cultural capital

Magical CD-R Warps Indie Rockers’, Bloggers’ Minds

The flow of cultural history has accelerated into a — what? — a fire-hose spray. Williamsburg indie rock has its own relics now; the discovery of one such sacred object — an early demo by that grizzled vet Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs — is prompting some primo psychodrama in blogland, as recounted today on Stereogum.

As the tale begins, a seventeen-track CD-R was found in the old apartment of TV on the Radio guitarist Dave Sitek and, naturally, posted on MySpace, from whence it spread like E. coli through a gordita. The band expressed horror, with Karen herself e-mailing the leaker with a curt “What the fuck were you thinking?” The penitent finder-keeper then e-mailed the mp3 blog Stereogum, ceremonially donning the hairshirt: “I feel like a total dick.” (The level of discourse in this whole flap, we must say, leaves much to be desired.) Finally, the rightful owner of the CD itself — Dave Sitek — posted an unbelievably florid message to the leaker on the TV on the Radio site, reading, in part:

thank you. i am due to learn a new kind of forgiveness. a kind that all of of humanity will need to learn as we betray eachother , hurt eachother, steal from eachother to fill the “content void” that has become the worldwide networks, our worldwide lives.

Within hours, Sitek himself turned penitent and updated the site with an apology (“I freaked out”). Apparently everything is a Zen lesson in Sitek-land, however: “By flipping out I connected with something I had lost … how much of an ass I can be.”

Sounds like everyone’s a winner.

The Story Behind the Karen O Demo [Stereogum]

Magical CD-R Warps Indie Rockers’, Bloggers’ Minds