The best week to listen to the radio this year.
January 2, 2003 8:20 AM   Subscribe

The best week to listen to the radio this year. For six days, an alternative radio station plays the 2003 most requested songs in their 13-year history.
Listen* to an eclectic, no-repeat marathon of music from acts like:
They Might Be Giants, Radiohead, Pere Ubu, Elvis Costello, Bowie, U2, Bob Mould, Chris Whitley, The Dream Warriors, Guided by Voices, The Ass Ponies, Prince, Social D, Texas, PIL, Royal Crescent Mob, The Specials, Patti Smith, The Pixies, The Pogues,The Beastie Boys, Gorillaz, Frank Black, Pete Yorn, Scapegoat Wax, and Weezer.
*Windows Media Format. I've tried the stream on both Mac and Windows. The stream provider asks for email, age, gender, and zip code and plays 2 minutes of commercials at the beginning of the stream, but that's a small price for 150 hours of music.
posted by putzface_dickman (45 comments total)
Too bad my work computer doesn't have a sound card :( For those that wish to cut to the chase, here's the top 25.
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:26 AM on January 2, 2003

Ufez, that's last year's list I posted for illustration, and to not lead off with a stream, but this year's list won't be posted until the end of the countdown. For me, the top of the list is less interesting than the end and middle. The top is close to what you'd expect, but the rest is all over the place.
posted by putzface_dickman at 8:37 AM on January 2, 2003

Listening now. Thanks, pd.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:41 AM on January 2, 2003

there's also read-out ads by the presenter between songs, but i'm still listening... thanks (currently the pretenders - i'll be able to listen to this again on vinyl when my new cartridge arrives next week!)
posted by andrew cooke at 8:41 AM on January 2, 2003

Funny that in NYC CD101 is the worst commercial radio station EVER.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:48 AM on January 2, 2003

I wish their little pop-up window player displayed the name of the song/artist, since I don't know any of them.
posted by rushmc at 8:53 AM on January 2, 2003

hehhe paris paramus -- i get sympathetic root canal pain at the very mention of the NYC version.
posted by condour75 at 8:56 AM on January 2, 2003

just alternative rock is hardly eclectic.

outsider music was interesting until it became a dead horse of discussion here.
if you want to talk indie why don't you go to ilikeamericanmusic (or go back to high school).
posted by the aloha at 8:58 AM on January 2, 2003

i agree with the aloha. there is no room at metafilter for anyone's tastes or opinions except his (and mine)!
posted by dobbs at 9:16 AM on January 2, 2003


the italics on the 'was' really help differentiate how cool you are because you liked something when it was cool, rather than the brand that makes you cool cause you never liked something.

And nice Ad Hominem, btw, in the "high school" aside! Your syphilis-ridden goat-humping father would be proud..
posted by das_2099 at 9:34 AM on January 2, 2003

Well, it's not really that eclectic of a list, even if it's not all alternative. The Aloha was partially correct. It's "eclectic" from the stanpoint of a person of a certain age (late '20s to mid-'30s?) and background (white, middle class, college educated), who never deliberately turned his or her ears to parts lying outside his or her little world. It's a fairly insular little world too, even if it's maybe more open to outside influence and suggestion than others.
posted by raysmj at 9:37 AM on January 2, 2003

i get sympathetic root canal pain at the very mention of the NYC version.

Funny you put it that way, since I once described that station as "the dentist's drill in the waiting room." Be careful which dentist you choose. On the other hand, I wouldn't want this CD101.1 in to set the mood for my dental treatments, either: classical is probably the way to go.

(Less funny is the fact that I'm up for an endodentist vist NEXT WEEK.)

I'm very impressed with the level of fidelity now reaching my ears via this station, my dialup modem and WMP. Better than Realplayer, and probably better than Quicktime.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:39 AM on January 2, 2003

Yeah, lack of track names is annoying. I'm so used to only listening to MP3s and and CDs, I forgot this is the way its done on the radio...quality is suprisngly good over 56k, but browsing and listening at the same time isn't possible...
posted by Orange Goblin at 9:46 AM on January 2, 2003

Oh, 20s to early 30s. Not the decades, a la '20s. In any case, Prince was the non-alternative selection of choice for the typical college newspaper best-ofs in the '80s. Yesterday, the year 2003 began. Not that Prince sucks now, but . . .
posted by raysmj at 9:47 AM on January 2, 2003

MEFi music posts are among my favorites. They're always chock full of new music for me to discover, and while musical tastes are way out all over the place, rarely are they banal or mainstream.

So if the style snarks can hijack this thread, pwermit me then to ask you all for your best new musical discovery of 2002 ?

As for me? Cuban (born) jazz pianist Chucho Valdez. (not new, just new-to-me)
posted by BentPenguin at 9:55 AM on January 2, 2003

Orange Goblin: save long Web page downloads, its perfectly possible to do what you describe. At least on this iMac 233mhz.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:56 AM on January 2, 2003

Aha, but are you dealing with the wonder that is AOL?
posted by Orange Goblin at 10:09 AM on January 2, 2003

Aha, but are you dealing with the wonder that is AOL?

