July 25, 1965, Bob Dylan walks out onto the stage of the Newport Folk Festival, plugs in his electric guitar, and forever changes the course of music. Last month marked another such epic musical transition, as the Boston Typewriter Orchestra, known for their musical accomplishments performed solely through the power of manual typewriters and well-toned fingers, has transgressed expectations in the name of musical progress. In their submission to NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series, the collective has made the bold move of going “selectric” with the song below. As a fan of 80’s synth pop, I must say I’m looking forward to them eventually incorporating a dot-matrix printer into their grooves.

David Crotty

David Crotty

David Crotty is a Senior Consultant at Clarke & Esposito, a boutique management consulting firm focused on strategic issues related to professional and academic publishing and information services. Previously, David was the Editorial Director, Journals Policy for Oxford University Press. He oversaw journal policy across OUP’s journals program, drove technological innovation, and served as an information officer. David acquired and managed a suite of research society-owned journals with OUP, and before that was the Executive Editor for Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, where he created and edited new science books and journals, along with serving as a journal Editor-in-Chief. He has served on the Board of Directors for the STM Association, the Society for Scholarly Publishing and CHOR, Inc., as well as The AAP-PSP Executive Council. David received his PhD in Genetics from Columbia University and did developmental neuroscience research at Caltech before moving from the bench to publishing.


4 Thoughts on "The BTO Goes Electric"

Keyboard clacking just doesn’t have the range of tonalities of these curious instruments they call ‘typewriters.’

Truly, they are Takin’ Care of Business.

Be warned that I’ve got Bachman-Turner Overdrive dad jokes for days. You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.

OK, actually I just have two. Those two…

Definitely cool, but I now remember why I only took one semester of typing class in high school. All that clacking gave me a headache every day.

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