Connecting and Conversing: Stones Throw and Music Appreciation

There is a lovely article on Stones Throw Records by Laurent Fintoni for Fader. (here)

One passage offered particular resonance…

“Like most 20-year-olds, Stones Throw has matured with age yet remains recognizable to those who love it. In an age of infinite, cloud-enabled listening, the label’s curatorial importance has never been stronger. It is not only a filter through which to discover new acts, but also to rediscover ones you thought you knew: the lusting soul and loose beats of Anderson .Paak and Knxwledge as NxWorries; the thought-provoking hip-hop of L.A. veterans Krondon and Shafiq Husayn; or just James Pants going at it with a Yamaha synthesizer. Hip-hop, as ever, remains the glue: Common’s latest studio album, Black America Again, was produced by Karriem Riggins, another quiet force the label has supported over the years. ‘I get pleasantly surprised when teenagers learn about us through a new artist and they dig deeper and realize there’s other music they like on there too,” says Manak. That’s because Stones Throw isn’t so much a label as an ongoing musical conversation, and conversations bring us closer’.

This last remark should be emphasized. Stones Throw has an organicism that flies in the face of an institutional structure of a larger record company. Like Fintoni writes, it is in a large part due to how Stones Throw works as a means of connecting and conversing over music.

Perhaps Stones Throw offers an example of how we can teach music appreciation: to emphasize the communal element of what we listen to; to create not so much a class to learn about music but a place to connect over music.

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