Cyberculture in Song

Song 1 – Joe Walsh – Analog Man (2012)

Joe Walsh’s song ‘Analogue Man‘ can loosely be related to Sterne’s ‘Histiography of Cyberculture’ and the shift from analog to digital that he describes.

The lyrics of this song tell of a man who is struggling keeping up with the pace of the digital world in which he finds himself. The inspiration for the lyrics were derived from the artist, Joe Walsh, who noticed a significant change in technology between recording his previous album in the late 1980’s and releasing this song in 2012.

The artist is quoted as saying “”There’s a whole new world now that’s digital, and a whole new technology I’ve really had to pay attention to recording this album. “It’s my first real shot at trying to do it all digital. I just say that it’s a whole new world, and it’s virtual, which means it doesn’t really exist. It’s an illusion that’s computer-generated, and it seems to me that we are all spending more and more time in there, while our bodies sit in chairs, waiting for our minds to come back. It’s great.”

“I’m not saying analog’s better,” he continued. “I’m just saying those of us who did the bulk of our recording and songwriting in the analog world have had to make some adjustments, and I’m not sure really if it’s working for us or if we’re working for it. Technology is going so fast. I do know that it ate the record business, and I know that it ate intellectual property. I hope it doesn’t eat me!

References (2012). Analog Man. Retrieved: 31 January 2017.

2 Replies to “Cyberculture in Song”

  1. Thanks for this interesting post Stuart – I really like the way it pinpoints the tension between whether technology is working for or against us. I love the line “while our bodies sit in chairs, waiting for our minds to come back”. Where are our minds when we let technology take over?

  2. Thanks for your thoughts here, Stuart. I’m intrigued by this idea that we might be able to use songs as a way of working through some really quite challenging ideas in the literature around cyberculture.
    Something that might work really well in the future in your blog is to juxtapose the song lyrics against the words taken from the journal article or book chapter, and them to come in with your own thoughts on how they sit together, or why you selected them.

    Depending on how the cybercultures playlist is received we might attempt one for community cultures – I’ll keep you posted in case you find it a useful way or thinking about some of concepts we’re touching on during the course.

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