Wednesday, December 3, 2008

there goes the last dj, who plays what he wants to play...

I know I shouldn't admit this as a devotee of all things college radio, but I have the local "K-Rock" and all three classic rock stations preset on my car as well, in case I don't want to listen to ambient drone, macedonian pop, or speed metal. Besides, being a native of the North Coast, I still love my classic rock and the Gen-X equivalent thereof. Despite my excursions into other sonic territory, these are where my roots are. In my universe, you can't hear "Evenflow," "When the Levee Breaks," or anything by Soul Coughing too many times.

But I felt a small sense of loss, when I hit 92.3 and realize they don't have DJs anymore, because as corporate as the station is, they actually seemed to have some personality or something, and in some cases you got a sense of what they were into, as opposed to what was on the playlist. The generic voiceover format is disconcerting, as is the sudden influx of blandness (whether or not this is better than 20-year-olds with bad hair and who were signed by pete wentz is to be debated). I also think about how these people lost their jobs too. I know times are tough, but sheesh.

I keep hearing the claims of terrestrial radio being a dying format and maybe for some it is, at least the segment of the population that has satellite radio or the Internet or their iPod but for me and probably others, but for those of us with a tape player and some presets on their dial, it's still a big thing. I've got my personalities that I enjoy, and I appreciate the eclecticism of views and styles that I get exposed to, whether it's gamelan orchestras, Rastafarian philosophy, obscure garage rock gems, Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonations, or call-in shows where people talk about neighborhood community service, their favorite haunted Ohio spots, or the local hip-hop scene.

But then again, this is coming from someone who currently does not own her own computer, laments that she can't find blank cassette tapes anywhere, and gave in to having a cell phone only because it was cheaper than having a land line in her given situation...

4 comments:

Randal Graves said...

No DJs? Really? I know I'm the 73,444,193rd person to say this, but funny how the electrons have shortened distances and brought us technically closer, yet any sense of a tangible closeness, à la the classic DJ, is dying. Everything's so damn ephemeral, says the guy typing on the internets.

Jesse Mendez said...

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susan said...

It might not be easy to find on a regular car radio dial but if you haven't listened to WFMU now might be a good time. They were originally a NY college FM station whose college moved away but they didn't.

I do understand the problem with losing the purely local connection though. I don't listen to radio much anymore since the playlists got nationalized and our ipod collection got huge.

ps - followed Randal's link.

thatgirl said...

Randal, the automaticness bothers me and I'm not sure why. It doesn't feel like something you can call up and request. I guess I like thinking there's an actual human being up there, you know? I think it bothers me more now that I am the person in the studio too.

Susan, thanks for the tip! I read their blog on a regular basis, but I haven't actually listened to the station itself. Hopefully when I get a computer and Internet at the house I'll check it out.