1.25.2004

Audio Irritation

(Lowering rose-tinted glasses, and warning you that I am one of those snarly hoardy ferret types when it comes to things I perceive as mine mine mine.)

I really miss the rich schizoid variety of early-80's New Wave radio. My two older brothers imprinted on the very firstest Elvis Costello, Oingo Boingo, Talking Heads, (English) Beat, Brian Eno, etc., and filled our house with these tunes all day long. I was thereby preemptively rescued from the feathered-hair mindlessness of Rush, Journey, or Van Halen.

I spent seventh grade (81/82) loping around in my knock-off designer jeans and sparkly-rainbow decal shirts, sporting my Devo or Oingo Boingo buttons (which I still have!), and generally being considered an extraordinary dork. My status never changed, but by the following year everyone who'd spent the summer crooning "Don't Stop Believing" had somehow been converted to the New Wave I'd been weaned on, and now I was just one of the crowd. It pissed me off. That shit was mine! Ever since, I can't deal with what I perceive as popular music. Won't have it in my house.

Anyhow, back to radio. Even though I no longer trusted them once they began playing Talk Talk, I sort of miss the lamer alternative stations that were broadcasting between 1985 and 1996. They still played enough decent singles that I didn't have to buy the albums, and could use my paper route or dog grooming or teaching assistant or producer wages to slog through the used music bins instead.

Then, in 1996, commercial alternative radio really tanked. "Alternative" radio is no longer a place to find anything new--rather, it's where you go if derive daily comfort from License to Ill, Nirvana, Everclear, Siamese Dream, and howlingly bad payola props like Marooon 5.

Still, I do listen to the two or three local crappy stations from time to time, mostly because I am negligent about rotating my car's CD selection, NPR is often inappropriate for the kids, and there's only so much big band, jazz, or classical I can tolerate. (Plus even I can't resist Coldplay's Clocks--it lodged in my brain during a particularly dark time, and now it has the power to snap me out of that funk, if only for ~3 minutes.)

So imagine my revulsion and disgust in hearing three songs that are particularly dear to me on not one but several of these stations this week. The first is Gary Jules' version of Mad World. A song released on the Donnie Darko soundtrack almost two years ago, you slow-witted fuckers! Why weren't you listening to it then? This is the real heart-ripper, as this song has, for me, the same medicinal properties as Clocks. The second is Protection by Massive Attack. Also a tonic. An almost ten-year-old tonic. Gaah! The third is one of the songs from The Postal Service. Goddammit. I love this album. Mine mine mine! Not yours! Piss off!

>click< (Sound of commercial alternative radio being turned off, permanently.)

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