The Boombox Project - JazzWax

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October 28, 2010


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Joel Lewis

Honestly can't remember any jazz coming thru one of these behemoths carried aboard NYC subways & NJ buses of my young adulthood. The racist nickname I remember these items being called were "Third World Suitcases" as Walkmen seemed the listening device for mainstream culture (& last week Sony ended production of the Walkman -- I assume they found consumers in true Third World situations were casettes are still a main mode of music consumption.

Oddly, the many of the Bose players are portable, using rechargable batteries, and I've seen them used around picnic tables and beaches much in the way boomboxes ere used back in the day

Ed Leimbacher

Like so many other technological "advances," the box was a real boom to society. As with mergers and takeovers, NAFTA, GAFTA, and totally DAFTA, banksters and mort-gagers and unsurance comps, workers and consumers always come out ahead.

Richard Mitnick

Every year, Phil Kline does a boombox symphony project. Read about it at


As many readers will know, Lp sales have actually been growing over the last couple of years, even as cd sales decline. This is comprehensible as some prefer analog sound or just like the big jackets. (Vintage Lp covers are frequently featured on jazzwax.) However, according to a recent article in a local rag, some "indie" bands are now producing cassette only releases. I can think of no rationale for this other than sheer perversity. There is even one band with an 8-track only release. There is also a gentleman planning an "eight track museum." (His previous project was preserving and promoting the legacy of Tiny Tim.) One of the first to realize the cultural significance and artistic potential of the transistor radio was John Cage, who wrote a piece for several radios which were to be placed on stage and tuned to different stations.

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  • Marc Myers writes regularly for The Wall Street Journal and is author of "Anatomy of a Song" (Grove) and "Why Jazz Happened." Founded in 2007, JazzWax is a two-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association's best blog award.

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