Radio Killed The Radio


smashed-radio.jpg

So the other day I was driving around the city and my music player had ran out of battery, the only cd I had available was a hardcore Mariachi mix that my old homie Tepes (Luis Reyes, the bouncer at the Room Hollywood) gave me a few years back when I worked there as a bartender. Unfortunately I wasn't in the mood for hardcore Mariachi, I was looking for something a little on the smoother side. More in the key of Sade's "Nothing Can Come Between Us" or a little Al Green's "I'm So Tired Of Being Alone".. Ahh, Perfect.

But my battery's dead on my phone, Ive got no charger, stuck in traffic, one CD and I'm running out of options. My final choice would be do what any normal person with a working functional steroe would do and listen to the radio.

Well, I'm far from normal and for a wide variety of reasons which I shall divulge a few in this upcoming post, I do not favor listening to the radio.

In my experiences with mainstream radio as of late, first of all, there are only a few stations that come in clear enough that have a decent variety of good music ranging from Classic Rock, 70's-80's, Motown, Smooth R&B..when they find time to play it of course.

I might get lucky and catch a block of 'commercial free' radio for an hour or so but be reminded every three and a half minutes, for however long the spot is telling me that I'm listening to 'commercial free' radio on so and so radio station (instert Explosion, or Something to that effect). What the? Next song.

Aww man, What is this song?

Change the channel.

Commercial after commercial. Static. Two songs blended together one you like one you dont, you find the clearer station, its the song you dont. More Commercials.

OOH, the tail end of Mavin Gaye's "Got to Give it Up". YES! I can dig it!

"Theres got to be another good song after this, I can feel it. Bout to hit my groove! They've GOT to follow up a classic with another classic right!?!".. Nope! Ugh.. I do not want to trade my car for cash, thank you.

Change the CHANNEL.

I have an eclectic soul, I love sound from any corner of the universe, from all walks of life. I love music that invokes heart centered, feel good vibrations of love and pure energy. Music that makes you feel and think, music that takes you on a ride.

A few artist I listen to for an example of this are: Earth Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, Santana, Bobby Caldwell, Bobby Darin, Bob Marley (since we are on the Bob's..lol) Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, Chaka Kahn, Tina! Wow, I can go on and on.. Hall and Oats, Steely Dan, FleetWood Mac, Prince!! Can't forget Prince! Ok, ok I'll stop for now, but pretty much

everything on the spectrum of music I am willing to listen to, and most of it I love.

I have been very fortunate to have been brought up by parents with an awesome, diverse ear for great music. I was raised primarily on Motown and Funk Soul Classics. Throw in some Golden Oldies and a little Classic Rock and there you got it, my childhood. For my BayArea brethren and sistren 99.7 KFRC was my station 24/7 as a kid.

Those origins ultimately led me on my musical journey and discovery to find and develop my own taste in the art of sound.

The older I became the further I drifted from my musical roots and started diving into my own musical endeavors, primarily the hip-hop scene of the very late 80's early 90's into the 2000's. In that era Bay Area radio stations would play the jams. Music that carried a message. Music that was fresh, new, exciting and ALIVE!

As a young teen-ager I was exposed to artist like, Pharcyde, A Tribe Called Quest, Public Enemy, Tupac, Biggie, Souls of Mischief, Nas, NWA, Too Short, E40 Water Himself, Snoop, Dre Dog, Busta, Native Tounges, WuTang, Outkast to name a few. I was a huge fan of hip-hop, I really dug seeing the progression of its inception into mainstream music, with the transition from the old school funk era into break beats. DJ's mixing, sampling, scratching & producing. EmCee's turning into lyricist, crazy things being said that you couldnt even imagine at the time being allowed on any mainstream media outlet. But there it was.. The integration of the Radio and Music Video game during that time brought the movement to an all time high. Hip-Hop exploded on the nation and I was being a witness to it all. Hip-Hop culture in the early 90's was rich and vibrant with life. History was being told and made daily. School was in session for the masses.

I always dug songs with meaning, dont get me wrong I like other stuff too (at times) the party down, go dummy fun stuff when I'm in the mood of course or when its appropriate.. But, it truly amazes me when a song can connect you to any moment in time and positively affect you.

I look back now at that era and I feel that even though there were songs being played during that time that had violent or unsavory content there were more artists back then in the main