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Friday, February 23, 2007

The Home Team!

One of the best things about living in this area (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) is the excellent assortment of college radio stations. I can almost always find decent music during my commute on one of the three main stations: WXYC(UNC), WKNC(NC State), and WXDU (Duke). One bit of trivia: WXYC was the first station in the world to broadcast via streaming audio on the web.

The best part of college radio is that actual human DJs are involved in making musical selections, as opposed to some corporate idea of what will appeal to the target demographic. So even if there is a crappy song playing, at least it is someone's personal choice.

Back when I was a few (cough) years younger, I was a DJ for WMUC-FM(UMd). Hey look! They have an alumni association now! Back then there was always a bit of tension between the FM station (read: the freaks) and the on-campus AM station, which served the aspiring professional radio, television, and film majors and attempted to be "commercial radio". We coexisted reasonably well though.

I remember a few times I actually lugged my guitar into the station and played on-air. I think I still have some of the tapes of those embarrassing shows. Now would be a good time to offer a blanket apology to all who may have been listening during those times, all three of you.


1974punkmom said...

I used to listen to the college radio station around here until I got Sirius radio. The music selection was much better than on the commercial stations.

David said...

I have only listened to XM or Sirius a few times. There are some stations that are pretty good, but by and large you are still hearing music statistically determined to "fit the demographic". This works OK if you are looking for established musicians, but what excites me are artists I have never heard of, or whose work I'm not familiar with.

Your mileage may vary. ;-)