Friday, August 30, 2013

The humble cassette

I think I enjoyed the comments here as much as the article. Had me laughing more than once. Fond memories of the cassette tape (which I just ditched myself only a few weeks ago) but we don't really need it to make any sort of comeback.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Not to detract from the terrific indie music playlist discussion.....(I have finally figured out how to access sniggering please) , but this article really nails a topic much of my relates to the arts in general, but it does have a music component and in fact could entirely be read about one of the problems w music today, so I think it qualifies to be read here...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Terrific job on the indie list there Brian and Kyle.  I gave the 26 tracks my full attention this morning.  Perfect mix of bands I don't know but should (The Love Language, Kitchen's Floor, Alexander), some I do but songs are new to me (Tricky), some artists I'll never dig (Laura Veirs, Kendrick Lamar) and a sprinkling of songs that make you go a-ha right in the wheelhouse (Richard and Linda Thompson, Crystal Castles).  Never less than interesting which is where too much radio goes wayward and definitely the case with 88.1.  How many fucking times do I need to hear Metric who haven't been cutting edge in almost a decade.

I have taken the liberty of adding 14 "new" tracks bringing the playlist up to a nice round 40.

I think the idea of keeping this thing organic is a great one.  Sort of supplements the CD club in some sense.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Radio that doesn't suck

Thought this was interesting. Like me, this person complained about the sad state of radio. Unlike me, he did something about it. Site is here. Kind of timely, since recent posts here about Indie 88 have complained about the format that plays the same song thrice daily, instead of an eclectic mix. Would be interesting to compare the two, side by side, for a few days to see if we truly like the eclecticism or if that too gets annoying.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Yo Derek!  Do you not owe some follow up riposte to the lusty 26-song indy extravaganza constructed by metab's K and B?  Perhaps a pile on of 10 equally cool trax (though, obviously difficile)?  Or at the very least a dismissive "does not merit" kinda thing?  What about the rest of you lot?

Friday, August 09, 2013

Really? Stuart? My bad. Guess I was confused because his last email was so dismissive of the station. He fell out of love so quickly.
Brian, your tracks on the Rdio list are stellar, btw.
Although i make my living off of taking credit where credit is not due, Kyle, i must in this case correct you and attribute the initial e-mail to Stuart. 

Mixed Bag Verdict

Love the enthusiasm, initiative, Bri. Be the change you want to see in the world, etc.... I just subscribed to your playlist on Rdio and will begin listening shortly.

I haven't listened much to the indie88 station beyond the first couple of hours after receiving the email from Marc Stuart. I don't drive much and usually just stream music at home rather than turn to the radio. However, tuning into the first few hours online last week were a mixed bag. Some interesting bands I'd never expect to hear on radio were featured, which was encouraging, followed by a bunch of fairly mainstream alternative music from the 80s and 90s (Bowie’s ‘I’m afraid of Americans’, Talking Heads’ ‘Burning Down the House’) which was less so.

I just took a look at some of the songs played within a given hour (you can search back through previous playlists) and it continues this trend:

-July Talk - Paper Girl
-Buffalo Soldier – Bob Marley
-Default – Django Django
-Would That Not Be Nice – Divine Fits
-Make it Wit Chu – Queens of the Stone Age
-The Ghost Inside – Broken Bells

Not sure that any of these are ground breaking but I certainly have never heard at least three of those on the radio dial before, at least in Toronto. Another quick hourly scan showed new music from Austra, an alt-j song but also Coldplay. Verdict: still a mixed bag.

I suspect one of the reasons for the ‘Indie Alternative’ branding is that they are trying to cast a wide net for their audience, attempting to appeal to those who want to be edgy and hear new things but want the comfort of a Killers or Oasis song every once in awhile. I’d prefer more straight up indie, as well as music that, Bob Marley in the example above aside, isn’t so decidedly white.

Even the good satellite stations and public radio stations in the US will repeat newer songs throughout the day. I think the goal is to familiarize the audience with the music to build some interest in it. I guess I’m willing to cut it some more slack on the here because a lot of these bands will never get exposure to listeners on the radio dial and it may take some repetition and familiarity to win over new converts. But it still grates a bit.

Btw...I have added tracks 17-26 to Brian's Rdio Playlist. 

