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I'ma write a little letter, gonna mail it to my local DJ...
February 27, 2002 3:57 PM   Subscribe

I'ma write a little letter, gonna mail it to my local DJ... Don't bother they're writing their own. Books, rather, but writing just the same. If, like me, you can remember when the radio was a magic box full of surprises rather than boredom, you'll want to read IndyWeek's reveiws of these two books by disc jockey's:college and pirate radio stalwart Jesse Walker and Richard Neer of the legendary WNEW-FM in NYC, the station that ignited my love affair with rock and roll(I still harbor pipedreams of hosting a show with Scott Muni.) These tomes may be partially exercises in nostalgia, but they may also hold clues on how to recapture what radio once was.
posted by jonmc (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Very interesting - wonder how many of the stations Walker mentions are still going, worth listening to and online.

Good radio comes from real people playing their own unflinching choice of real music, as if it was the most important thing in the world. You have to care and believe if you don't do it then good music may die forever. And it's so much fun. Long before nobody knew you were a dog on the Internet...

Cheers, jonmc!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:25 PM on February 27, 2002


The Internet may be our only hope for rekindling the spirit of Walker's days or even the days of WNEW. Witness what y2karl's up to.
These days we seem stuck with two choices, mindless "classic rock" repetition that kills great songs thru overplay or alternately, college radio obsurantism-"We will now play 3 hours of oscure folk music by obscure folk..."
I remeber listening to Scott Muni and Pete Fornatale of WNEW and hearing people like Captain Beefheart and John Prine for the first time and being inspired to dig thru the racks at goodwill looking for these mysterious records that have led me down so many interesting paths.
What we need is a station that'll play Ice Cube folloed by Uncle Dave Macon followed by Quicksilver Messenger Service followed by Manowar followed by Harry Partch, if you get my drift.
The only place where such a station would be financially supportable would be the internet, but so far all we've gotten(with a few exceptions) is the same old crap.
With the recent rulings about streamed music, i don't know how much hope we should hold out.
posted by jonmc at 6:47 PM on February 27, 2002


The Internet may be our only hope for rekindling the spirit of Walker's days or even the days of WNEW. Witness what y2karl's up to.
These days we seem stuck with two choices, mindless "classic rock" repetition that kills great songs thru overplay or alternately, college radio obsurantism-"We will now play 3 hours of oscure folk music by obscure folk..."
I remeber listening to Scott Muni and Pete Fornatale of WNEW and hearing people like Captain Beefheart and John Prine for the first time and being inspired to dig thru the racks at goodwill looking for these mysterious records that have led me down so many interesting paths.
What we need is a station that'll play Ice Cube folloed by Uncle Dave Macon followed by Quicksilver Messenger Service followed by Manowar followed by Harry Partch, if you get my drift.
The only place where such a station would be financially supportable would be the internet, but so far all we've gotten(with a few exceptions) is the same old crap.
With the recent rulings about streamed music, i don't know how much hope we should hold out.
posted by jonmc at 6:48 PM on February 27, 2002


Jonmc: thank you for this post. WNEW-fm was such a part of my high school years (c.f. evil WPLJ). And that was so long ago, I really can't remember how great it was--only that it was great. I can't remember the last time I cared about music, or music radio. Sure, it's been 20 years since I was a teenager, but it's not only that.

Best placebo: Vin Scelsa on WFUV on Saturday nights....
posted by ParisParamus at 7:08 PM on February 27, 2002


Any Metafilterians from Boston? I'm just wondering if WBCN is still playing 360 degrees of Rock n Roll like they did up until the 1980s at least...

FM Radio used to be the fashion runway where tom'w great music first got rolled out for consideration.

The good news is that Clearstation is hemorrhaging cash like a dotcom. The bad news is that the FCC is about to make it OK for a few companies to own everything.

Not that it matters in the long run. With the net going wireless any day now, we'll all be listening to streaming pirate net radio and gov't sanctioned music sources will go the way of dinosaurs and Tower Records.
posted by BentPenguin at 7:09 PM on February 27, 2002


KCRW in Los Angles is a phenomenal station, especially weeknights past 8pm and on the weekends. During the day it's an NPR station. At night, it's America's best electronic/dance/downtempo radio station.
posted by gen at 5:36 AM on February 28, 2002


Any Metafilterians from Boston?
here, here. unfortunately wbcn went down the tubes a while ago -- kicked chucka-lucka-dera off the air in favour of some moron named stern, and the rest of the radio lineup is nothing to write home about. little, if any, local rock, none of which infiltrates the main playlist (god forbid!), and the rest of the time the music can best be described as "frat rock".

of course, wfnx is hardly better. back in the 80s/grunge years their playlist was different from anything else on the dial, but what exactly is limp bizkit an alternative to?

we now return you to your regularly scheduled thread...
posted by pxe2000 at 5:42 AM on February 28, 2002


what song is the intro to this post from?
posted by ParisParamus at 6:27 AM on February 28, 2002


Paris- "Roll Over Beethoven" by Chuck Berry.
posted by jonmc at 1:14 PM on February 28, 2002


Why, jonmc, until I checked my stat counter, I had no idea...::blush:: Thank god, I finally have a new show up this week.
posted by y2karl at 2:44 PM on March 1, 2002


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