OK, I just spent a cool hour wandering around this thing:
25 Songs That Tell Us Where Music Is Going.
It’s so so interesting—The New York Times Magazine has created a multimedia piece that combines a playlist, profiles, and images in a way I haven’t seen before. It takes advantage of the possibilities that the internet allows: blending media to create an experience, not a static list. It layers all these things so that you can quickly scroll down the 25 songs, with a sliver of each song spontaneously erupting as you go—a variety of genres and voices. When you hear something intriguing, you can stop and read a profile about the artist who continues to sing while you read.
Immersive and addicting.
I know, I know: maybe you’re thinking that none of this music resonates. It’s what the young folk are listening to. I don’t get it. I don’t want to get it.
Well, I’ve had a swell time dipping into this music, which does include some geezers (Rufus Wainwright, the late Leonard Cohen, Charles Bradley, Shirley Caesar). I hope you’ll take a scroll down the list if only to see what has made the list.
If you’re still clinging to your British Invasion playlist like I am, this article/event/experience is pretty astonishing. My 17-year-old son tells me about Frank Ocean, Future, Ka, Lil Yachty, A Tribe Called Quest, but this is the first time I’ve had a way to get a window into them. Maybe I’m not going all in on this music, but it’s a huge part of popular culture, and some of it is powerful, affecting, and beautiful—once I get past my preconceived notions of what it is.
The comments on this New York Times Magazine piece are a classic example of what happens when anybody sets out a list, of any kind, about any topic. Fodder for heated discussion, strongly held opinion, rantyness. Not even knowing who most of these artists are, I’m just grateful for the cheat sheet.