5 Comments

"Yacht rock" 😍

Expand full comment

My dark suspicion about "Brandy" is that the sailor wasn't into the sea, he was into other sailors. I mean if Brandy was so hot....

From roughly the same period, hits by the band War are a great listen, have aged very well. "Why Can't We Be Friends" and "Low Rider" in particular. Weird to think that Eric Burdon (of the Animals) was involved with that band.

But of course all these songs were once the sidewalk, the inescapable algorithmic feed, built to conform with strictly commercial pressures of AM radio and driven by what the available technical formats and tooling could support. Nothing organic about it. You wanted your song to fit on a 45 rpm record, so that determined song length...etc. I guess sometimes the desire path and the sidewalk intersect.

Expand full comment
author

Yes for sure! I don't think the format itself was inherently more organic or authentic decades ago. But the way we discover and learn about music has changed a lot since the days of influential radio DJs (one of whom I write about in the book). This essay is more on the consumer side, I suppose.

Expand full comment

Believe it or not, this reminds me of a piece I read this morning at The Free Press about raw milk (https://open.substack.com/pub/bariweiss/p/raw-milk?r=ofba&utm_medium=ios&utm_campaign=post). Both impulses--the impulse toward a more direct and quirky experience of music and milk--seem to me to reflect this feeling that the world has become over processed, overfiltered, overdetermined, and so we seek experiences across all dimensions that feel more β€œreal.” ChatGPT and the other AI-generated content machines will only exacerbate this tendency I should think: as we become more and more aware of how system-generated so much of our content is, how can we not recoil and seek something ... better?

Expand full comment
author

Yeah, unfortunately, I think AI-generated material is only going to make these problems worse. I hope we can seek out and support better things, but I worry that the larger number of people won't necessarily do that.

Expand full comment