Wednesday, June 25, 2008

An outline of my new favorite thing to do

  1. Listen to WWOZ
    1. A public radio station from New Orleans specializing in
      1. Funk
      2. Jazz
      3. Soul
      4. And the occasional folk, but the funk jazz and soul is the reason you go there
    2. Just cool enough to
      1. Make you feel hipper when you have it on
      2. Inject some much needed R&B in my R&B-deficient listening habits
    3. Just corny enough to
      1. Play a lot of Dr. John
      2. Keep from being a completely stagnant exercise of [Listening To Jazz]
    4. Usually just out of range at my house
  2. On my phone
    1. A Sprint Palm Centro
      1. Which I love
        1. Much more than a grown-ass man should love a goddamn phone
        2. Because it does everything
          1. Maybe not with as much style as an iPhone
          2. And I am not that stylish anyway
        3. And then some
          1. I started writing this very document on it
          2. But decided to finish it on a "real computer"
            1. Because computers are merely tools
            2. And one should use tools to their advantages
      2. Since somebody asked
    2. Via the web stream
      2. Like I said, its normally out of range at my house
        1. But the internet has eroded
          1. the notion of range and
          2. the detailsof location, its
            1. precision
            2. limitations;
        2. And while I love
          1. Record stores
          2. Libraries
          3. Magazines
          4. Radio stations
        3. A lot, I will always take
          1. Access
          2. Information
        4. Over
          1. Fetishization of the package
          2. Dedication to the delivery system
          3. The hoarding instinct
  3. Though the little speaker
    1. Which is louder than you think a speaker on a phone should get
    2. Sounds perfectly lo-fi for this station because
      1. The vintage of the recordings played on WWOZ were made in an era of collective social listening
      2. Where sound was put into the air through the likes of
      3. Small transistor radios
      4. Sitting in/on
        1. Kitchens
          1. When visiting my uncle on the farm, he, his mentally challenged handyman and I would sit around the radio during lunch and listen to Paul Harvey rattle off little feel-good homilies that
            1. Reinforced the wisdom of
              1. Clean responsible living
              2. The elderly
            2. Actually made you feel good
            3. Usually ended with a prophetic twist –
              1. "…and that young crossing guard from Massachusetts that thwarted the robbery because of his dedication to duty grew up to become
              2. (… wait for it)
              3. Mob-buster Elliot Ness."
        2. Workshops
          1. The one good thing I can say about this guy my mom dated was that his omnipresent AM radio gave me an appreciation of country music
            1. Before it got totally ruined
            2. I remember one day hearing "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" play about 36 times in one day
              1. Which is strange since the song came out in 1979
              2. And this would have been around 1982
              3. Maybe The Charlie Daniels Band was playing in the area that weekend and no one has ever wanted to hear any other song by The Charlie Daniels Band
          2. Though the melody of Johnny Horton's "The Battle of New Orleans" still triggers a little shudder of him for me
            1. I'm not implying"anything happened" while that song was playing
            2. Nor am I implying anything "happened" ever, just saying
            3. Memories stitch things together in their own way
        3. Swingsets
          1. One hot summer afternoon, eight years old, I was sitting on the swingset with
          2. Tracy Quackenbush
          3. Listening to the Bay City Rollers cover of "I Only Want to Be With You" on my little transistor radio
            1. The Regency TR-1
            2. Pictured above
          4. when the announcer broke into the song and said
          5. Elvis Presley had died
          6. And there was a minute of silence
          7. Followed by the same Bay City Rollers song again, presumably so the DJ could go grab all the Elvis records the station had
          8. And play them non-stop for the next week.
  4. As it sits on the dryer
    1. Because that's where the charger is plugged in and
    2. Because this tiny phone sounds like a transistor radio rattling against that metal
    3. And WWOZ sounds so good because it sounds like memory
    4. Blaring away on a transistor radio
    5. As memories apparently do.

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