so, back-“track”ing a bit here (snicker, snicker!), but more on my radio stint. the coordinator at work asks me at the last moment a few weeks ago, if i’d be willing to be guest dj on “saturday night fever” with dewald noel on jacarandafm. i’ve actually always harbored a secret desire to be a radio dj, so next thing i’m talking to someone from the station. the person on the line asks me to send him a list of my favorite songs – preferably from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. cool, i think – time to share my rather eclectic music taste. despite my computer and my ipod being at home and me at work, i come up with the following list.
ZABALAZA – BROTHERS OF PEACE (B.O.P.)
as i’m driving home, i get a call. “sorry, but we only have 3 of your songs on our playlist. could you please come up with a different list?” uhm, isn’t the tagline to the show, “your life’s greatest hits!”? oh sorry, you mean my life’s greatest hits as defined by your station! o-kay, just say so! the following is the list we come up with after going through the station’s playlist.
Flawless (in the city) – George Michael
I feel good – James Brown
Put your records on – Corinne Bailey Rae
Should I stay or should I go – The Clash
Sex Bomb – Tom Jones
Where is the love – Black Eyed Peas
Sisters are doing it for themselves – Eurythmics
Ants Marching – Dave Matthews Band
Praise You – Fatboy Slim
Smooth Operator – Sade
(I can’t get no) Satisfaction – Rolling Stones
Englishman in New York – Sting
American Woman – Lenny Kravitz
All I wanna do – Sheryl Crow
all really cool songs, but i just find the process a little amusing. i suppose that’s the reality of commercial radio – each station has it’s pre-selected, and often, pre-programmed, playlist.
now, my favorite radio station in the world, kcrw, 89.9, public radio in los angeles, is a fantastic anomaly. the dj’s actually get to play whatever tickles their fancy and numerous artists who would otherwise not receive airtime, eventually break through and get picked up by other more commercial stations. i can think of rachael yamagata, corinne bailey rae, katie tunstall, to name but a few.
i love the station so much that i volunteered for years during their various fund-drives. you sit in a little dungeon room answering phones when people call in to donate and you rub elbows with a vast array of angelenos; waiters, professors, actors, you name it – all equally passionate about the station. i used to listen religiously to morning becomes eclectic, first with chris douridas, then nic harcourt, (who also lives in topanga, my home for 12 years and still home of my heart). and i remember countless “driveway moments” brought on by “this american life” on a saturday morning. then there’s “chocolate city” and “the drop” and “metropolis”. not forgetting all the news and discussion programs and of course the sunday morning weekend edition with the puzzle section hosted by puzzlemaster will shortz, the guy who edits the new york times crossword.
damn, i’m just realizing right now, how much i miss it. at least i can still tune in online from here on the other side of the world! check it out!