The advent of streaming was a game-changer for someone like Marshall, a connoisseur of older and emerging music surviving beyond mainstream. Material that once could only be found through diligent fieldwork — whether that meant connecting directly with far-flung communities or digging like crazy in record store bins or basement library stacks — was now immediately accessible, and framed by lively exchanges that often included the music-makers themselves. Streaming was changing music scholarship, as well as the day-to-day pleasures of any curious listener who could now instantly pursue a new fascination. The story of pop, as defined through lineage of widely familiar artists and styles (Elvis, Motown, classic rock) was now being expanded and challenged by the quickly accessible greatness of the forgotten and the marginalized (Awesome Tapes from Africa
, deep Southern gospel
, regional punk
). Music history was bursting open, and not just for credentialed historians. Fans falling down rabbit holes could feel like experts after a long lost weekend of listening. Public libraries were digitizing, catching up to the rapid (and often copyright-careless) activities of private collectors. Specialty labels were popping up, turning preservation into a sometimes trendy and even modestly lucrative
pursuit. Even as online music shook the present-day music business to its core, the vast past of music was becoming much more audible.