Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Random Musings on Radio and Music....

   I used to be able to recall the exact moment that I fell in love with Rock and Roll. The very instant I knew it would be my life. That singularity is now gone from my timeline. That may seem like a bad thing, but it really isn't. I have been fortunate to have had so many great moments listening to and playing music in my life that they all just blur together into one mass criticality of joy, a ball of light that I can always turn to whenever things get shitty or just plain lame.
   Hours spent watching aspen leaves shimmer in the late afternoon breeze listening to old R.E.M.. Standing 10 feet away from Stevie Ray Vaughan and watching him wail for three hours. Seeing Peral Jam for $5bucks because they  weren't famous yet-outdoors on a perfect AZ night. Sitting through a 90 minute monsoon downpour to watch Peter Murphy on the 'Cuts You Up' tour. Being mesmerized for 3 hours by Einstruzende Neubaten. I've seen Dizzie Gillespe live. The Dave Brubeck Quartet, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Pat Metheny. I have spent probably thousands  of hours listening to some of my favorite bands ever playing in small bars-much of that music probably lost forever in the ether...
   Out of all of that, the single greatest experience-if it can be called a single experience-was growing up with great radio. Starting from the time I was about 10 until I was 17 we had an amazing FM station where I grew up. 50,000 watts of pure love of music. The DJs had few restrictions on what they could play and they all loved what they played. You could whiplash from Joni Mitchell to the Sex Pistols or hear three different versions of the same song by different artists all in a row with commentary about each. I distinctly remember working out in the barn one afternoon grooving out to a song when all of a sudden the needle was ripped from the record. The DJ broke in and explained that, "...we promised we would play you the new Police record as soon as we got it, I just took the wrapping off. It is called 'Ghost in the Machine' and here it is..." its entirety, no commercials.....After that station was swallowed whole by a corporate shark a local AM station was purchased by a local celebrity and I was given daily doses of the Ramones, Lyle Lovitt, and countless great regional bar bands and college radio stalwarts-most of whose names are now forgotten-but, it was about music, and the love for it. The notion that diversity, putting something different in your ears was better than the same-old same old.
   That doesn't happen much anymore. Media consolidation, profit margins, and digital piracy have put an end to much of radio's creativity-at least on the airwaves. Now, thanks to companies like Live365 and my home base of it is possible for anyone to broadcast for a small amount of money and make your ears a wee bit happier. The notoriously torturous Intergalactic Copyright Laws make it exceeding difficult to do this for a profit (that is the subject for another blog) but for thousands of us you getting the benefit of our love is enough-and, in time with your support, we can make this into a whole new industry, one where you can build an audience, break your own rock stars, and make people happier and smarter by sharing great art with them-often great art that might never make it to the 'public' airwaves.
   But don't take my word for it, check out The Drunken Scoundrel and then go check out some other stations like AUFM -bet you didn't know that Australia has a shitload of it's own great Underground and Alternative music? Neither did I, this station is pretty kick-ass and I haven't heard about %95 of it.
   The truth is out there, it is just a little harder to find, and there is more to sift through, but the internet was invented to help free the World, and nothing is more free than choice.
   Personally, I plan on doing this until I can't physically do it anymore. It is my heart and my soul, someday it will be my living as well, even now, I hope that my love shines through. I am doing this as much for you as for myself.

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