Monday, March 26, 2012

Book Review: The Boombox Project

The Boombox Project: The Machines, the Music, and the Urban UndergroundThe Boombox Project: The Machines, the Music, and the Urban Underground by Lyle Owerko

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

an historic icon of my childhood, the boombox was more than a status symbol. it was more than a means to an ends. it was a statement. I didn't grow up in the inner city - the closest city to my hometown was an hour away - but even in my small, rural, farming crossroads of a town, the boom box was a symbol of power - and like every kid, i wanted one.

my first one was a cheap one, a KOSS brand, i think. dual cassette. cheap plastic. but it brought me so much joy. i can vividly remember making my first mix tapes - waiting by the radio - hoping they'd play the songs i'd want to record. later on i'd stay up late on Saturday nights to listen to and record Power 108's commercial free jam of the greatest hip hop of 1988.

As i got older, i'd blare cassette-singles from that boom box, mostly rap and hip hop - the music designed to be played loud. Public Enemy. EPMD. LL Cool J. 3rd Bass. BDP. and of course RUN DMC. played loud and proud.

The Boombox Project by Lyle Owerko brought back all of those memories, and more. It's a little more than a coffee table book, in that it evokes emotions long forgotten. the creativity of the project and the ability of Owerko to find something beautiful and intricate out of something so ordinary and forgotten, i.e. the Boombox. it makes me realize how often we 'miss' things. as someone who aspires to create, my eyes don't 'see' enough... to often i think i allow myself to gloss over the artistic sides of life.

the Boombox was an artistic side of our culture that should be remembered.

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