Sunday, 12 February 2012

The iLeveller: Exposing Guilty Pleasures

"Bon Jovi?" Haha! You mullet-loving chump," the scroller sneers, flicking through the iPod with one hand, scoffing a doughnut with the other.

Sting, Dodgy, The Levellers, Boney M?!

"Umm um how did that get on there?!"

We've all had it. The snobbish, pitying looks of a music-loving friend glancing through your iPod with all the care of Tommy Walsh from Groundforce trampling through a Wiltshire garden.

But the central issue remains. How do you hide the crap? In a music collection, a real music collection - there are records of all shapes of sizes to conceal dodgy purchases, tapes faintly written on in pencil containing guilty pleasures, CDs that you can put in other boxes.

Now not only are the guilty pleasures there in black and clicky scrolly white for all to see but the stuff that's accidentally on there is given undue prominence. The one passable Beatles tune that doesn't make you want to go to Liverpool and ask some very serious questions is given undue prominence alongside a band who turned you onto a whole new genre, you've been to see 14 times and once snuck backstage and shared half a Carlsberg with.

The problem with the iGeneration is it's too much of a leveller. Besides the size of someone's overly techie headphones, there's really no way in the modern world for one overly-earnest indie-folk-everso-electronic-uber-thinks-they're-cool music lover to indentify another. We all look the same, white earphones, little black box. Where's the fun in that?

It's also a matter of pride. I've waded through the dubious smelling treasure trove of Rob's Records in Nottingham or hunched under a piled of books to dig out CDs in Brighton to complete the Bowie collection or chance upon a rare Anticon picture disc. Now, thanks to iHomogenised we can't see or touch the labours of love that have been digitised.

The development is a damning indictment on the modern age, a gynormous blemish on the behind of technical developments like the space shuttle and the television; a disgusting, heartless wrench on those who hold music close to their hearts at the centre of all that's good in the world. A pathetic, soulless annoyance.

Oh, but they are really handy.

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