Tuesday, March 11, 2008

airwaves dream

i've been a college radio junkie since my early teens, owed in part to my dad. this saved me from the morass that was an especially dark period of corporate rock radio at a time when limp bizkit, boy bands, and sum 41 ruled the airwaves. when 311 was about as good as it got.

so my dad and i would drive down to case to get my braces done and i would skip school for the day (my freshman year of high school was not kind to me) and we'd drive around cleveland listening to any combination of wcsb, wruw, wjcu, and a heavy dosage of classic rock thrown in for good measure. we'd listen to the conspiracy theories and black flag on 'domestic terrorism' and shows that played psychedelic mexican garage bands that no one's ever heard of, while driving around the east side exploring coventry, trying to find the home he grew up in off ansel road, taking the marginal roads along the lake.

when i couldn't sleep in high school i would listen to shows like 'music to break things by' 'secret ions' or 'sergio van lukenstein's unjustified power trip' on my headphones late at night, falling asleep to fugazi, the jam, burning airlines, mission of burma. my sister and i would dance to arabic pop music on saturday nights, i developed a taste for sounds i'd never been exposed to otherwise: african pop. early jamaican reggae and dub, vintage blues and soul cuts, garage punk from behind the iron curtain.

people ask me what i would play if i had a show, and the late great joe strummer sums it up pretty well, i think.

Ragga, Bhangra, two-step Tanga
Mini-cab radio, music on the go
Um, surfbeat, backbeat, frontbeat, backseat
There's a bunch of players and they're really letting go
We got, Brit pop, hip hop, rockabilly, Lindy hop
Gaelic heavy metal fans fighting in the road
Ah, Sunday boozers for chewing gum users
They got a crazy D.J. and she's really letting go


Anonymous said...

Great post. I still romanticize many of those college radio shows.


adam said...

thanks for the kind words!

adam (MTBTB)