Back when the local alt weekly mattered and was the hippest game in town. No mas. Miller sold his humble abode in east KCMO and moved to Columbus, Georgia two years back. There he teaches writing to people like Jason Whitlock and me – younger people, of course – who want to grow up and work for peanuts for corporate-owned media conglomerates who care for little beyond the almighty buck.
Or as Miller puts it, he’s a “writer, writing professor, music freak” who lives “in an old house in the Deep South with my wife, two dogs and four cats. I collect wonderful records.”
The simple life.
Miller’s also into running, fried chicken, barbecue, pork, movies, ocean beaches (who isn’t?), bicycling, documentaries, art, architecture, train sounds and – last but not least – “weird shit.”
In short, he’s a KC Confidential kinda guy.
“It’s a hobby,” Lefstez said. “Like stamp collecting. Albeit with a lot more press. Just because you spinners are yelling at the top of your lungs that does not mean the rest of us care. While you’re at it, why don’t you bring back dial telephones, typewriters, cathode-ray TVs, pagers…”
“I’ll address his comment point by point:”
It’s a hobby.
“Yes, it’s a hobby. So what?”
Like stamp collecting.
“No, not like stamp collecting. Music is universal, an integral part of most everyone’s lives. You can’t invite people over to listen to stamps. Stamps aren’t interesting to very many people. Music is.”
Albeit with a lot more press. Just because you spinners are yelling at the top of your lungs
“Who’s yelling at the top of their lungs? I’m not, and neither are any other record collectors I know. The press is just covering RSD because it’s newsworthy. People camping out all night to buy things is newsworthy — especially when they buy stuff that most people steal.”
“I don’t care if the rest of you care, and I have a hunch that other people who collect records don’t care either. If you don’t like it, ignore it.”
While you’re at it, why don’t you bring back dial telephones, typewriters, cathode-ray TVs, pagers…”
“Because the analogy is false. Dial phones, cathode ray TVs and pagers are inferior to current technology. Typewriters some writers still swear by, but not very many because the capabilities are limited. Records, on the other hand, have far better sound quality than MP3s. This is a demonstrable fact. And to many people’s ears, records sound better than CDs–warmer, more natural. Plus the whole ritual aspect — cleaning the record, lowering the tonearm, sitting back and tripping out on a gatefold cover — it makes the listening experience more fun, makes you focus more on the music, and listen through an entire album. It turns listening into an event.
“When I was stealing MP3s, I got to the point where music lost almost all of its value to me, whereas it once had been one of the most important sources of joy and inspiration in my life. Now that I’m back to collecting records music is back in my life like never before, and I’m happier.”