Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Radio: A Sound Salvation

I figured Elvis Costello's Radio Radio lyrics were a good title for this blog. Costello's song addressed everything that was wrong with radio. Let's face it - not much has changed on that front. They play what they get paid to play - thus the fall of the late, great local LA/OC station Indie 103.1 from the airwaves. (They wouldn't bow to the man!) Luckily, we are living in the internet age! Indie 103.1 is still living and thriving on the world wide web, along with another local gem I discovered recently.

This past weekend, Blythe, Jen and I made the pleasant drive down the coast to our friendly southern neighbor, San Diego. San Diego's great by the way. Isn't it? It's like the cleaner, friendlier LA; The perfect blend of a crappy little beach town and the big city life... I digress. Our friends in The Union Line (a great local OC band) were playing a show around National City at an online radio station called X1FM. And unlike the sketchy, dark National City business complex the station resides in, the station is quite the antithesis, with a HQ that is filled with legit radio equipment, multiple studios, a stage/mini venue for broadcasting live performances, a green screen and all the lights and cameras necessary for their morning news program, not to mention amazing graphics and art covering every wall.

When you head to their website you are greeted by one of the three station DJs shamelessy head-bobbing and lip-synching to the music. The DJs are on a live video feed all day like an MTV version of EdTV. Just when you're starting to feel like a voyeur, the live feed is interrupted for a music video or two. (Save the music videos!) You can also find interviews, live performance videos, and in-studio sessions. And they play great music! Here is an example of the last 10 songs we just listened to while banging out graphics here in the office:

1. A Perfect Circle - Judith
2. Tegan & Sara - Hell
3. U2 - Some Days Are Better Than Others
4. Wolfmother - New Moon Rising
5. Spoon - The Underdog
6. Nirvana - Heart-Shaped Box
7. Voivod - Astronomy Domine
8. Beck - Girl
9. Pearl Jam - Got Some
10. Beastie Boys - So What'cha Want

Great mix isn't it? Hard, soft, old, new, punk, alternative - awesome.

[Fig. 1: X1FM sticker]

Check their website to see who will be perfoming live on upcoming fridays in studio. And don't forget to pick up one of these awesome stickers [Fig. 1] while you're there. They also gave us all free official X1FM chapstick. Doesn't it just keep getting better and better!? Check it out - you know you want to.

[Fig. 2: If you haven't seen Miracle yet, rent it. It's about the 1980's US Olympic Hockey Team and it's Kurt Russel at his best! Well excepting Big Trouble In Little China. That movie rocks.]

Also in other news: I've recently gotten very into Ducks hockey. This generation's Broadstreet Bullies have always been a dark horse, and there's nothing I love more than rooting for the underdog. We actually even got to interview Ducks enforcer George Parros (read it here), who's great attitude and witty banter made me love the team even more. It's early yet in the season, and last week's win against the Canucks gives me hope that there's an end to this dark tunnel; but I fear that rooting for the Ducks this season is going to be one heartbreak after another. My Raider-fan of a friend described it perfectly this weekend when we went down to see the Raiders play the Chargers. The Raiders put up a suprising fight, but the Chargers overcame as was expected. So I turned to my friend and asked, "Is it ever hard to watch?" To which my friend sighed, with head hung low, "It's like the wound that just won't heal." I feel your pain. But let's all remember the 1980 US Olympic Hockey Team [Fig. 2]. A win is so much sweeter when there are naysayers and doubters to prove wrong. Go Ducks!

- Amy
On my iPod: Billy Dean's "We Just Disagree" (Do you guys remember this song!?)

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