I’ve never really been one to listen to the radio. Oh, sure, as a kid in the 70s I listened to the transistor as much as any other kid then—it was the time…it was what we did. But I found they played songs I couldn’t stand and wouldn’t play the songs I liked enough… So even way back then I was pulling out the portable cassette player, cuing up a tape to the blank spot, and placing it next to the radio ready to hit the record button.
And while the nature of radio has changed a bit with internet and satellite, I’m still not a big radio listener.
Some of that, I think, has been that I’ve never really cared what anyone else likes. You like Prince? Good on ya—I can’t stand the dude’s music. You like Stink—I mean, Sting, good on ya—I can’t stand his voice (I DID, however, like Eddie Murphy’s version of Roxanne far better than Sting’s!). I don’t care who you like, but my tastes in music are my own; Meaning, you listen to what you want and I’ll listen to what I want.
Some of that, I think, has been because I don’t really want some DJ—or some corporate board—to determine what I listen to. In the late 70s, Jackson, MS. Got an “album rock” station that I would listen to as opposed to all the pop or top 40 statios. Mostly I’d listen to the station because they played entire albums rather than just the hit from it. I first heard all of Pink Floyd’s The Wall that way. Still, if they put on a Phil Collins album (I don’t understand how people think what he plays is “rock.” Really?) or a Bruce Springsteen album, I was stuck listening to them for forty minutes.
This is part of the reason we haven’t had Satellite or Cable TV for over a decade: I don’t like the companies telling me which stations I get via packages. Whenever I get the solicitation calls, I immediately stop them and ask if I can choose my channels. The answer—you know this, of course—is that I can choose “packages.” But, of course, that isn’t the same thing…and why on earth would I want to buy a package with Home Shopping Network? Seriously? No, once they give me a checklist of channels I can choose, we’ll talk. I get that some channels may cost more than others, but that’s a decision I’ll have to make at the time. But not until then.
Enter Spotify. Yes, I know there are other services out there that do a similar thing, but Spotify is the one that I found (probably through directed marketing via Facebook—but whatever). On Spotify you can pick the artists you’d like to hear…and hear them. You can even choose individual songs and create your own playlists. I’ve got a Christmas playlist that has a bunch of rock Christmas songs…then I have a Theocracy playlist that has ALL their songs (mostly because I only recently discovered them and am still on a “listen to everything by them” kick), and then I have the generic “I’m writing so play all these songs” playlist.
Not sure why this struck me today—probably because the ONE radio station that I’ve been listening to here in Orlando just moved spots on the dial—and now I can’t pick them up.
Ah well—back to the MP3 player channeled through my cassette deck.