Posts Tagged ‘radio’

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A reason to regret the demise of radio

November 24, 2009

I never thought I would lament the end of radio.

In the pre-Internet age, commercial radio, TV news and the front page of newspapers, all provided a shared experience to their community (not, mind you, that this was an unmitigated good). Unlike the other two media, though, radio also reached back in time, since it didn’t just present the music of the day. I grew up with a good independent radio station, and as a result, I had a de facto education in alternative music from the rise of punk onwards, which was augmented by listening to this show every week. That kind of historical context can be lost if you’ve gotten all of your music online.

I thought about radio on the weekend when this question came up: “What is the most influential modern instrument?” (post-electric guitar, not post-sousaphone). My immediate response, “The drum machine,” was met with incomprehension. While you could argue whether this is the right answer (and please do, in the comments), you have to have some knowledge of the antecedents of today’s music in order to answer the question.  I’m not sure how widespread that will be from now on.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go shoo some kids off my lawn.

Exhibit A: New Order – Blue Monday (12″)

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Crowdsourcing: Built to Spill and radio

June 24, 2009

built to spill

Two current examples of crowdsourcing:

Legendary PNW rockers Built to Spill (pictured) are playing the Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle on July 24th and they’ve decided to let their fans vote on the setlist. The Stranger‘s art and music blog, Line Out, has a poll where you can select your first choice of song. I hope that this will go a long way towards shutting down people who yell out requests.

Jelli.net crowdsources radio. Yes, real radio. This Sunday, June 28th, they’ll have the first of their regular slots on San Francisco’s Live 105. For two hours, starting at 10 pm PST, it’ll be an experiment in the real-time crowdsourcing of radio. You can go to the website and vote on songs to be played, and you can even band together with other listeners to pull songs off the air. It looks like the station streams online too, so you don’t even have to be in the Bay Area to check it out.  (via Hypebot)

MP3: Built to Spill – You Were Right [buy]

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Fill in the <bleep>

April 4, 2008

Last week I had a conversation with my friend Paul, about how venerable newspapers bend over backwards to make you hear the word ‘fuck’ in your head, without actually writing it. I ran into this phenomenon in the audio realm a few weeks ago, as I was choosing songs to play on WMBR. I listened to all my choices carefully, so that I wouldn’t be responsible for an FCC violation (some albums were more of an issue than others). I knew that Mother Mother used the line ‘to help me get me fucked’ in their song “Touch Up,” so Keith fired up the audio editing software. But we had to listen to the song a couple of times to realize that the station already had the radio edit; the context and the initial ‘fuh’ sound were enough to trick our brains into hearing the whole word if we weren’t playing close attention.

Furthermore, this video is the definitive evidence that sometimes the bowdlerized version can be way, way dirtier than the original.

MP3: Mother Mother – Touch Up [unexpurgated version, so consider yourself warned]

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