Plug in the headphone, ’cause here it go.

LONDON—Max at Gee Street, 1999. [Peter Marlow / Magnum Photos]

Slate is sometimes annoying, like how it lets its writers post pieces claiming that Creed is good and underrated (shut up, Jonah Weiner. I know a Story Written Solely to Rile Up Readers and Be Shared Bloggily when I see one. Also, I’m pointing and giggling at your unfortunate last name).

Luckily, though, Slate is often amazing! For example, today’s photo feature “I Love This Song: Great Magnum Photos of People Listening to Music” is all…I need…to get by. I got a love jonnnnnes for its body and its skintone and I don’t care who knows it.

“Magnum looks back at the days when going to the record shop and playing a vinyl album or compact disc were physical, not virtual, activities.” Great, and the photos below are stunners, except I would like to pose the question Why act like these are days gone by? The past is alive and well, as evidenced by the numerous round black pieces of acetate with which I share apt. 302. I still cuddle with my music several times a week*, holding it in my hands firmly but carefully, like a kitten or a baby bird.

PARIS—Centre international de Paris, March 9, 1979. [Guy Le Querrec]
CHICAGO—Muhammad Ali in front of a stereo, 1966. [Thomas Hoepker]
UNITED STATES—James Dean, 1955. [Dennis Stock]
Marilyn Monroe listening to music, 1952. [Philippe Halsman]

(I normally don’t care for Marilyn, but what’s this? Head tilt, hip curve, clutching the bookcase so that the auditory ecstasy doesn’t make her fall over? OH HELLO THERE, lesbatronic moment)

WOLVERHAMPTON, England—The community center, 1978. [Chris Steele-Perkins]
BOW, East London—Two young emcees share a set of headphones, 2006. [Simon Wheatley]
CZECHOSLOVAKIA—In a wood near Prague, the sale of pop records on a Sunday, 1981. [Martine Franck]
DIJON, France—Supermarket Casino of Chenove, 1998. [Patrick Zachmann]


You can’t hug an mp3 (I know; I’ve tried)

Cymande – “Listen”


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