If you have any kind of commute in the Los Angeles area at all, and spend any part of that commute listening to old-school FM radio — and I’m guilty on both counts, especially in the morning, when I want to be plugged into the universe — then you’ve probably noticed Indie 103.1.
In this day and age, Indie 103.1 was a small miracle: a radio station that was dedicated — mostly — to independent rock-oriented music, programmed outside of the normal boundaries. It was always worth a spin to see what they were broadcasting.
But now — according to their website — they’re leaving the airwaves, and will continue as an internet-only radio station.
“Certain songs,” Craig Finn sang on The Hold Steady Almost Killed Me, “they get scratched into our souls.” That’s the basis of “Certain Songs:” a look at the songs that have done just that. These aren’t necessarily our favorite songs or the songs that we think are the best, but rather songs that — every single time we hear them — instantly transport us back to a place and time in which that song is forever intertwined. This is one of the reasons we so hate the RIAA’s attempted stranglehold on the dissemination of music: you never know where that next certain song is going to come from.
Sometimes the things that totally change your life happen so randomly as to be almost impossible.
Probably usually, actually, which is why you can never think too much about them. In any event, the first great thing to happen to me as an “adult,” was getting involved with KFSR, the Fresno State radio station.
And it happened because Tim made friends with a guy while we were both a Fresno City College.
At the time, Tim and I had only been out of high school for a few months, and we were going to City — or at least I was — because there was really no plan for adulthood besides drinking as much beer and buying as many records and seeing as many concerts as was humanly possible before actual responsibilities started creeping in.
Does playing someone’s music on the radio hurt them or help them? And is it a “form of piracy”?
I’m a lifelong radio listener. Not like I once was, of course, but I still listen, especially during my morning commute. A couple of weeks ago I happened to hear “The Step and The Walk” by The Duke Spirit on Indie 103.1, and fell instantly in love with it. So, is that a good thing or bad thing for The Duke Spirit?
A logical person would say that it’s a good thing for the artist. Right? I’d never heard of them, and now I have.
Of course, as we’ve seen many times before, the Recording Industry is not made up of logical persons. As a matter of fact, not only do they see no benefit in their artists being played on the radio, they want compensation.
Otherwise, “it’s a form of piracy,” and any argument that playing music is a form of promotion is a “red herring.”
Those aren’t my words, but rather the words of a spokesperson for a recording industry umbrella group with the hilarious name of musicFIRST.
Kassia is fond of saying that around ‘Loper HQ, April Fools isn’t a day, it’s a season. However, this year, real life has gotten in the way, so in honor of that, I’ve decided to point out a few actual real things that are far more absurd than most of the jokes you’ll see today.
Let’s begin, shall we.
- Continuing Record Company Cluelessness About the 21st Century
Last week, there was an article in Entertainment Weekly about the rush-release of the new Gnarls Barkley album. Apparently, the fact that it leaked online a few weeks early caught Atlantic records by surprise.
You know how sometimes you hear an album — or even a song — for the first time, and without even realizing it, by the time it’s over, your whole perception of the world has forever been changed?
That was what hearing The Clash for the very first time did to me. It was late 1978, I was a junior in at San Joaquin Memorial High School in Fresno, California, and I pretty much liked what other white, suburban males my age liked: Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Aerosmith, Yes, etc.
But, something had happened: about a year before, I’d started reading rock magazines — Circus, Rolling Stone and most especially, CREEM. And those rock magazines were all buzzing to various degrees about something called “Punk Rock.” Punk seemed strange and weird, and it was very much unheard on Fresno radio. So even though the Sex Pistols had already crashed and burned on American soil, I actually hadn’t heard a note of their music.
But I had heard The Cars, and their debut album was the very first punk-associated thing I ever bought. But of course, The Cars were really “new wave,” which was a totally different head, man, so I finally took the Punk plunge with Rocket to Russia by the Ramones and Marquee Moon by Television. Those are still two of my favorite records, and they just whetted my appetite for more.