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While I was off gallivanting up and down the west coast, New Yorker pop critic Sasha Frere-Jones dropped the first installment of a new series called Dithering, which will be devoted to a subject he describes succinctly in an introductory post as "the sound quality of recorded music—analog, digital, or any combination thereof." The first proper entry is an interview with Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, and it seems to indicate that Frere-Jones's specific concern is the way that evolving recording formats influence our tastes and vice versa.
Greenwood comes out in favor of MP3s and cassettes, and seems to generally find the obsession with audio fidelity somewhat ridiculous—a surprise, given how notoriously persnickety Radiohead is about sound (and how many audophiles are obsessed with the band). "If you even know what [a FLAC file] is, and have strong opinions on them," he says, "you’re already lost to the world of high fidelity and have probably spent far too much money on your speaker-stands." I'll definitely be checking in for the next installment.