41. Listening party
January 17th, 2021

(File under: music, community, internet)

Visit: jqbx.fm

In sociology the ‘third place‘ is somewhere more public than home (the ‘first place’) and less structured than work (the ‘second place’). It’s convivial. It has regulars. Everyone’s welcome. But thanks to a mean case of The Circumstances, not only have our first and second places blurred into one another, doors to our third places remain closed—libraries, pubs, coffee shops, performance spaces, all of them in dust-draped stasis.

For the past month, I’ve been attempting to use JQBX (Jukebox) as a digital substitute. Connect a Spotify account, join a room, and you can DJ collaboratively with a roster of implausibly usernamed strangers. I have no idea how large JQBX’s community is, but it’s small enough that in just a month I’ve identified some of the regulars and irregulars—I know the chatty barflies, the quiet couples that keep to themselves, the big groups that make the most noise. I’ve also discovered an implausible amount of new music.

With this in mind, here’s an invite to an experiment: In a couple of weeks I’m going to set up a room just for the folks subscribed to this newsletter. You can drop by and chat, play some music, or just lurk in the shadows and listen. No obligations, no grid of webcam videos to face down, just a new place to be for a couple of hours. I’ll share a link and a reminder in next week’s email, but for now, save the date: Saturday, January 30th at 12pm PST (3pm EST, 8pm GMT)

Dept. of Enthusiasm is a charmingly sporadic email from me, Jez Burrows. You can read some past issues, or sign up below.