At a time like this in our world, the most important burning question on everyone's mind should clearly be this: How do I look the absolute coolest while listening to my music? Now, what music you listen to is an ongoing issue for another discussion. But what everyone urgently needs to know today is what medium to consume their music through. Your method of consuming music is an absolutely crucial piece of impressing your hipster friends and being cool, right alongside what tapas you serve at your dinner party and how long ago your choice of alcoholic beverage was in style (I believe mead is reigning champion). That's where we here at Baeble come in, with our comprehensive rating system for each music medium accompanied by commentary from resident hipster expert (hipsxpert?) Dexter Claybrook. Let's get into it.
RATING: One beanie, but like, the kind that your dad wears.
"If you're just chilling on the iTunes store, buying songs for $1.29 apiece, you may have been asleep for the past 7 years. I don't know what else to say to you if this is your method of choice. I mean, have you even set foot in Brooklyn? You probably don't even use artisanal mayonnaise."
RATING: Like, two beanies and half a jar of vegan kimchi.
"Okay, there are always some albums released exclusively on streaming services, so I always keep Apple Music and Tidal accounts open. SoundCloud is cool, too. But like, everyone streams their music and you know everyone's not cool. So in general I definitely try to wait until the limited edition vinyl comes out at least, so I can enjoy it in the full glory of my
incredible loft acoustics. If you have time, would recommend recording digital-only releases onto analog 8-track tape from your laptop speakers for full effect."
RATING (online/satellite/regular FM): One pair of waterproof Birkenstocks.
RATING (NPR/college radio): One pair of real leather Birkenstocks and a full jar of vegan kimchi.
"I don't know, man. Don't get me wrong, I always end up needing the radio when I drive back to Vermont for Thanksgiving (I'm working on getting a turntable installed in my '95 Taurus station wagon). But if you're listening to anything that's 100% free of static and
has DJs that aren't skipping class to get high and do a radio show, it can't possibly be good."
RATING (regular): Three beanies.
RATING (burned/bootleg/mixtape): Four beanies, gourmet matcha, and a couple PBR tallboys.
"CDs are definitely not the coolest way to listen to your music, but they have some serious nostalgia factor. Your regular CDs are alright - younger kids don't even know what they are, so you can hold that sophistication over their heads. But anything you burned onto a CD from your vintage mp3 files or any mix you made on CD is automatically reaching the next level. You're pretty cool. Bonus: If you listen on a Walkman your rating goes up by three well-groomed mustaches."
(Actual sidenote: I maintain that the coolest CD I've ever experienced is the mix of random 90s-and-earlier jams that my uncle and dad burned when they found out Napster was being shut down. Shoutout to Lloyd's Napster Hits '01.)
RATING: Eight beanies, a large bottle of kombucha, and a PBR tallboy 12-pack with only one empty.
"Vinyl is the go-to cool music format, bro. You can't go wrong with your LPs, especially paired with a solid rotation of small plates and a few casks of barleywine. Vinyl is respected by all throughout the land (of Williamsburg). And how convenient! They fit perfectly in milk crates and other bulky containers, and only end up weighing like 60 pounds per crate. Don't worry, you won't be gaining something in common with your parents, because they probably threw out their turntables circa 2002."
RATING: 15 beanies, an invitation-only speakeasy that ONLY SERVES PBR, a chicken coop inside your loft, and a one-way ticket to Portland.
"This is it, guys. There's nothing more you can do. If you're listening to your tunes by way of cassette, you can be sure that you are respected by everyone around you. Your taste in restaurants that have 3 menu items which change everyday and regular hours of 12-3 AM is most likely impeccable. Everyone looks at you and wonders why they don't have the latest technology in the most obscure music format that reached its peak in the late 80s."
Well, there you have it folks. You're set to get out there and make sure you look the absolute coolest while listening to whatever floats your boat. Exhibit A: on November 13th, you'll be getting a cassette-only collection of covers recorded by Frankie Cosmos in her bedroom. Now that this pressing issue is cleared up, you can be at peace when you invite over those friends that you only keep around because you're in a passive-aggressive competition to outdo each other. Good luck and godspeed, and make sure you have enough damn kale.