Category: radio

sad news

The Detroit Free Press:

February 7, 2005, 10:15 AM

DETROIT (AP) — Karl Haas, who brought classical music to millions of daily listeners through his syndicated radio program, “Adventures in Good Music,” has died, according to the station that produced his program.

Karl Haas was a regular guest at my family’s dinner table when I was young. Usually when we’d just finished eating, just after clearing the plates, we’d sit at the table and the opening chords of his show’s theme would begin to play. There’d be a moment when the three of us would fall silent and just listen.

satellite radio, and why it is not good

Tyler Cowen, over at Marginal Revolution, divides radio listeners into two camps: A – those who only want to hear music from their large stock of familiar/favorite songs and B – those who only want to hear music from their small stock of familiar/favorite songs.

If this is a true generalization, it explains to me fully why I have absolutely no interest in satellite radio. In Ohio, growing up, we had a Top-40 station, and then a Top-40 station for people who didn’t like music by black people. Their slogan was “All of today’s best music, with none of the rap”. Satellite radio is this impulse taken to the extreme — how else could you explain a station on XM that is “all about the most important and well known songs in the history of Alternative Music.” Clearly, that’s a sack of horseshit, right?

For me, there are only two reasons to listen to music on the radio, of any type. First, to be exposed to something new, different, or interesting. Second, and an orthogonal point, is to be exposed to something unpleasant, jarring, ugly, or disheartening. What is the point of listening to a classic rock station if they’re never going to play any Eagles? You need to be punished every now and again, when you listen to the radio. For every Whole Lotta Love, there has to be a D’yer Mak’er.

Listening to the radio in the car — if everything that came on was something you wanted to hear, you’d never get to yell “CHRIST!” and almost crash the car trying to avoid the latest band from a British isle that someone, somewhere, thinks is the new Radiohead. And, you’d never get to change channels and catch the last 30 seconds of whatever mischief Pharrell Williams has cooked up for you this month, leaving you with an unreachable itch you’ll spend the next several hours channel-hopping trying to scratch.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go slip some Mariah Carey onto my girlfriend’s iPod.

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