**Warning, this is going to be another post potentially irrelevant to people outside of Champaign or Urbana Illinois**
-Sub-warning, I don't care.-
That said, down here in central Illinois we have a radio station 107.1 with the call WPGU. Having lived in this town for nearly 8 years now, I can say with near certainty that it spent the majority of its life sucking. I am not talking about your typical run of the mill sucking, I am referring to that rare and special, Dennis Miller trying to get the conservative viewers sucking.
We are talking about a radio station that would play whatever flaming pile of shit billboard had recently placed onto its top 40 list. Showing little regard for theme or continuity, the radio station resembled the musical equivilent of a portal to hell being cracked open on the Earth's surface spewing whatever minion of satan happened to be first in line.
You can imagine my surprise when sometime late last summer I tuned in to the station to find that they were playing music that I actually enjoyed. I thought that I had entered into some odd parallel universe. They were playing Elvis Costello, The Jam, The Dead Kennedys, and all sorts of other fantastic artists never before heard on 107.1 in its "The Planet" incarnation. I felt like the "Friends" on the episode with the free porn. I honestly believed that if I turned off the radio this magical dream would end and I would once again have to listen to Creed, or Hoobastank or whoever the hell it was that made 107.1 sound like a constipated old man after having eaten a Grande Meal from Taco Bell. However, I was thrilled to find out that this was not in fact a wonderful dream (the good music, not the constipated man) 107.1 had changed their format. The station actually had DJ's choosing music and talking about it instead of mindless computer generated shit.
Considering this, I was amazed to see that in the school newspaper today an opinion columnist was complaining about the new format and calling for a reversion to the "good old days" (yes, this time I am referring to the constipated man).
You can read the column here
This blew my mind. It is one of those revelations that force you to rethink the entire framework of how you view the world. While I have always known of the existence of bands like Incubus, I have never truly been able to figure out how someone can listen to them. Much like attempting to reconcile how light can simultaneously be a wave and a particle, I had to make some assumptions.
Whereas Incubus et al. suck the ass of various domesticated and wild animals.
and Such musical groups have fans.
Said fans must have such ambivalence toward their music that it is impossible for them to have any deeply felt opinions.
Now, much as Einstein's photoelectric theory paved the way in quantum mechanics for a substance to be both a wave and a particle, Chris Kozak (firstname.lastname@example.org) has come along, revolutionized the field, and forced us to think about the possibility of people simultaneously enjoying shitty music, and having an opinion about it.
It would seem useless for me to, at this point, attempt to refute Mr. Kozak's theories music and the like. If you agree with him, I would wonder how you ended up on this site in the first place. If you don't, the reasons why his article is exceptionally ridiculous should be abundantly apparent.
However, it seems like I would be shirking my responsibility if I did not at least point out some highlights.
The winners of 1992 who are apparently all that college students should be listening to.
"How many students regularly listen to or have even heard of bands like Ambulance Ltd., Rilo Kiley and Of Montreal? I certainly have not."
A lot. It is mysterious that he knows their names yet has not heard of them. Perhaps this fellow should realize that it is actually A GOOD THING that the student radio station is introducing people to new music that they have not heard before.
"Another common theme in Indie music is band names beginning with the word "The." Gracing the WPGU play list are songs from bands named The Delays, The Faint, The Good Life, The Music, The Postal Service, The Stills – and don't get confused now – The Thrills. Do you know these juggernauts? Me neither."
Well played sir, making fun of the typical them of "The" and a plural noun. Really, no one had noticed that before. I hear that effects how their music sounds. (oh yes, Incubus- the evil spirit that has sex with women as they sleep- is a fantastic band name) Let me take this moment to point out that it was here in the article that it became abundantly obvious that Mr. Kozak had simply looked at the WPGU current music list from their website and made whatever joke immediately came to mind.
What really got me, was the fact that this fellow seemed offended that the local radio station played local music he hadn't heard of.
This honestly made me sick. We have a fantastic music scene in this town. How are these local musicians to be expected to get any sort of following if the college station in their town won't play their music because a few assholes don't think it is a good party mix to drink Busch Light to?
For Christ's fucking sake, here is a list of local bands who have release fantastic albums recently (mostly in the last year)
- The Blackouts (now The Living Blue)
- The Beauty Shop
- Emotional Rec Club
- Rob Mccolley
- The Headlights
- Terminus Victor
- Poster Children
Yes, I know I probably forgot some, but I made the list quickly. Still a decent list. We have great live venues like The Highdive, and for fucks sake, lets be thrilled that we now have a radio station that actually promotes the bands playing there.
As a final note: Jesus Christ, Chris Kozak could you have any worse taste? Oh wait yes, you could, in your previous column you were lamenting the loss of R&R's and the Shark Bowl. Please just graduate quickly and leave this town as fast as you possibly can.
Letters in the Daily Illini today in response:
Erik Kraft- "Where's Hootie"
Jim Finnerty, program director at WPGU -"Letter: to WPGU listeners"