Chris Brokaw (solo, Wreckmeister Harmonies, The New Year, The Empty House Collective, ex-Codeine)
SPB: Rank these listening formats: cd, vinyl, cassette, digital, (other?)
Brokaw: 1) Vinyl. For so many reasons. But I guess the best is that I recently concluded that this is the best piece of art that exists. I consider music to be the most complex, thought-provoking, odd-emotion-inspiring, complete art form that exists - better than literature, film, photography, etc - and a vinyl album is its best form. And it's so cheap! For a few bucks up to 20 or 25 bucks you get this big, beautiful thing to pore over FOREVER. It can change your life in so many ways and it keeps doing that forever. It's the best investment you can make. It's also, currently, the most stable form of music storage that exists...so there's that.
2) Cassette. Yes, I've jumped the bandwagon. I love cassettes: they're cheap, I like how they look and feel, and most of the cassettes I buy (noise, avante garde, metal) actually put a lot of work and thought into the packaging. I also like how people like Wolf Eyes are recycling old library tapes for their what they sell - less plastic garbage in that huge cesspool in the sea. I think that's cool. They feel special to me, unique. And I love cassette box sets. What a treat! It's thrilling and I love it.
3) CD. I like cds! They're fine! Great in the car. Also, cdr's mean you can make instant releases. People don’t buy them in stores, but they sure do buy them at shows and they pay for my groceries. They're a lot easier to shlepp around on tour than freakin’ LPs, that's for sure. And they're cheap. Ten bucks! Come on, you piker, ten bucks!
4) Digital. Zero interest. I have dowloaded noise things that sold out instantly and I couldn't get otherwise, or old/cool/obscure things people have posted, but a) it feels dirty, and b) it doesn't feel like I own the music. It's like I’m listening to it at someone's house. But, God Bless Everyone who is buying downloads. You rule! Thank you!
Sound: I don't necessarily agree that you "hear everything the first time you hear a cd," or that certain LPs are like "lakes" that reveal their mysteries over time. I think that varies a LOT with different musics. Very dense music requires multiple and focused listening no matter what form it's in. And there are LPs that sound like shit, and c's that sound astonishing. I try to keep open.