Highgate

Thursday

Stylus goes Oink.

Like most of us I'm a regular reader of umpteen music blogs, review sites, and rss feeds - especially now that i don't work a record store that gives me access to new music readily. (*cough* bit torrent *cough*) If i'm going to keep up on what's going on and satisfy my twin desires, riding that serpentine wave of culture and feeding my ear and eye holes with tasty treats, i have to devote a least a couple solid work hours a day to this pursuit. Usually it's between 9:30 and noon.

Recently - it's came to my attention that the Illuminati of the music sharing world "Oink" has been taken down - i was never invited inside the digitial fold. [hangs head, dejected] but i know people who were; apparently it was amazing, high quality MP3s non-transcoded or FLAC loss-less copies of the greatest and often rarest albums you'd never heard about torrents heavily seeded and available containing proper tracklistings and album artwork... i often imagine heaven this way... being the web sleuth i am, i occasionally got my hands on some of these torrents second hand. I'd copy the containing folder to my desktop - caress it with my mouse pointer, ever so gently before importing them into itunes...

Where was I! Ah yeah... Oink. So Oink is gone now, but i'm sure another oddly titled underground will be popping back up soon enough; you can't keep a good idea down. And Oink was the best. Or as Demonbaby put it in his long but well states rant:

Oink was not only an absolute paradise for music fans, but it was unquestionably the most complete and most efficient music distribution model the world has ever known. I say that safely without exaggeration. It was like the world's largest music store, whose vastly superior selection and distribution was entirely stocked, supplied, organized, and expanded upon by its own consumers. If the music industry had found a way to capitalize on the power, devotion, and innovation of its own fans the way Oink did, it would be thriving right now instead of withering. If intellectual property laws didn't make Oink illegal, the site's creator would be the new Steve Jobs right now. He would have revolutionized music distribution. Instead, he's a criminal, simply for finding the best way to fill rising consumer demand. I would have gladly paid a large monthly fee for a legal service as good as Oink - but none existed, because the music industry could never set aside their own greed and corporate bullshit to make it happen. |The Rest|


Now Stylus is shutting down, not because they're breaking any copy write laws, or because they're just to hip to be marketable... actually pretty much the opposite. As far as i can tell; they were sort of the Rolling stone to Pitchfork's Mojo... hmm. yeah, that sounds ok. Lets go with that. (Coke Machine Glow can be Spin. Dusted is Wire...) That meaning, kind of dorky, kind of mainstream, a little too diffuse to really hone in and be indepth of any one thing, they covered film, music, books - I think they started out focusing mainly on pop and dance, but as they grew ended up reaching into new areas, some they probably shouldn't have like a beginners guide to "Metal" (or here) which, i enjoyed, but i suspect no actual metalhead would ever endorse. And some that were out and out fantastic. (or here)

So why do i care? They had some great movie reviews - (i'm in almost perfect agreement with their most recent best of the new millennium list) and i enjoyed their site design, very clean and loaded with content. Occasionally they'd offer a review or an opinion that wasn't being passed around the circle jerk of the various music mags. They had some fun lists, and basically covered that Grey area between MTV and Pitchfork (That area is narrowing and becoming a sort of beige color as i type.) That i tend not to travel in, but regardless still have interest in... why? I dont know. Why do i read Wikipedia for 2 hours a day. Did you know that Martin Luther attended a trial entitled "The Diet of Worms"? a Diet being a sort of tribunal, and Worms being the town they were in... how cool is that?!

6 comments:

the le duo said...

'ai' and 'new world' were both pieces of poo.

Tanner M. said...

You know - i can see how people could go either way on those two - but i totally loved New World; if only for Malick's poetic camera work. Some people argue that it's to romanticized, that in real life, the events would have been much different, but i don't think malick's point was realism, just like the thin red line he's more interested in grand existential/humanist questions of why we are an who we are... and then looks for an interesting historical context to base them in.

AI, could suck, i havn't watched it in years. But i keep on wanting to.

casey said...

Somewhere between the music industry's colossal betrayal of the consumer and the immense promise of the internet lies a model through which artists can get paid for their work without being ripped off by either the record labels or an unethical public conditioned to believe that all music should be free.

We're working on it as I type. . .

jay said...

I never even heard of Stylus before this post...it looks great; too bad it's going.

That beginner's guide to metal was great too.

Tanner M. said...

I hear that Casey - keep fighting the good fight... Jay, it was a pretty interesting site, honestly it makes me wonder why it bit the dust, at the very least it portrayed it self as a stable web presence. But "stable web presence" is more or less an oxymoron.

gd said...

waffles are my favorite breakfast food.