14 February 2008
The radio station from hell
This is the derisive term I use for my iTunes installation at work, which includes about 2500 tracks at the moment. Usually when you walk in, it will be playing something you don't like, hence the description. While inevitably the playlist reflects my highly-dubious sense of aesthetics, it certainly qualifies as eclectic: you will find therein, for instance, two actual 1910 Fruitgum Company tracks, and the entirety of Kind of Blue. I won't, however, argue that this somehow represents "the full spectrum of music," unlike a certain Kansas City radio station:
Even the most casual music fan can't fail to notice that the full spectrum of music even if we limit ourselves to the rock and roll era; hell, even if we limit ourselves to the post-Beatles/Dylan rock era would necessarily include not only music from the 70s, 80s, 90s and now but from at least the 60s and probably the 50s, as well.
I don't have a lot of Nineties stuff, but I'm working on it. Of course, you might not really want a "full-spectrum" station:
I'm not sure even I would really want a station to play the FULL spectrum of music, mixing in Mozart, Gregorian chants, and the Barney soundtrack along with the obvious rock staples. Maybe nobody does, really. The type of music we listen to, and the type we make it a point to let others know that we don't listen to, is one of the ways we express our identities to the world, a way we signal to others that we are this kind of person and not (horrors!) that kind. What we usually downplay as merely personal aesthetics always come with loads of political implications. We had to learn to like what we like, after all, and these self-segregating lessons naturally mirror a society already segregated by race and class.
I'm wondering where this leaves me, since those 2500 tracks contain, for instance, lots of R&B and not a whole lot of classical. Not that I have any business pretending to have either erudition or street cred. (Nor, for that matter, do I really want to segue Britten's Simple Symphony into Funkadelic's "Cosmic Slop.")
Still, I wonder what sort of radio show, or podcast, I could whip up out of that odd collection of ingredients, and whether more than one person could stand to listen to it for more than a couple of selections.Posted at 10:43 AM to Overmodulation