Opinion

Ubiquitous Elitists

This may take a memory jog, but do you remember going to a record store (ever?) and seeing two greasy-haired locals with crusty headphones blaring hunched over a pile of Dinosaur Jr. and Pixies records?

Well, go check out that record store again. I can assure you, you’ll find most of the same music that iTunes and Amazon house, but you won’t see those indie rockers. At this point, those guys are simply outdated.

The days of the music elitists are not long gone, but in the age of YouTube award shows and YouPorn applications for iPhones, they seem to be distant memories. That’s probably because those elitists used to actually visit record stores and stay for longer than to pick up “Learn Guitar: First Lesson Free!” flyers.

I remember one of my first solo journeys to the record store – a visit marked by a long inner debate about purchasing Big Willie Style or Wyclef’s The Carnival. On that particular day, Willie from Philly prevailed. And shelling out  $15 to repeatedly listen to “Miami” was then much more logical than saving up for a pair of Jordans. Even after the purchase, the trip was more an event than a simple transaction.

That’s because when record stores mattered, people didn’t mind endlessly searching through piles and piles of old 45s and tapes in hopes that someone accidentally misplaced a Brand Nubian cassette or a Talking Heads vinyl. Simply put, genuine music fans lived and breathed music, and researched it accordingly.

And fittingly, after all the years of crate digging, these collections eventually amounted to nothing more than…collections. Like your uncle’s assortment of Finnish coins or your granny’s stamps from 1941, these piles of “coveted” records are pretty much obsolete.

Whether you consider the influx of music blogs a travesty or the best thing since Aladdin, you just might have to deal with it. From electro-funk to minimal-house, blogs across the web have just about every genre of music covered and devoted fans can get their fill with mp3s and torrents instead of actual albums.

There’s still a healthy dose of haters out there who still think technology killed the radio star, but there’s no denying how many new acts the Internet helped break. From MySpace-plucking to imeem-probing, there’s tons of talent to be found online.

As a result, every blog surfer can’t wait to flaunt their picks before an artist hits the mainstream, whether they’re admitting that they knew about Santogold before she was the subject of Kanye’s wet dreams or loved The Fray before Grey’s Anatomy‘s music supervisors did.

But if every person with computer access can become an elitist, is there even an elite left? Since modern-day crate digging is as easy as searching “hipster hop” on Google, the idea of an elitist is just as outdated as those greasy indie rockers.

Welcome to the world of ubiquitous elitism. From your 11-year-old nephew to your sister in art school, the music snob is everywhere.

Or maybe the age of the blog is a passing fad and the true elitist is the technologically challenged person who sits at home and drinks hot chai while jamming to Sinatra.

Either way, to someone who was almost too young to enjoy the crate-digging era, visiting Bleecker Street Records and finding The Fresh Prince and Jazzy Jeff’s second record is far more rewarding than jerking it in a local coffee joint to my astoundingly cool music library.

February 4, 2009

Reporters

Dan Buyanovsky

Senior Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

View photos as Miami Hurricanes Coach Jim Morris ends 41-year career on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at M ...

The sullen, charcoal sky opened with a vengeance Saturday afternoon at Mark Light Field in Coral Gab ...

Hurricanes football aficionados: How does another College GameDay at the University of Miami campus ...

Get out your calendars once again, UM football fans. The Atlantic Coast Conference has announced the ...

Lonnie Walker IV, so eager to begin his professional basketball career that he left the University o ...

A snapshot guide to the start of summer in and around UM. ...

Former investment banker Charmel Maynard leads UM’s investments and treasury functions. ...

Over his more than two decades at the U, the dean of students from 1976-1989 always put students fir ...

The final Sea Secrets lecture at the Rosenstiel School examines the biofluorescence of marine organi ...

Maintenance mechanic Milton Davis has kept UM housing humming for decades. ...

After 25 years, head coach Jim Morris had just one request for the pregame festivities for his final ...

In honor of Jim Morris' final regular season game as head coach at Miami on Saturday, May 19, t ...

Sophomore righthander Evan McKendry struck out 11 to help lead the Hurricanes to their 10thstraight ...

Check out over 60 of the top pictures from the Miami women's tennis team's matchup with to ...

Due to inclement weather expected in the area, the Miami baseball program announced game time for Fr ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.