Thursday, April 21, 2005

when i grow up i will rant like a big dog


This is one of those times where I wish I had one of those fancy mp3 blogs that all you people no doubt are rushing to check these days, finding out the last word on what songs you might've missed or would've missed if it weren't for a helpful soul out there in front of his (statistically, yes) machine with an axe to grind. 'Cause people, there's some wood that needs a-choppin'.

I love public radio. I'll come out and say it, I'm one of those. This American Life, Yes. Morning Edition, sure. I've even enjoyed Garrison Keillor and his Lake Woebegone tales. And, since I'm here in LA, I enjoy Morning Becomes Eclectic, KROQ for people in european sports sedans (which I do not own. I am a poseur). Nic Harcourt runs a nice program, one that's available online and--judging by KCRW's recent moves sponsoring shows in SF and NY, he's doing fairly well.

HOWEVER, I have discovered a simple formula for garnering KCRW airplay, or being dubbed "Eclectic," as it were. Pick a song from the '80s, any will do, the more romantic and pleasantly kitschy, the better. I joked about this with my girlfriend not long ago as we heard someone breaking down (up? apart?) Cameo's "Word Up" into sultry acoustic vamp. I think this started with Frente's "Bizarre Love Triangle" from like 1994. Take a wispy female voice, mix it up with a masculine (to a point, it was the '80s) voiced song, add acoustic guitars, and stir.

If I had the means, and one day I may, I would post one of those two songs, along with the song that incited this post, which was someone mewling through a cover of "Melt With You." Quick, everyone! Grab yourself a copy of "Question of Lust" or "Come on Eileen" and slow that sucker down. There's probably only a chord or two in each song, it won't take long. Public radio superstardom awaits! *

But, of course, now they're playing Wilco's "Box Full of Letters." I'm back, Nic. I'm back. Just keep the covers in check, all right?


*[No, it turns out, not quite. Although the Cameo cover was wreaked upon me by a to-this-point unknown source, many of the ever-loving 80s covers I've been hearing on KCRW are from the above link, a project from France cleverly dubbed Nouvelle Vague. Seems the whole honking CD is rife with covers, from the Cure's "A Forest" to "Love Will Tear Us Apart" (both of which I have heard on that station). While I'm comforted that this isn't a larger movement of artists mining this ground for radio gold, it still is a poor reflection on the radio station that these songs are apparently like crack for aging alt-rock children of the '80s. Thanks, Nouvelle Vague. I hope hell is keeping a room extra hot for you.]


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