Yes. but not their horrid browser: IE 5.1
posted by ParisParamus at 10:15 AM on January 2, 2003

(added benefit to station: snow-friendly weather forecasts!)
posted by ParisParamus at 10:20 AM on January 2, 2003

By clicking on the above link, you will be listening to CD101 in full stereo at 32 kbps. In other words, this should sound really good!

32kbps does not "really good" sound make. From my set, it's more like exceptionally clear AM. But I liked hearing Joe Jackson's "I'm the Man" for the first time in years.
posted by alumshubby at 10:31 AM on January 2, 2003

If you want to just copy and paste the url into Windows Media Player, here it is:
(it should skip the opening commercials)
posted by pfuller at 10:54 AM on January 2, 2003

So if the style snarks can hijack this thread, pwermit me then to ask you all for your best new musical discovery of 2002 ?

the best music i "discovered" this year was the books, songs: ohia, Lambchop, ms. john soda, the constantines, cuff the duke, electric birds, thalia zadek, Detroit Cobras, the von bondies, bright eyes, m. ward, lift to experience, sonny rollins, hochenkeit, and the much talked about Interpol and Wilco. my vote for best label goes to three gut records, which released about a half dozen cds from various genres, everyone of them great and with beautiful packaging.
posted by dobbs at 11:05 AM on January 2, 2003

Oh, regarding my comment above, it causes pop ups whenever it plays the commercials between songs. sorry (stoopid wmp)
posted by pfuller at 11:21 AM on January 2, 2003

1)FPP should be read in the style of the k-tel pitchman.
2)the word eclectic was intended to signifiy the brand familiar to the segment of the MeFi demographic described so well by raysmj. A successful, if inaccurate, choice.
3)snarking harshes my mellow, except when it's funny.
posted by putzface_dickman at 11:31 AM on January 2, 2003

For those with slightly more obscure musical tastes, Otis Fodder has a nice project going for 2003: "For the entire year of 2003 (January 1st to December 31st) this page will feature one mp3 file (every day) to download. The content will be focused on musical pieces, but will also include spoken word. Listeners of the incredibly strange and outsider realm take note, for this is the majority of material that will be made available." I think this will be my new morning ritual. via sharpeworld
posted by snez at 11:51 AM on January 2, 2003

For those with slightly more obscure musical tastes..

You mean there's another kind here?
posted by BarneyFifesBullet at 12:13 PM on January 2, 2003

putzface_dickman: The thing is, I rather like Elvis Costello and Thievery Corporation, Fela Kuti, etc. I could unquestionably handle a life filled with the playlists at the show you linked, just as most "eclectic" Starbucks collections go down rather smoothly. But for various reasons, I don't see either the list or a Starbucks CD including selections from Millie Jackson's Caught Up very soon, or those Bobby "Blue" Bland records where he snorts. You'll never hear Tommy Roe's "Dizzy" thrown into the middle there, say. (Pauses.) Come to think of it, Ray Stevens after Thievery Corp. would be nice, followed by bubblegum pop and Nigerian funk or something. (Long pause.) Oh well. Maybe all Millie needs is inclusion in a Coen Brothers film.
posted by raysmj at 12:41 PM on January 2, 2003

OK - who emailed them and told them about this threaad?? I just heard the DJ mention that they were listed on MiFi :-)
posted by niteHawk at 1:03 PM on January 2, 2003

but what's the harm in enjoying a restricted range? doesn't it allow more depth? if you're listening to bubblegum pop and nigerian funk and everything inbetween, then surely you're just skimming the surface of all those genres?

or is the only objection the use of the word "eclectic"? that's not the impression i get from the tone used here and, if it is, seems as pointless as posts moaning about spelling errors.

[for the record, i enjoyed listening to that station and i don't own any nigerian funk, but i do stretch to dub under tracks from cuban artists (laswell), or algerian rai/hip-hop crossover (3eme oeil). so i'm not criticising any particular choice of music, just the nasty scoring-one-up tone that seems to be creeping in here]
posted by andrew cooke at 1:05 PM on January 2, 2003

maybe i shouldn't have italicized was... as i do enjoy some outsider quite a bit. as a usual lurker, it just got old seeing it come up every once in awhile. but not as old as people talking about how superb a band like wilco is. if you listen to music enough you will come across wilco at some point and make your decision then. if someone brings up a topic here that was already highlighted on, someone will post a reply in 10 minutes saying "we talked about this here", but not for indie rock and pancakes (i understand pancakes is a joke). why is that?

there isn't even room for my opinion when my head about myself is so big, dobbs. hahaaa.

