Rock Goes Interactive

From David Bowie to Peter Gabriel -- and even including Elvis -- computerized pop stars are letting listeners take a hand in the music

You'd never guess it from watching kids pogo-stick at a Pearl Jam concert, or vibrate to the street beat that pours out of their Walkmans, but listening to music is an essentially passive experience. Performers make the sound, consumers devour it. For every pop generation from A to X, the big creative decision has been which record (cassette, CD) to put in the music machine. For radio listeners, even that decision is denied. Music is too easy: a hot soak in somebody else's bathtub.

Well, listen up, rockheads. You're about to become the hippest form of computer nerds. You'd better smarten...

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