The End of an Era
Sandie Maxa


Our studio is the proud owner of a brand new Altec Lansing MX-5021. This fascinating stereophonic device includes:
- 2 satellites
- subwoofer
- wired controller
- wireless remote
- 2 speaker wires
- 3.5 mm stereo audio cable
- console gaming y-adapter

But no receiver, no cd player and no tape player.

There are no moveable parts on this device that can be opened and closed which should greatly improve my productivity at work. The decision to play music on the old Sony RxD2 stereo with the 3 cd changer and double tape deck meant committing to a ritual that involved plugging and unplugging the cord, assessing the location of clicking noises and hitting said spots with a fist. All with no guarantee that these steps would yield results.

With our new all-digital sound system those types of frustrations will become a thing of the past. I have world wide internet radio, podcasts and playlists in iTunes at my fingertips... what more could I need?

I need mixed tapes and I can no longer play them. I love these relics of the 80s and can't bring myself to get rid of them. Made by friends, old boyfriends and by me, they all document a moment from my life and the people I've met. I get sentimental when I flip through the stack. The artists and titles are cited in different ways -- in all caps and lowercase, in various colors of pen, some inserts include photos. The expressive nature of the handmade covers is what is lost in the digital playlists of today.

And no one can deny the guilty pleasure of perusing someone's music library and finding, scrawled on the spine of a tape, a cryptic name like "DOOM/bloom" or "Artichoke in your tailpipe."