Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The (often unintentional) brilliance of LA radio...

(Build your own three-penny radio here)

Coming from New York where the radio is still 99.98% unlistenable, LA radio is a near paradise of variety and adventurousness. OK yes, there's still a lot of crappola on the airwaves, but proportionately speaking, there is great stuff all over the dial. At almost any given hour of the day you will have to make some difficult listening choices. Almost crashed the car just now, trying to eat my delicious sandwich from Juices Fountain with one hand, and switching between Steve "Sex Pistol" Jone's "Jonesy's Jukebox" (103.1) and Terry Gross' "Fresh Air" (89.3) with the other.

I don't know any other city in the country where you can hear Steve Jones and Jah Wobble ramble on uninterrupted (in nearly indecipherable cockney accents) about Eastern Philosophy, US Canadian border politics, bass guitar action, and Dick Clark's cadaver-like qualities interspersed with generally great and obscure musical selections. But that's the obvious stuff. Start digging around the downtown end of the dial (anything left of KCRW) and you will find incredible shows all hours of the day spanning the entire history of recorded music. Then you get into the pirate radio stations such as Kill Radio (104.7) and another faintly audible new one (to me at least) located way down at the very lowest number there is (87.1?), where absolutely anything goes including a long segment I recently caught where someone was cleaning dishes and singing to themselves. The thing is, you gotta keep on your toes, because as soon as one great show ends a god-awful one starts up. It's like the architecture out here, no continuity, no gestalt, just fits and bursts of the extraordinary thrown in to the hodge-podge.

Sorry. Not enough time today to do justice to this topic. Will have to revisit it in depth soon. Let's visit the Duke.


Blogger speed_demon said...

What about satellite radio?

You get the shock jock there!

8:53 PM  
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