Indy Radio!

You know, I've always thought (and expounded on this point on many occasions) that the Metabeats crowd should have entered the fray of public music broadcast, or criticism, or commerce.  Who was better positioned out there to launch a cool record store, set up a thoughtful review site, or hell even backstop a great radio station?   If there's something missing "out there" that you are passionate about, go and do it yourself.  Perhaps that ship sailed many years ago for us, but I know it would have been worthwhile.

So Derek I'll take you up on your idea of programming a few songs for an Indy station - quite a fun notion.  I'll pop the set list up on Rdio so you folks can add to it....and presto we'll have a cutting edge cool list.  The point begin stuff you don't hear too much or at all in the mainstream.  Perhaps we refresh every few weeks.

I'll do primarily new / contemporary, with a few older (indy! lol) mixed in.   For Mike G (i.e. not on Rdio, here are the first few songs....Mike, time to get on Rdio!).

The Evens - King of Kings
If We Have the Will - Grant Hart
Anthem - King Tuff
Banbury Grove - Hong Kong in the 60's
Shallows - the Mallard
Once Before - The Remains
Sun Song - Laura Veirs
Jackyl - True Widow
I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight - Richard and Linda T
Calm Down - Love Language
Zhi Yuan De Ren - Carsick Cars
Lifeboats - Soft Swells
Sandy - Jackson Scott
Lander - Kitchen's Floor
Five Hundred Heartbeats - Le Futur Pompiste
All Come To Meet Her - Skip Spence


Thursday, August 08, 2013

Agreed, Derek. 

I feel a little bit like I was hit with a sucker punch.  I first tuned in to Alan Cross' "Throne of Glory" set (and who the hell thought up that moniker?) that was outstanding.  A set of songs, many of which i had never heard before strung together along with some meaningful banter and amusing anecdotes by someone, like him or not, who has a great radio voice and is articulate, insightful, well informed and, if you ask me, plain entertaining.  That's what i like about radio; human interaction, and 88.1 has none.

I also caught Adam Vancouverdon's guest set.  I think it's a nice idea and wish that that was the format of the station to three hour sets by people with musical taste, be it to my liking or not.  Radio should have personality.  That's what i liked about CKLN.  Despite it's problems and un-professionalism, no DJ was on the air for more than 3hrs a week and that in part kept it fresh, if at times chaotic.

As for labels of what we call it, be it alt or indie or whathaveyou, i don't really care what you call it.   Make it good good music, don't over-commercialize it and and don't repeat.  There is SO much good music out there and a dearth of open airwaves that host it that i wonder why there is a need to fall into the same old formats.  I was wondering if the CRTC regs and royalties have something to do with it.  I am under the impression that on of the reasons that CKLN got their licence yanked was that year after year, on air personalities failed to properly log and report set lists hard can it be though?  (and yes i know this is a completely different beast)

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Indie Music time to put it to rest?

I'll admit that I was excited for a few minutes last week when the new radio station, indie 88.1 as they like to call themselves, hit the airwaves. I had read a very puffy piece on them in the Star in the lead-up to their launch and despite my built-in cynicism was willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

More fool me I suppose. Driving for work over the last couple of days I have popped in and out on the station and despite very early initial promise they have now settled in to the same old routine that pretty much all radio stations seem to follow. Why do I need to hear the same song off the "great new album" by ______ (fill in the blank) over and over and over again. In total I have probably devoted about 90-120 minutes of my time listening to this station and somehow I have heard the new Arctic Monkey's single and "Shut Up" by the Savages 3 times each. Why?? Is it too hard for the programmer to push the random play button. And exactly how do the Killers, Arcade Fire and David Bowie ("Modern Love" yikes!) qualify as independent music? I'll stick to XM35 if I want any sort of dose of decent pop/rock music.

And if anyone out there is reading this I'm curious to hear what you would expect from a station that dubs itself as an indie alternative (2 words that seem to have lost all meaning a long time ago). In other words what would have made you happy to tune in to something like 88.1 and keep you there especially in a musical world where so much is at our fingertips.

Or to put it in yet another light if you had 60 minutes of their airtime and could play any 10-15 songs of your choice what would you spin to grab everyone's attention?