Thursday, October 05, 2006

About music and life

As I whip up this little entry between projects, I am listening in to 89.3 The Current. If you know me personally or have followed this blog since its inception, music has been a recurring topic. I have written about the demise of heritage adn influential alternative radio stations such as WHFS in D.C. and KSYY in Oklahoma City. I felt emotions of loss as I listened to the final couple hours of the original WOXY 97X from suburban Cincinatti, Ohio in 2004. I mentioned WOXY again recently as their internet-only station shut down a couple weeks back.

I have also mourned the demise and celebrated the rebirth of great music right here in the Twin Cities. Having missed out on the now-infamous REV-105 but being able to catch its lesser incarnations as both ZONE 105 and most recently as the one-day-away-from-death Drive 105 I consider myself to be lucky. It's mainstream music without a doubt but it is also both alternative music to some and definitely an alternative to everything else on the airwaves locally in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

I celebrated again in early 2005 when 'The Current' was brought to life by Minnesota Public Radio. They did, after all, manage to bring back the closest incarnation of the legendary REV-105 to date complete with former REV jocks Mary Lucia and Mark Wheat. Lucia is my kind of woman, I bet we could hang out tossing back cans of cheap beer and shooting the breeze for hours. She does have some of the quirkiest musical tastes publically voiced by any Twin Cities DJ and seems to derive pleasure from playing obscure rap tracks along side of guilty pleasures such as 'The Darkness' from time to time on her show.

The latest addition to 'The Current' is former 97X WOXY DJ Barb Abney. She's currently tackling late mornings as I give her my first listen. So far she's called the nation's bluff about cold weather in Minnesota. After all, they have winters in Ohio too.

Music, though, is one of those things that won't go away for me. I recenly figured out where all that money earned from hard work throughout my teen years and time spent slavign away at my first two 'real' jobs went. It fed my music addiction. My horribly unrefined musical tastes from my first decade as a music consumer are shamefully on display in my home office. While I still occassionally spin a few of those tunes, they now reside either in iTunes or on my white iPod. Gone are the days when the passenger seat of my car is taken up by ahefty CD carrying case.

Not gone, though, are the days of music. Some will say that the corruption of the radio industry (it is one now) has ruined both radio and music. I say that you just need to dig a bit deeper and stop listening to others.

I will admit that my friends, one or two in particular, have been immense influences on my tastes and that those tastes have led, to a certain extent, to who I am today. They weren't into the 'mainstream'. Throughout my formidable years, I spent time with these friends. I found out what I liked and what they liked, we found common ground. A good portion of that common ground, at the time, revolved around music. We listened to CDs, we attended concerts, listened to the radio, talked about the lyrics, used them as ways to express current emotions and used the songs as ways to flag memories in our lives. (I still remember the period of our lives flanked by 'Fastball' and 'Oasis') We dug deeper.

I hold those memories dear to my heart. I always will. I will, though, continue to forge ahead with free expression and develop newer versions of my current self complete with the bizarre and lengthy ramblings here, music that few others seem to find listenable and I will share it with the world.

I never have followed the herd and that statement rings true more now than ever.

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