The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


6-3-08 Archiving

Looks like my direct line of archiving – paper, print, vinyl – goes contiguously back to about 1969 or 1970. 38 years of a single consciousness in my 49-year-old physical body. I figure that before ’69, I wasn’t fully-formed – still a real child. And while I obviously have memories before 1969/70 – circumstances were largely out of my control. So, from ’69 onwards – I was very conscious about what records I got, what magazines & newspapers I got, how I listened to music – and what I listened for.

I see the six years of junior high (middle school) and high school – constrained, but almost totally open to listen to anything. I became more enabled in 1976, when I got my first real job, at a record store, of course. I even managed a few rungs on the ladder of “music business” over the next decade or so.

In ’87, I came crashing down when the company I worked for went bust. Uh, I was still there – but the massive ‘thing’ I had helped to construct was…gone. Thinking on my feet, ’89 – ’92 were my big adventure years – living abroad (England and Holland).

Returning home from Holland in ’92 was “mirror” time – I worked a few more low-level music business jobs, got divorced etc. No more living abroad – I had to console myself with numerous trips to Japan (thus far spanning ’94 – ’07). In ’97 or ’98 – I re-awoke to my “vinyl instinct”, and have gone great guns for about a decade now – starting to blog in ’02.

From time to time, it is necessary to consult my files. But, dang, it’s a lot of physical stuff! A closet (or two) full of magazines, papers etc., two room full of LP’s & CD’s, a whole garage full of videotapes…and most of the rooms of the house are some kind of…messy. Full of stuff; files.

I try and attach value to the stuff I retain. Perhaps this is a mental illness – but I think my files / organizing is (and has been) ‘worth something’. A 38-year stream-of-consciousness, if you will. I archived my first 50 years, with a fair amount of clarity.

Scan the magazine articles! Digitize the cassettes and 45’s! Sort the crap! Throw out the trash! Get ready for the next 50 years!!!

From the yellow legal tablet to the index cards to Word and Excel / Jpegs… Time to dump the files? Make room for some new toys? Digital TV is comin’ up, next February ’09. So, all of the old equipment will be obsolete? Can I ditch all the VHS’s & Betas now? And 20+ years of Billboard magazine?

If I upload everything to Flickr – is that like a “Cyber-Storage-Space”? $24 a year to keep those boxes stored on-line, as opposed to $90 per month to the guy at the “Store For Less” place. Sounds like a plan.

And if I end my contiguous 38-year stream-of-consciousness – will I be unconscious?


Anonymous Jim Donato said...

I re-awoke to vinyl around 1993 when I could smell CD-R becoming affordable. It's still my primary thrill. But damn how I wish I had wised up a year earlier with the first two trips to Canada. We're talking Quebec, Ottowa and Toronto. The last time I was in Toronto I got a ton of delicious vinyl and my brain melts at what I probably passed up in '92 when stores were still 1/3 vinyl. Yes, Sam The Record Man on Yonge was at least 1/3 vinyl!

My only downer these days is when I still spend years and precious $$$ buying vinyl and the darned stuff finally gets issued on CD! But that's a problem I should have more often, frankly. Though I take hits on the cost of the vinyl, the immeasurable time saved from the tedious and picky manual remastering process is well worth it.

1:00 PM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

All hail Sam The Record Man!

7:30 AM  
Blogger chas_m said...

First off I want to say what an unabashed fan I am of this blog. I check it out every week without fail.

Second, my vinyl collecting has largely come to an end, sadly, because of the constraints of keeping the stuff around (and cost has become a factor as well). It depresses me sometimes, because I associate vinyl with a more carefree me, a version of myself that always seemed to have a few bucks to spend on yet another version of A&M's "No Wave" compilation (can't have too many, and it's still never been issued on CD!!).

Last, I encourage you to do whatever it takes to keep "archiving" in one sense or another. Don't know if you saw this, but recently a fellow blogger made what can only be called a digi-archaeological find that will surely live for the ages: the left-behind archive from a fellow who took a Polaroid of his world every day for *18 years,* starting in 1979 and ending with his death in 1997.

As I followed the link and paged through this man's life right up to the day before his passing, I was just agape at the astounding beauty of this accomplishment. From the discipline to the photography to the history to the art of what he captured, such dedication and vision sends a chill down my spine.

Someday all "that stuff" will be all that physically remains of you. And some people -- whether they are relatives, friends or strangers -- will be glad you kept it together.

2:02 AM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

Thanks for reading my stuff, Chas-san!

7:23 AM  

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