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Special: two years of Record Store
thanks for being (staying?) here
I completely forgot about my Record Store-versary this year. This newsletter is such a mainstay in my life, another way that I know time is passing and the world is turning. I often feel that I have been writing forever, as if this newsletter was a very specific, research-based diary. The newsletter is an integral part of the weekend, and through it I’m learning to respect ritual and routine as grounding elements of my life.
Sharing my thoughts here and having them find their intended audience has been one of the greatest joys of my admittedly short life. Before Record Store I was collecting hordes of information about music and art and filing it away in the “useless interests” category of my brain, where it took up space but did not provide a lot of meaning or fulfillment. Now, this newsletter has hundreds of subscribers that read my artful regurgitations of said useless interests, like OK Go music videos or that one time The National performed “Sorrow” for six hours in an art gallery.
I feel so lucky. I am lucky to love something as much as I love music. I am lucky to have supportive friends, family, and subscribers. I am lucky to have this platform to externalize my silly thoughts and engage in exciting discourse with you all. On that note, I’ll beg once: I’m very interested in all of you and your probably huge brains; please share your thoughts in the comments section.
This year I expanded my content to include Currently, the paid segment of Record Store where I jabber on about celebrity couples and my favorite songs. I find that it gets at the heart of this newsletter, which is recommendation, as much as the context and the commentary gets at that by way of something else. If you’ve ever read a Currently trending in my brain section all the way through, I am sending you a virtual kiss on the mouth.
I also started conducting interviews for Record Store, which has been a long and sometimes difficult process. It is much harder than I imagined to craft something coherent and legible out of a conversation without writing it down verbatim. Some of the best music writing I’ve ever read has been long form profiles written about artists I love, a writer turning a tender and observational eye towards someone seemingly mysterious and distant. I have to work very hard to say something both true and beautiful. I believe I am getting better.
Looking ahead, I am hoping to continue writing longer profiles and research pieces. I want the focus of the newsletter to always be music, but I might venture out into the larger world of cultural opinion writing in relation to music as well. I think both to avoid oversaturation of your inboxes and also to give myself more time to write longer issues, I might switch to every other week instead of weekly. Let me know how you all feel about this possibility (will you miss me? You can say so).
I’ll leave you with a declaration: music is inherently meaningful. I have never been so sure of this fact as I am now, remembering that I need to write my annual anniversary post to say thank you, thank you. As much as it is devalued or bastardized by technology and capitalism, it is art, and art is good. Loving music is an important and useful endeavor; I hope this newsletter helps you do just that.