ARTS & CULTURE EDITOR
For most of my life, Tuesdays have been reserved for one thing: new music. I remember grabbing the Best Buy ads from my dad on Sundays just to see which albums were being released that week. Then, I would take my $10 to the store after school on Tuesday and pick up the latest addition to my album collection, placing it pristinely on my bookshelf in alphabetical order.
I understand the concept of physical albums has become obsolete and I am okay with that. The mid-2000s brought the transition to digital audio files and people started purchasing and downloading music to their computer libraries. My Tuesday tradition remained basically the same, although my weekly trip to Best Buy turned into a morning iTunes session where I would download an album to my library. Whether it was on iTunes or on my bookshelf, my music still was exactly that: mine.
Today, my Tuesdays bring me to Spotify and their “New Music Tuesday” playlist. I love having all of the albums and singles at my disposal and it opens up new possibilities for discovering artists you would not find on the front page of iTunes or any store shelf. The issue is that my unlimited access has not added anything to my personal collection. I have not purchased or downloaded an album in over a year and have not opened iTunes in at least four months.
While it may seem like a non-issue for me and other music lovers out there, it is the next generation that I fear for. At this rate, any child growing up in the future will wonder why their parent’s music collection stops in 2013. What happened in the next ten years? Why is there no music from before 2000? Who are The Beatles and what did Michael Jackson actually do?
Personally, I owe a majority of my music taste to my dad’s spinning CD tower. It is where I was introduced to iconic bands like Electric Light Orchestra and The Bee Gees, while becoming immersed in albums like Elton John’s “Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy.” It is where I learned about Kurt Cobain and Freddie Mercury.
Not only will older artists be forgotten, but there is a danger of today’s stars getting lost in the world of streaming. Their legacy will only be as long as they are relevant because anything short of “Throwback Thursdays” will fail to preserve the impact they had on a generation. Anyone short of Kanye West and Beyoncé will be cast off into the world of the Internet for future children to hopefully “StumbleUpon.”
Unfortunately, it appears that our incessant desire for instant access and convenience may lead to an immense gap in music knowledge for the future.