Tape. Have people forgotten about tape? It’s impractical, I know. It unspools and rips apart inside the machine, and it ruins your afternoon when an irreplaceable mix tape is ruined that way. It has this soft sound that’s really soothing. Right now I’m in a theoretical exploration of compression, and in thinking about the physical realities of pop music today, about how it is truly, scientificaly harmful to your ears (“aural assault?”), I’m just sitting here listening to Graceland on tape and it’s just so soothing.
Kelefa Sanneh’s article in today’s paper is about Paul Simon’s nervous energy, and it draws a fantastic parallel between Simon’s obsessive percussion pursuits and his percussive lyrical quality. But it doesn’t make me nervous. Even if I were listening to it on vinyl, or on CD, it wouldnt make me nervous. So I know that this soothing feeling is more of a function of the music itself – “His path was marked by the stars of the southern hemisphere…” – but still. Tape is so…pleasant. A bit muffled. As if the music’s on but you’re still under the covers.
Losing love is like a windown in your heart
Everybody sees you’re blown apart
Everybody sees the wind blow