I’d been listening for about two hours to the streaming radio station I set up on live365.com, and I had a revelation.
I had loved every song I heard. For two hours, and with limited advertising interruption and no promos or DJs pimping events or talking about TV shows or whatever, I heard nothing but music I liked.
THIS IS THE GREATEST THING i HAVE EVER HEARD IN MY LIFE!
I liked – no, LOVED – this music. I created the perfect radio station.
Now if that’s not the most nihilistic thing I’ve ever written, it’s certainly at the very least in the conversation.
Just because it’s nihilistic doesn’t mean it’s not true.
I love all of these songs, and a bunch more. I’ve never seen a definitive number on how many songs a person can hold in their head. But whenever I see a number, I always think about how many more songs than that number I know. I figure I’m the other end of the spectrum of the person who says “none.” I have a 400-song playlist that runs about 24 hours now playing on it. I have loved every song but one that I’ve heard. (And I’m still trying to figure out how or why that got in there.) And that list just scratches the surface.
I’d like to think I can find enjoyable music for others. This station is the latest attempt in a series of efforts in that area. (Some efforts have been breathtakingly successful. Others, less so. But I intend to keep trying.)
And I’ve spent a lot of time listening to people talking about doing the things they love and how fantastic they feel about it. They might have to do other things to be able to find the capability to do the thing they love. But the ones who have accomplished it talk about how great they feel, regardless of the level of success.
That sounds pretty appealing. And since I’ve been doing this disc jokey-ing thing in some form or another all my life, just searching for ears and a way to reach them, this is a natural next step. And I can’t tell you how happy I’ve been the last 24 hours.
Just because it’s nihilistic doesn’t mean it’s not totally satisfying.
The station is in its infancy. I haven’t done any more programming than tossing together a “shuffle” playlist of all the stuff I’ve uploaded and have found in their library. I’m hoping to paint more of a musical picture with sound in the future as I sculpt the playlists.
(When I was in college, my radio teacher said, “You are painting a picture in sound with what you play.” I thought, “You are an idiot.” 35 years later, I know exactly what he was talking about. To suggest I could have understood that at 20 is laughable.)
I love the idea of a radio station where Elvis Costello, Mika, Jill Sobule, Hooverphonic, Frank Zappa, the song “Ariel” and bubblegum pop all live in the same place. My favorite thing about my favorite FM DJs back in the true free-form days was I never knew what was coming next. The only thing I think I might have enjoyed more was working on or even listening to a pirate radio station.
In theory, this is a station where each song is the perfect antidote to the song preceding it. In theory, this is my solution to every time I’ve found myself listening to a radio station and been jarred by musical transitions.
The tricky things about those theories? They may work only for me. Your mileage, as the kids like to say these days, may vary.
But at the very least, I think it can be an interesting adventure. I hope you can check in once in a while, and hope you enjoy it.
The name of the station is Tims365-Radio1. It’s named that because my ego is allowing me to suggest it will be followed by Radio2, Radio 3, and more.
Just because it’s nihilistic doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.
And I have to retell this story, because it needs to be preserved.
I discussed with a friend what I considered the inherent nihilism of this exercise. I will now type a version of what my friend said. I can do it no better justice than this:
“Are you kidding me? Can you imagine what it would be like if you went back and visited your 15-year-old self right now with your phone and said, ‘Dude! Listen! We’ve got our own radio station!’
“And then it would play a song, and you’d say, ‘Oh shit, what year is this?’ and you’d have to turn it off for a song. And how pissed off would 15-year-old you be? Because he’d heard the start of that song and it was great?”
Just because it’s nihilistic doesn’t make it any less amusing.