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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Not Alone

I got to listen to the majority of VPR's Switchboard program that focused on the best music of 2005. The two hosts shared clips of their favorites, emailed suggestions, and had callers provide their picks. As to be expected, the majority of the stuff played was typical public radio fair - easy to listen to, roots based, but polished and radio ready. The exception was Doorbell from the White Stripes' Get Behind Me Satan (some may argue it’s their most radio safe album to date). Most of the comments reinforced the easy listening genre - but with more of a focus on local acts (the exception being the woman who was into anime soundtracks and the middle aged fan of Matisyahu). Most, but not all.

The second largest group talked about the indie scene (of the Pitchforkmedia Best New Music variety). Someone called in talking about M.I.A., another about Arcade Fire (yes we all know it was from 2004, no need to get all up in her case), the New Pornographers/AC Newman, and Clap Your Hands & Say Yeah. No too bad at all folks - I'm very impressed. That proves that there are plenty of us out here. The individual recommending the New Pornographers & AC Newman, “Jeff from Montpelier,” even took a few moments to plug the movement to get more indie programming. Too bad the host just dismissed Jeff's comment with "we've heard so many different types of music tonight we wouldn't know what to play." Now that's just dumb.

I've said it here before and I'll say it again, Vermonters are ready for indie rock to come out of their radios. We'll sort of. One look at the list of upcoming acts at our regional music venue, Higher Ground, and you'll realize the dearth of indie shows. If the indie acts aren't supported when they come to town, then doesn't that reinforce current VPR programming?

Speaking up on the radio tonight was a great step. I'm thankful for all that went through the trouble to get your voices heard. Now let's just don't forget to support the live acts.


  • At 9:29 PM, Blogger K. said…

    MIA has to be one of the best albums of 2005. Hands down. Its not indie radio fare but its a great album, NEW and something not heard before. If Not MIA perhaps Kanye. Kanye put smart hip hop back on the pop scene and some of his lyrics and themes are as good as ANY in 2005.

    I appreciate VPR but its not breaking bounds music wise and its not going to be breaking any new up and coming bands ANYTIME soon. I know you know KEXP is where its going on.

    I agree full hartedly that if you want Indie you roll on up to Mont-P and ditch VT all together...like you said check out Higher Ground's coming lineup post Xmas...yawn.

  • At 12:35 AM, Blogger Flatlander said…

    We're you out of the room when I called in or did my crappy cell coverage prevent me from even getting any part of my comments out. I was the first caller and went into my plug for The Go! Team's album. I thought I had gotten through most of my comment before I got cut off but since you didn't hear it, I'm guessing it didn't make it on the air.

  • At 12:36 AM, Anonymous nico said…

    I don't even remotely get the whole MIA thing. The beats are good and all, but that woman can't sing a lick and it totally cancels out the beats. I was going to post that before I read K's comment too.

    This coming from someone who is pre-disposed towards liking non-traditional/non-Bollywood music from the Indian diaspora (my wife is Indian.) There's a ton of amazing Indian music coming out of the UK and California. There's even some really good stuff coming out of India that one would think originated from the west.

    My Top 10 CDs of the year list is going to be posted soon....

  • At 12:43 AM, Blogger Flatlander said…

    Nico, I'm with you. I don't get MIA but there are a lot of people who has similar tastes to me and dig MIA so perhaps she'll grow on me someday. But for right now, she is clicking for me at all.

  • At 7:43 AM, Blogger K. said…

    Flatlander. Just like you might not like MIA I have failed to enjoy The Go! Team. Alot of people with similiar tastes as I, like them so I feel like I should like them but never really do. Guess its just one of those things.

    They sound like a lesser version of The Avalanches (which if you haven't you must listen to). I need to give the entire album a listen.

    I dismissed MIA at first because I had a hard time understanding Maya Arulpragasam's heavy Sri Lankan acent but more I listened the more I enjoyed it. I think the same might be for the GO!Team Ill give them another chance but when I listen I always have the "These guys have NOTHING on The Avalanches" comparision in the back of my mind.


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