We are living in a bold new age of information. YouTube represents an archive of millions of hidden or long forgotten documentaries of some of the greatest performers in music, free and at the tips of our fingers.
Mp3 blogs will become your life. As you read these words, thousands of self-anointed music experts in thick plastic glasses and headphones are furiously posting, downloading, and analyzing fresh tracks from The Knife and Of Montreal, alongside deep cuts from dusty LPs of their parents' generation.
And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead have had an extreme career arc. Their 2002 major label debut Source Tags & Codes was an era-defining work of anthemic indie rock - one of those precious high school records I could blast for weeks on end in my '89 Mazda 323, driving from one South Jersey diner to another, getting home late at night and highly caffeinated, reading LiveJournals until 4 a.m.
It's close to midnight at the Rotunda on 40th and Walnut. On the steps outside, a cypher of about 20 hip-hop heads huddle in close as a ghetto blaster thumps old school loops and two emcees in the middle face-off: "Common nigga, you don't think that's a lie / That's like saying when I spit it I don't spit fly / That's like saying you ain't you and I ain't I / Like this ain't the Gathering it's a street word fight." The crowd goes nuts, leaning back like witnesses of a car wreck to reward the verbal beating.