collage of photos of record albums

The experience reminds me of the distant past, when listening to music was more of a communal experience. It was bonding as well. Has that been lost? Once upon a time I would see people gathered in parks or on porches around boomboxes. Now all I see are people with air pods. It is great that people get to listen to what they want, when they want, rather than what broadcast radio served up. But I also wonder if we haven’t lost some common cultural vocabulary, and become more disconnected.

AI generated image of a battle between air pods and a boombox

I thought of this when reading That Mathers Aesthetic. The record store, for some of us, was also a place of community. Parts of the web were as well. There’s a benefit to small and close-knit over massive, one that prioritizes people over profit. Reclaim is a community. Ds106 is a community. But rather than being web-scale communities, they operate at a human scale on the web. I love the way that Bryan captures that, in a way that looks effortless.

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