Friday, June 27, 2008

New favorite radio station.

So last weekend was the Taste of Champaign-Urbana- despite a nearly complete lack of vegan options (I sampled some hummus and a samosa, which pretty much covered it), it was a pretty enjoyable afternoon out.

Something struck me as we wandered the business vendors though- at one tent, there was one radio company represented, with all of their stations' promotional vans behind them. You had the country station, the classic rock station, the "alternative" station, and the top 40 station. Across the lawn was the area's other major radio company, with their vans parked behind their tent as well- and you guessed it, there was the country station, the classic rock station, the "alternative" station, and the top 40 station. This seemed to me to be the most perfect illustration of why I hate commercial radio with a white hot passion.

To this end, I've been playing around with Pandora a lot lately. I've got an indie/shoegazer station, an early 90's college radio station and a Pixies-inspired rock station.

But one of the ones I've been working on the most is a station that combines some folk, some "no depression" country, some classic Cash/Williams country, and bluegrass. This is what I consider to be my "summer music"- it always reminds me of being at a really good festival, sitting on the grass somewhere. But it's a pain, because Pandora keeps trying to sneak some bullsh*t pop county in there. So it requires a lot of skipping and disapproval.

Fast forward to yesterday. I gave MEtC a ride to the airport in Bloomington, as she was headed off to the big ALA conference in Anaheim. And yeah, I do miss her already. :) Anyways, on the ride home, I was scanning the FM for something decent to listen to, since I was a good half hour out of the range of my normal C-U non-commercial stations. And then I happened upon something strange and wonderful. I happened upon WWHP.

At the exact moment I tuned in, they were playing the first half of Luther Wright & The Wrongs' Rebuild the Wall, a song for song bluegrass-y reinterpretation of Pink Floyd's The Wall, in its entirety. I was frankly a little stunned. What sort of station was this??? Well, it was exactly the station I'd been trying to program in Pandora, that's what. A country station whose idea of country was more Hank Williams and Hank Williams III than Garth Brooks and Brooks & Dunn. And for good measure, they throw in blues, bluegrass, folk and gospel. And all from a little old station in the middle of Farmer City, IL. What's not to love?

No comments: