Monday, December 12, 2005

VPR | Switchboard | Best Music of 2005 | UPDATE

Quick programming note.

On Tuesday night at 7pm, VPR's call-in program Switchboard will focus on the best music of 2005. You can submit your favorite albums via email here or you can just call into the show. Unfortuantely, I have to be in NJ for a holiday luncheon for my company tomorrow and probably won't be back in time to call into the show. However, if you want to stream the show, you can link to the stream on the front page of VPR's site. Hopefully, the show will be available via podcast after the broadcast too.

I'm hoping a few of you fine folks call in to offer a counter opinion to the majority of callers who will claim that Trey's Shine is the album of the year.

The phone number for calling in is (800) 639-2211.

One last comment, I want to use this post to remind everyone to write to VPR requesting an indie rock show on the new all-music station they are creating. You can find my original post about it here.

UPDATE: I got to hear the show while driving back from Jersey tonight. I also managed to be the first caller on the show. However, I was on my wife's cell phone in White River Junction when I called. As I made my way up I-89, I knew I was going to run into bad cell coverage areas. Thankfully, they took me first but the hosts still said I started to fade out about halfway through my praising of The Go! Team's Thunder Lighting Strike. Hopefully, most of it got through. I think they also got my name wrong by calling me Ryan but that was understandable since I was on a cruddy cell phone.

The odd thing about the show was that the hosts kept focusing on crappy middle-aged female hippie folkies from Vermont. However, between my call and a few others, the callers were focusing more on indie rock from national bands (Arcade Fire, New Pornographers, Clap Your Hands). Meanwhile, Bob Kinsel and Steve Lind had no idea what any of us were talking about. It was a perfect example of how VPR is out of step with younger listeners.

There was a fantastic call from a guy named Jeff in Montpelier who started his call by talking about how much he likes The New Pornographers' Twin Cinema. He then smoothly transitioned into a plea to VPR to diversify away from just jazz and classical. He said the VPR needs to play more of "this kind of music". However, the knucklehead hosts completely missed his point about indie music and said something like "geez, with all of the different types of music we've been talking about tonight, I don't know what kind of music you are talking about". Basically, they stuck VPR's head back in the sand.

Regardless, it was a great call and if anyone knows Jeff give him a thumbs up.

If you want to see the songs that were played during the show or get the podcast of the show, the link is here.


Nico said...

I've seen Phish 25 times and have seen Trey solo and Shine isn't going to even crack my Top 10 for the year.

K. said...

If you think the album is bad check out the video its a nightmare.

Sarah said...

You make some good points here, but I would like to add another element of the argument, if I may. While VPR (and other stations) may be righteously out-of-touch with younger audiences, I think the DJs did have a point when they expressed confusion over the music that the callers were trying to promote. I share a similar confusion over "What is 'Indie music'?" Coming from the professional music recording/engineering background, my answer would be "any artist or group on an independent label, who is self-promoting or unsigned". I've read various music reviews, blogs, message boards and other forums where people sling the term around and apply it to any type of music: folk, rock, electric, acoustic, jazz, electronica, funk, punk, garage, even contemporary religious music and hip-hop. I'm not a fan of the way radio stations are preprogramed with playlists that follow a designated genre (i.e. "alternative" "oldies" or "smooth jazz"), but I do think that stations and programs are going to want to package their music to some extent; people are still going to want a jazz show, or a rock show, and so when writing about and discussing new artists it's helpful to pick more specific adjectives to describe their work. Instead of telling stations that we want more "indie music", we should be discouraging them from replaying the same old tired “oldies” “best of the 80’s and 90’s” or whatever they are dishing out, and calling in our favorite new artists. Maybe we can bring down Clear Channel and get DJs to strike until they get control and can play these new artists. Or perhaps we’ll just get a hundred XM Radio stations and do it ourselves.