I Found Another Country

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We had some decent post-Christmas weather last Sunday. I took a Daddy Day (no woman, no kids), did some reading at a cafe, watched a dude herd pigeons in Washington Square, ambled through the West Village, into a sports bar, watched the Ravens blow it again, and then stopped in on what must be one of the last record stores in New York.

One thing I always liked about going into a record store--the indy joints at least--is that they'd often be playing something I'd never heard of. As record stores have gradually disappeared I've actually had this happen more. That's because the same forces that are driving the record stores out of business are making more music available to the masses--at least that portion of the masses that are interested.

The guy up front was eating lunch and playing this group Woods who, of course being the square that I am, I had never heard of. Sounded cool enough. I grabbed an album of theirs off emusic. Not sure what I think, seems like a decent record to listen to while burning an El. I do like this joint "Military Madness." (I'm a sucker for falsetto.)

I'm not much for nostalgia, but one of the things that sucks about getting old (at least for me) is an end to a common musical culture. I think I have, like, one friend that's waiting to hear what TV On The Radio is going to next. But for the most part it's an individual experience. We're all our own DJ now. For better or worse.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

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