Friday, January 28, 2011

Radio Free Hipster Ep. 104: Easy Listening

My second podcast of 2011 is an odd mix. It's partially about my fears of growing older – this year's birthday seemed particularly trying, for some reason. It's also somewhat about my childhood fascination with radio, coupled with the disdain I feel for the medium in adulthood. But I think mostly it's just about the marvels of modern music.

I don't imagine my own contributions will amount to even a footnote in the history nerd music, but, be it a paragraph or a whole goddamn chapter, I can't help but believe that the artists and styles I touch on will be remembered by the more studious of future scholars.

And so I present to you what will one day be the equivalent of oldies radio (if an admittedly geeky strain), but is presently just another chapter in the continuing saga of nerdcore.

Download Radio Free Hipster Ep. 104: Easy Listening [hosting provided by Antisoc] Size: 44.3 MB Running Time: 48:23

Show Notes:

Intro: Baddd Spellah – "Radio Free Hipster Theme (feat. Beefy)"
The radio static motif in the theme song is particularly telling this time around.

Track 1: The Reborn Identity – "Rebel Stereo"
This song really helped me settle on the theme for this edition of the show.

Z's 1st interlude: "Not at all radio friendly."
Maybe one day mash-ups will be accepted as viable options for radio rotation. Though I'd imagine a more realistic future will see terrestrial radio dead and buried.

Track 2: mc chris – "NJ"
Part of me wants to believe that this track is Snipeyhead's ringtone.

Track 3: HDninja – "cKc"
While not necessarily slept on, I don't think HDninja get the attention they deserve.

Track 4: DJ Stroke – "The Girl at the Snowy Rock Show"
A good bootleg can combine a bunch of unremarkable source tracks into a musical juggernaut. Case in point.

Track 5: killsaly – "Final Fantasy 2 Overworld Map"
I haven't played any killsaly in a while, and I thought this one had a certain radio sensibility to it.

Track 6: Random and Lost Perception – "Aerith"
Though I'm not a huge fan of Final Fantasy VII, Ran's Black Materia is currently on repeat around my house.

Track 7: Skyway Flyer – "Peeking Through"
Once again I must give the nod to Matt for the phrase "post-WRock."

Track 8: Red Key Riot – "Hybrid Moments"
A solid cover of what is likely my favorite Misfits song.

Z's 2nd interlude: "A fine time to be alive."
And don’t you forget it! 

Track 9: Pete Miser – "Hit Me on My iPhone"
I think this was the first Miser track I ever heard. With the recent Verizon announcement it once again seemed relevant.

Track 10: Brandon Patton – "Rockets"
Brandon makes two kinds of songs – perfectly-metered pop nuggets and big ol' messy rock 'n' roll songs. This is the latter.

Track 11: Dale Chase – "Double Take"
Dale never ceases to amaze me. Interestingly enough, he is just as chill in person as he sounds on wax.

Track 12: The Consortium of Genius – "What a Friend We Have in Cthulhu"
The COG can pretty much nail any musical genre they set their sights on. Even gospel.

Track 13: Selfhelp – "Mooncat & the Girls (feat. Thesis Sahib, prod. by Middlesex Wrestling Team)"
Selfhelp is another one of those artists that continually surprises me. This song is a perfect example of both how and why.

Track 14: Molly Lewis – "Three is a Magic Number"
The only thing I like more than Schoolhouse Rock songs are Molly Lewis covers.

Z's final interlude: "I am certain that all will be revealed."
Well, was it?

Track 15: Jonathan Coulton – "When I'm 25 or 64"
There ain't no mash-up like a JoCo mash-up 'cause a JoCo mash-up don't stop.

Recently I realized that, while the intensity of my love for music hasn't waned as I've grown older, my understanding of it and perhaps even its unique importance in my life has shifted as I've aged. As a teen and, perhaps more tellingly, an early avid listener, music was about that necessary flavor of rebellion that marks  the search for identity. Music and musicians represented quantifiable paradigms, easy go-to examples for who and what I wanted to be.

As an adult, however, music has become less an expression of want and more an expression of self. I see shades of myself in lyrics or a pleasant hint of personal familiarity in melody. Music genuinely helped to make me the man I am, and now I can truly enjoy it as a fully realized individual.

On one hand I begrudge the kids of today with their instant access to all the music I had to scavenge for as a youth, not to mention the multitude of listening opportunities the likes of which I couldn't even dream. But at the same time I can't help feel overjoyed at the thoughts of the odd and dejected kids of today using technology to find their own voice and to find each other.

We oldsters are from an age of analog and vinyl, walking dinosaurs made of cassette tapes and AM radios and scavenged concert tees. We are one step away from obsolesce, but the web will keep our bones well preserved for future generations.


Alison said...

I don't know, i feel sorry for the kids of today that they don't experience that really sense of longing for something, as it is all there for them. You remember the search for new music, and the joy of finding others who were searching too, and finding the kind of subculture thriving. I just think it has all become mainstream for the kids today. I had to explain to a bemused 23 year old yesterday about how i used to sit with a tape recorder at the ready to record new songs from John Peels radio show. A 23 year old can you believe!!

Z. said...

True, Alison, but there are still cultural back alleys in which the uninitiated can unearth new and interesting music. Independent blogs and podcasts, for example. ;)

killsaly said...

You dont look a day over 25 Z!
Thanks for putting another one of my songs on there (interesting choice... radio friendly you say?)
I actually have a bunch of new stuff coming soon to keep podcasts filled for months on every part of the known blog universe and internet. So as long as people want to hear new and exciting things, I and the rest of us nerdy musicians will keep cranking them out.

Z. said...

It sounds like something I'd here on Public Radio, ks. It's got a nice, accessible worldbeat flavor that you could totally sneak in on people without them realizing it's VGM. ;)

And know that I am totally ready to hear whatever new stuff you wanna favor us with!

Dave said...

Who/what song (Wii theme cover) is playing during the interludes in this episode?

Great job/selection of tracks, as always. I'm a long time listener, and I appreciate all the hard work you do to bring us Radio Free Hipster. Thanks for sharing all the great tunes!

Z. said...

That's temp sound solutions, Dave, and you can cop it here:

Thanks for listening!

Dave said...

Awesome! This is great! Thanks, Z.

Z. said...

No prob, Dave!