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March 10, 2014 | by  | in Opinion |
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Weird Internet Shit

Lost Media

What do a TV presenter’s televised suicide, Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s first tape, and Shaq O’Neal’s never-released album have in common? A particularly horrid answer might have it that each is equally awful, but there is a markedly more specific connection than that: all three feature as entries on, one of the most enthralling websites I’ve had the pleasure of perusing in ages.

The Lost Media Wiki attempts to document “a history of lost media (audio or video, fiction or non-fiction)”, which encompasses “totally missing media to rare or unreleased media”. There are articles on rare artistic efforts, limited releases and indefinitely shelved works. In more macabre territory, it also details documents and evidence used in court that have been heavily restricted, securely vaulted or totally destroyed.

The thrill of the website, obviously, stems from the mystery involved with pieces of art that cannot be easily accessed (all the more enticing in our era of easy file-sharing). Even more cool is that, while reading, your mind inevitably considers the prospect (however small) that these might one day come to light. The knowledge that in all likelihood these rarities are wasting away neglected in someone’s basement is simultaneously frustrating and enchanting, and that’s what keeps me coming back. Never underestimate the power of the unknown.



In a similar vein, compiles all the songs on Spotify that haven’t received a single play – some ten million of them – and sidles them up you in a playlist. I’ve idled away hours trawling through the obscurities, and though inevitably the results are a mixed bag (although there are gems to be unearthed – I’m especially fond of Iranian violin improvisations), that seems beside the point.

When it comes to more antique songs, there is something eerie about voyaging through the ancient dead, the dust-coated relics and the long-forgotten – this is music that presumably someone once loved, once danced to alone or with a partner in an attic somewhere, and the experience is rather haunting. Other songs depart to almost entirely uncharted waters. Don’t miss the trip.

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