Damon Krukowski has a lot of thoughts about the nature of sound and how human beings respond to it. Using diverse cultural touchstones — from Dr. Strangelove to Frank Sinatra — Krukowski’s new book, The New Analog: Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World, takes us on a delightful ride, raising questions about how and why we listen. Along the way, the author touches upon Metallica’s role in the loudness wars, the papier-mâché bullhorn used at Occupy Wall Street, and many other topics.
You needn’t be an audiophile snob to conclude that today’s MP3 downloads, or their streaming counterparts, sound worse than 1965’s LPs – MP3s are designed to sound worse. It’s a crucial part of what enables them to be so portable, cheap (if not free), and ubiquitous.
If you are dancing while wearing earbuds, like in the iconic Apple “silhouette” ads for the iPod, you dance alone. The “inside the head” sensation that psychoacousticians assign to the aural blindspot in headphones has another, very simple explanation: it’s the only place the music is audible.
— Excerpts from The New Analog: Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World
This Thursday, April 20th, Krukowski will present his new book in a special event in the Gathering Space from 5:00 to 6:00 PM, as part of Songbook: KEXP’s Music & Literature Series. Together with Jonathan Poneman and Megan Jasper of Sub Pop Records, they’ll share the stage for an engaging conversation on the music world’s transition from an analog to digital culture.
As the drummer for shoegaze pioneers Galaxie 500, Krukowski, his wife, bassist/vocalist Naomi Yang, and guitarist/vocalist Dean Wareham created a body of work which remains influential to this day. Krukowski and Yang left that band and went on to make a series of lovely, understated records as Damon and Naomi for Shimmy Disk and Sub Pop, including a collaborative release with Japanese avant-folk act, Ghost. Krukowski, an alumnus of Harvard, is now a professor at that storied Ivy League university. A true multi-disciplinary renaissance couple, he and Yang also co-run Exact Change, an independent book publishing company.
The New Analog: Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World is officially out April 25th via The New Press, but Elliott Bay Book Company will be on site with advance copies for sale. Please join us for this FREE, All Ages event in the KEXP Gathering Space!