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What's The Frequency, Kenneth (1994) - REM
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The Celestial Jukebox

by ZimDog

Paul Goldstein predicted in a 1994 book, called Highway: From Gutenberg to the Celestial Jukebox, that the distribution of music would be global.  Goldstein defines the Celestial Jukebox as "a technologically packed satellite orbiting thousands of miles above Earth, awaiting a subscriber's order -- like the nickel in the old jukebox, and the punch of a button -- to connect to any number of selections from a a vast storehouse of music." 


Now, I'm no techno-phobe, but the Celestial Jukebox can suck my fatty!


The loss of the terrestrial jukebox with a finite number of selectionz is one of the most tear-jerking resultz of our techno advanced society.  More so than ever, patronz of a bar and/or chilling establishment have a digital/wifi resource for music that literally has thousandz of choicez.


With the death of the jukebox, Zietgeist takes another fatal blow.

Spinning Da Vinyl


Whether a particular establishment's jukebox plays "new", "old", or a "mix" of tunes, it's implied that -- with the crowd, the liquor, the pool gamez, etc. -- the establishment creates Zietgeist.  People remember whole eras of their livez by the place they hung out in and the jukebox they played.


I've literally earned free bar tabz for my $5 setlists.  Particularly, in one pool hall, the bartender waived my fee after a run of rock/rap that included Rage Against the Machine, Sublime, Dylan, Stevie Wonder, and Kanye West.  


It was a magical 20 minutez and the place was transformed.  It was due in part to my specific genius, sure, but it was equally about the boundariez of my choicez.  It was about my particular theme, my agenda, my beating heart.  It was human; it was real -- because the jukebox was finite.


A Jukebox Referendum


I propose a new law that demands "record/disc only" jukebox's for all establishmentz employing a jukebox.  


With the physical record or disc comes a tasty atmosphere as well as a limitation of musical context.  It's implied that the establishment will contain and/or create a unique space -- instead of an infinite wash of all time and experience.  How can you create a sub-culture if the everything within the entire musical culture is available to you?  The ownerz and workerz need to step up and stand for something!


Keep da needle alive!  Keep Zietgeist alive!  Let it burn like fire!


(...And don't get me started on the loss of the old-time deejay!  Long live Wolfman Jack!...)

March 2021

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