I have a decent (and still growing) LP collection, and my turntable gets almost daily use. In fact, I often buy music on vinyl rather than downloading it or buying CDs.
One of my recent vinyl purchases was Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys. Probably one of the greatest albums of all time, but it wasn’t until I heard it on LP that I really felt like I started to get it. There was something about listening to it in the way it would have been listened to when it came out in 1966. Pops, crackles, and Brian Wilson just felt right together.
But as I’ve made my way around music stores, I’ve noticed the number of brand new releases coming out on vinyl seems to be increasing. And I’ve also seen many bands going (on purpose) for a lower fidelity sound.
I remember the lead singer of a local group here in NC, The Love Language, was quoted on why he liked low fidelity in Spin Magazine a while back:
“I’m a real lo-fi junkie,” [Stuart McLamb] says. “I like the [Band’s] Big Pink philosophy — you should have a dog on the floor of a basement while you’re recording. That’s where the best stuff happens.”
A dog on the floor, man! Not some fancy studio in New York City run by rich guys in suits named Hunter and Cody. The places where the dog is invited is where the best stuff happens.
Where am I going with this? I believe that there is a lo-fi movement not only in music but in communications more broadly that continues to gain momentum. Communications that are too high fidelity may not be viewed as trustworthy anymore. Take this quote from the Wikipedia page for “Low fidelity”:
Yesterday, Red Hat launched a new series of short films called Red Hat Stories. These films are a key element in our effort to document “the Red Hat way” of doing things. We’ve started with sixteen films covering everything from an overview of what makes Red Hat useful, to our technology leadership, even a set about our perspective on how to liberate innovation. The piece below is a short, sweet distillation of the Red Hat way, and it speaks for itself.
I use the word “film” rather than video on purpose because it better captures the spirit of what we are trying to do with digital media at Red Hat. Films are what you make when you are captuing stories. Videos are what you make when you are selling your stuff. So we aspire to film, certainly with our most strategic work, but sometimes settle for video when the project demands it.
Red Hat’s first attempt at using film as a medium for storytelling was Truth Happens, which we created almost seven years ago. I’ve told that story in an earlier blog post. Since Truth Happens, we’ve expanded our efforts to use film, video, and other digital media tools in many ways.