GOOD

Permanent Record

In a nondescript building in downtown New York City, Bob George oversees the ARChive of Contemporary Music, the largest collection of popular music in America (and, quite possibly, the world). PLUS: GOOD Video Feature


Bob George doesn't own a single record. He doesn't have to; he can listen to anything he wants at work. In a nondescript building in downtown New York City, George oversees the ARChive of Contemporary Music, the largest collection of popular music in America (and, quite possibly, the world). With more than two million recordings on vinyl and CD, the ARChive serves as a repository for any recording released since the end of World War II, from blues to German techno to Christian self-help. Basically, as long as it's not by a classical composer, it's pop. "You have no idea what people are going to be interested in," says George. "That's why we don't censor anything."George founded the ARChive in 1985 because he could not find a library willing to take his collection of nearly 47,000 punk, reggae, and early rap records amassed during his years as a DJ and record producer. No one thought the music was worth saving. "It takes a while for these large institutions to move quickly," says George. "Lincoln Center said 1995 was 'The Year of Jazz.' I thought it was 1932." The mission of the ARChive is to obtain a copy of every single new album, while also constructing a comprehensive record of the past. Like a musical Noah's ark, the ARChive keeps two copies of every thing in its collection, and will add two more for any substantial change in packaging or recording. Funding comes from the sale of triplicate records, research fees, and sympathetic musicians: David Bowie, Keith Richards, and Lou Reed are among its board members.For now, the ARChive remains closed to the public. But talks are in progress for Columbia University to take over the collection as the centerpiece of the country's first center for the study of popular music at a major university. This isn't just a boon for record nerds. These myriad recordings are an unmatched resource in expanding our knowledge of the recent past. "You have a better idea of what things were really like through these artifacts," says George. "Popular music chronicles the times in a way that textbooks often don't."Related GOOD Video: "Permanent Record"
Articles
via Jim Browing / YouTube

Jim Browning is a YouTuber from the UK who has an amazing ability to catch scammers in the act.

In this video, he responds to a scam email claiming he bought a laptop by breaking into the scammer's computer. In the process he uncovers where the scammers work, their banking information, and even their personal identities.

"I got an 'invoice' email telling me that I had paid for a $3800 laptop," Browning writes on his YouTube page. "No links... just a phone number. It's a real shame that these scammers emailed me because I was able to find out exactly who they were and where the were."

Keep Reading
Business
HG B / YouTube

Danielle Reno of Missouri left her car running and it was stolen by thieves. But she wasn't going to let her car go so easily.

For 48 hours this owner of a pet rescue tracked the charges being made on her credit card. Ultimately, she found her car at a local Applebee's, and then went after the thieves.

Keep Reading
Communities
via Bossip / Twitter

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders took aim at former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg onstage at Wednesday's Las Vegas Democratic debate, likening the billionaire businessman to President Donald Trump and questioning his ability to turn out voters.

Sanders began by calling out Bloomberg for his stewardship of New York's stop and frisk policy that targeted young black men.

Keep Reading
Politics