Music Consumption in the MP3 Era
Music Consumption in the MP3 Era

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Name: uao
Location: California

uao is also a contributor to Blogcritics.org, Rhapsody Radish. and FIQL.com.

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A Sampling of Articles, Reviews, and Essays:

Feel free to dig through the Deep Freeze for more, but stuff dated before mid-March 2005 is still formative and impressionistic, and not really worth the effort.

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I grew up reading Robert Christgau, Village Voice, and Lester Bangs, Creem, Punk, various others.

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Note: the copyrighted audio material on this site is for listening only, and is not downloadable. It is provided as illustrations to the articles, and to interest people in the legal purchase of these artists' material. Any copyright holder who would like their material removed should contact me, and I'll remove it.

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Wednesday, February 23, 2005
 

Things Go Better With Coke

Coca-Cola Machine decal (1966)


Today's installment is for the mp3/download/peer-to-peer/iPod users out there; it's been ages since we've addressed them directly.

A lot of people who have discovered the joys of digital music and randomplay function often make remarks like "it's like having my own radio station!" Which, it really is. You get the fun of never knowing what tune will come up next, just like with radio. You can even broadcast your iPod through a radio, or car stereo, which enhances the illusion.

The only thing missing are commercials, radio jingles, headline news, and disk jockeys.

Which probably suits the average listener just fine. But the abnormal listener, like me, might like to dress things up a little to make that radio illusion even stronger.

File sharing networks are full of interesting radio bits to add to your rotation. When your collection gets very large, past the first few thousand tracks, the random classic advertisement, or station ID break, or DJ patter can make your randomplay stand out.

The good thing about looking for these types of items on file sharing networks, is that the really old stuff is public domain now; you can't get sued for copying it. Many old radio jingles and advertisements probably do have copyright holders; but I doubt anyones going to get too upset with your copying a 1958 ad for Chesterfield cigarettes. You never know, of course, so always use common sense.

Once you have 'em, give them ***** ratings; that'll keep them rotating frequently enough among large collections.

Here are some ideas, and keywords to try:

Radio Jingles:
Bruce Springsteen New York WPLJ Concert Pin (1978)
By this, I mean the call letters of the station, usually sung. I used to listen to WPLJ in New York City when it was still a rock station in the 70's, and found about a half dozen WPLJ jingles; I hadn't heard them since the station switched to Hits Music on a dark day in 1982. They fit right in now among my music collection. I've also found call letters for other legendary stations (many of which are gone now) from the 60's and 70's. Most come from homemade cassette-to-mp3 conversions, or similar. Keywords: "radio jingle" "radio jingles" (don't just enter "jingle"; you'll get a ton of hits for "Jingle Bells") "WPLJ" "WPLJ jingle" "call letter"

Advertisements:
Paul McCartney: Hoffner Bass ad (1966)
Always were a part of radio. I favor 40's-50's-60's-70's era; 50's and 60's are the most plentiful. Patti Page does a Mercury ad; Jack Webb for Chesterfields. Weird space age Ajax and Mr. Clean ads. Jefferson AIrplane for Levis. Pepsi and Coke through the ages, often done by "names". The sources for these are often compact discs, but many are vinyl or homemade cassette tape conversions. I currently have about 100 of these, or one for every 1700 songs. Can't believe I'm saying this, but I wish I had more ads to listen to. Keywords: "radio ad" "advertisement" "commercial" "CM" "sponsor" "Coke" "Pepsi" etc.

Album Spots:
Blind faith: Album Pormo 91969)
Even if you don't want junk like call letters and advertisements, few serious collectors can resist these; it's fun to hear a 1971 ad for the brand new album by Pink Floyd, Meddle. Even more fun to hear a 1970 ad for Badfinger's No Dice or a 1968 ad for HP Lovecraft's debut. many come from box-set CD's, or collector cassettes. Keywords: "album spot" "radio spot"

Airchecks:
ALan freed Rock N Roll concert poster (1955)
An "aircheck" is anything that happens live on air; usually it refers to DJ patter. Have Wolfman Jack, Alan Freed, Murray The K, or Scott Muni introduce a tune here or there. Plenty of this stuff exists; you can even find hour-long recordings straight from a radio in the 60's or 70's complete with song intros, weather reports, jokes, and other DJ ambience. A serious collector with time on his hands could edit one of these tapes into dozens of snippets which could join randomplay. Short snippets already circulate. Keywords: "aircheck" "radio aircheck" "DJ aircheck" "WPLJ aircheck" "Wolfman Jack" "Wolfman Jack aircheck" etc.

News Items:
Philadelphia Inquirer: ELvis Presley Dies (1977)
I was listening to my randomplay one night, and the Beatles' "Help!" was on. Then came a 1980 news broadcast that John Lennon had been shot. Jeff Beck came up next doing an eerie vocalless cover of "A Day In The Life" This was all random; there's a 1 in 3.213 trillion probability of it repeating that same exact way. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of news reports on file sharing networks, except for a ton of World War II era ones. But rock-related ones like Buddy Holly's plane crash, and hugely historic ones like the Kennedy assassination are pretty easy to find. Keywords: "news report" "news broadcast" "news bulletin" "headline news" (Don't just enter 'news' you'll get a million Huey Lewis and the News hits)
Jack Kerouac (1957)
I could go on; I also have poetry (Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsburg, etc.) rotating, short interview bits (like Frank Zappa complaining about John Lennon ripping off a song), some Armed Forces Radio messages from Vietnam warning about snakes, VD, and snipers, movie promos, some peculiar sound effects, some short radio mysteries from the 50's (under 5 minutes each), concert tour news ("Don't miss the Seeds! Tonight!)

Some other good keywords: "poetry" "spoken word" "announcement" "sound effect" "speech" "update" "information" "montage" "interview" "radio station" city names, celebrity names, venue names, etc.

I usually let this stuff rotate along with everything else; you can also keep them out of rotation and use it for playlists and CD burns and things. Use your imagination; there's plenty of weird or historical stuff available, and more turns up each time.

Just an idea for the collectors out there, since I've not addressed the nuts-and-bolts of the hobby lately.

Tune in tomorrow for the first of our reader-suggested artist history/playlists.
 
Comments:
So many blogs and only 10 numbers to rate them. I'll have to give you a 9 because you have a quailty topic.

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