Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Limited, Compressed, and Amplitude Modulated

Does this sound like anyone you know?
I still I have a soft spot in my heart (or my head) for AM music radio, specifically stations that program music that was originally made to be played on AM (and jukeboxes) in the first place. Call me strange, or old fashioned (you wouldn’t be the first), but I sort of PREFER to hear old pop music on AM instead of FM, or in any digital rendering scenario. I often find it jarring to hear an old rock song I grew up with in hi-fi stereo on an FM oldies station. It just sounds wrong to me. I guess the hits in mono, as well as limited, compressed and modulated in an amplitude fashion. But I don’t experience them that way very often these days.
Sure, I could have written that, but I didn't. That's the Professor of WFMU's Beware of the Blog, whose specialty is surfing the radio dial for his series, "Adventures in Amplitude Modulation." Recently, he was in southeastern Michigan, where he found himself captivated by a small-town classic country station that's a throwback to the days before corporatization took over the world, before even the smallest stations became tightly programmed and slick. This sort of station can easily become hellishly bad--remind me to tell you some stories sometime about the single worst radio station I ever heard in my life--but this one, WCXI in Fenton, Michigan (which charmingly IDs as "Fenton/Flint/Detroit"), is either smarter than most or guarded by angels. (And the music is often extraordinary.) WCXI might be the same station you listened to from your hometown back in the day, even if you've never set foot in Michigan.

Elsewhere: Locust St. has a lengthy disquisition on the color orange. Any post that manages to name-check Led Zeppelin, the Elizabethan churchman Thomas Wolsey, and former Oakland Athletics owner Charlie Finley all at once is OK with me--and the tunes are good, too.


Post a Comment

<< Home