A great DJ is just a step below a great producer and sound engineer.
From time to time, I’ve considered joining a streaming service permanently. I’ve toyed around with Spotify, Pandora, and iTUNES.
I just can’t understand the attraction.
There was a time in my life, I really loved radio. From the years between late grade school and the end of high school (class of 1986), I listened faithfully to Wichita’s KICT-95. The station introduced me–rather gloriously–to album rock radio, back when radio actually played entire sides of albums. I got to know the DJs, the music, and their various programs. I knew when to expect a full album side, and when to expect the latest news in the rock world. I knew when T-95 broadcast concerts, and I knew when the radio station sponsored bands to play live in Wichita. It was a golden age of rock. I was always far more taken with prog than I was with acid or hard rock, but T-95 presented all as a rather cohesive whole, thanks to the quality of the DJs.
But, streaming? I just don’t get it. It’s bland. It’s tapioca. There’s no personality, no matter how great the music is.
I want good and solid commentary, and I want a human–not an algorithm–shaping what I listen to, choosing which song songs perfect before which song, and how to blend one incredible song into another. A great DJ is just a step below a great producer and sound engineer.
Today, though, streaming came to my attention twice. First, from an excellent student presentation (Matt Painter–who reviewed the 20th anniversary edition of Radiohead’s OK COMPUTER for us) on the shift in the music industry over the past 15 years and, then, Neal Morse’s contemplation of creating a streaming service.
Again, I don’t get it. Maybe at age 50, I’m just too old to understand the attraction to streaming. Previously, when I’ve argued that I love my cds and not downloads or stream, some wag always responds–“you know those are just computer files, right?” Yes, I know. But, along with the CD, there’s something else–an actual physical booklet with liner notes and lyrics. And, art work. Granted, the size of the individual pieces of art are smaller than they once were with full-sized vinyl albums, but, it’s art, nonetheless. Look at the packaging of a Big Big Train or Ayreon (just to name two acts) CD. They’re absolutely gorgeous, inviting, enticing, and TANGIBLE. Who expects something to fall apart when it comes from KSCOPE, Mascot, or InsideOut? Of course not! These companies put the mainstream labels to shame.
Anyway, maybe I’m just cranky. But, I have no plans anytime soon to purchase a membership in a streaming service. Podcasts, radio shows, or special interviews and programs? Absolutely. But, not streaming–even if it’s prog and more prog.