raysmj said what i wanted to say in an elequent manner. i choose the troll route anytime i post here (not often) because it is a row to see the reactions of some of you people. oh and das, get it right: i am the one with syphilis. i got the std from your sister the time we had a three way with a goat.
posted by the aloha at 1:08 PM on January 2, 2003

Again, raysmj, I agree with your assessment of this list as not so eclectic, but I thought that the use of "eclectic", of "alternative", and the inclusion of several examples would indicate clearly what this was. The people who like the music in that range would listen, the rest would skip it.
The selling point for me is no-repeat for 6 days of music I like reasonably well. I'd never post this station in another week of the year and make a similar pitch. In the hours they play music, 9am-4pm EST, our local public radio station does play a range of music similar in breadth to that which you are advocating, or at least they used to. Find them at
posted by putzface_dickman at 1:09 PM on January 2, 2003

and yes, i wouldn't have said anything at all if it weren't for the word eclectic.
posted by the aloha at 1:09 PM on January 2, 2003

Possibly the best radio station in NYC. Click and listen. Or go to the archives and scroll to saturday and click on Vin Scelsa's "Idiots Delight" for a real treat.
posted by flatlander at 1:23 PM on January 2, 2003

andrew cooke: There is certainly no harm in listening to music of a certain limited range, as long as you don't mistake it for the Whole of Music. (If you scratch the surface here, in fact, you'll find a treasure trove of soul music knowledge, because I've spent plenty of time listening to and looking into it. You have no idea.) Still, The Aloha's snarky note interested me. Why? Because I grow a little weary of people claiming to be really open to the new and different, only to find out they're not at all interested in that. They're interested in their own little insular scene. They're probably more open than most people in such subcultures, though, which is exactly what I wrote.

In any case, to putzface_dickman: I was kind of joking around there. It doesn't bother me that I go to a folk festival and no one notices, say, Mavis Staples and family and everyone sits in heavy rain to hear Ralph Stanley, who was just as obscure to most as Mavis five years ago. Most people just aren't that into it. And sure, there are plenty of good songs on the linked list.
posted by raysmj at 1:26 PM on January 2, 2003

Vin Skelsa is unbelievably wonderful, just as he was in 1980. And 1990. And yet it's impossible to listen to his show without feeling melancholy, not just because he plays a lot of sad music, but because how rare, unique his show is, and what SHIT commercial FM broadcasting has become. Is there anyone old enough here to remember WNEW-fm circa 1978?
posted by ParisParamus at 1:42 PM on January 2, 2003

Scelsa. Sorry, Vin.
posted by ParisParamus at 1:42 PM on January 2, 2003

32 kbps? and this is 2003? argh.
posted by subpixel at 1:43 PM on January 2, 2003

WNEW-fm circa 1978?

How about WOR-FM, circa 1967?
posted by flatlander at 1:45 PM on January 2, 2003

I'm too old to be a musical elitist. And I'm not that old. Long live Mefi music posts.

When do we get tivo for the radio? Huh? Huh?
posted by mecran01 at 1:55 PM on January 2, 2003

32 kbps? and this is 2003? argh.

Yeah that sucks, but as the old rock lyric says, "Ya can't always get what you want...."
But they pump out 50,000 watts from the Bronx.
posted by flatlander at 2:00 PM on January 2, 2003

OK - who emailed them and told them about this threaad?? I just heard the DJ mention that they were listed on MiFi :-)

No doubt we're showing up in their referrer logs.

I went to OSU, so I've sampled CD101 firsthand: don't let their audience's requests fool you, the station is a cookie cutter "alternative" station.
posted by me3dia at 3:02 PM on January 2, 2003

those Bobby "Blue" Bland records where he snorts

raysmj, I believe that's called his "gargle". And Mavis Staples is obscure?
posted by timeistight at 3:55 PM on January 2, 2003

timeistight: To plenty of people (or at least the sort of people who are into Ralph now, thanks to the Coen Brothers), apparently so, although I'm sure plenty remember the name "The Staple Singers," considering that they hit the Top 10 a time or two. Still, I went to a Pops Staples Festival in the Miss. Delta once. The Staple Singers were there. Almost no one showed up. It was kinda sad.

Meantime, the Bland thingie does indeed register to most mortals as a snort, according to several sources. According to Muddy Waters biographer Robert Gordon, however, the man himself calls the whatchamcallit a squall.
posted by raysmj at 4:12 PM on January 2, 2003

Good lord, dobbs, I was beginning to think everyone had missed Cuff the Duke. I'll be checking out the rest of your list.
posted by hippugeek at 6:53 PM on January 2, 2003

I always used to enjoy WFMU way back when it was a college station. It does keep getting good ratings and such, but ever since the college it was attached to went bust, the nostalgia is gone.

These days, online, I listen to Blow Up Radio because it's run by a friend of mine. That, and it only plays NJ bands, so any band I discover and like will probably be playing near me some time soon.
posted by Karmakaze at 7:26 AM on January 3, 2003

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