Liveblogging the “Sounds Like Radio” premiere!

Let’s get some basics out of the way:

1) I’m listening to “Sounds Like Radio” with you, and liveblogging about it here.

2) You can chat with me in real time. (update: this feature is now unavailable. Send me an e-mail instead!)

3) You can hear the show on WSIU-FM 91.9, or listen to the online stream.

4) You can reach WSIU’s listener line and leave a voice mail about the show by calling 618-453-8272. Your call may even be played on the air during an Audience Comment segment!

5) You can send WSIU an e-mail too.

So be involved! Now let’s get things going… I’m listening via FM, but I’m also going to keep the online stream going via wi-fi, just for kicks. Right now, it looks like they’re about 10-ish seconds off one another. OMG it’s me!!! I just announced myself to… myself. YAY!

Hmmm. There’s a bit of a disconnect here, from what I thought might happen, to what IS happening. First off, I spent a lot of time entering playlist information, with the idea that this would show up in real time on the WSIU site– but it seems that it just makes a big list, and displays the whole thing at once. In fact, it’s displaying half of the big list… so either I’ve done something dreadfully wrong, or this feature doesn’t work quite right. I don’t like having the whole playlist where someone can see it before it happens. Kinda kills the element of wonder, or of surprise.

I think my production could use a bit of fine-tuning as well. I don’t think I sounded as “live” as the program that ran before me. A bit muffled, maybe. We’ll have to see.

Yeah… it just sounds too quiet behind me during announcing. Quiet isn’t exactly the correct word. “Flat” might be better. The music sounds fine, so perhaps I’m not recording the vocal bits as accurately as possible. It’s David Watson right now, btw– from “Fingering An Idea,” on XI Records. Really good stuff. I actually opened the program with Rune Lindblad’s “Evening,” from the “Death of the Moon” album on Pogus Productions. They’re one of my long-time favorite labels– not only does Pogus have really wonderful releases, but it was one of the first to really get behind my “It’s Too Damn Early” broadcasts and send some phenomenal promos. As a broadcaster in Southern Illinois, far off the usual avant-garde centers, that sort of support means a lot to me. Rune Lindblad also happens to be a tremendously interesting person, with similarly intriguing music– I couldn’t think of anything better with which to kick off the first episode of “Sounds Like Radio.”

BTW, I’m actually quite happy. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to pick my own program to pieces. Otherwise, how will it get better?

Right now, I’m playing from “Where We Were, Shadows of Liverpool.” Sounds great– so much the same/different listening in this manner. I’m still wrapping my head around it.

I dig how the sound just changed tonal qualities in this cut. Amazing stuff. I hope everyone listening is enjoying this as well. Aha– just changed over to Tom Nunn and David Michalak’s skatchit recordings. Sounds really good. There are some really terrific videos of them playing, actually– part of the “Rigs” series on YouTube.

Okaaaay. I knew there were going to be a couple spots during the break from hour 1 to hour 2 in the show– but Ann Richards just threw me off. That was a bit disconcerting. Louis Dufort is on now– this is where things get a lot more unusual. This is a great album, btw. I’m really happy to have another outlet for electroacoustic music recordings, so I’m definitely going to be playing a lot more things along this line on “Sounds Like Radio.” I particularly enjoy the mellow woodwinds and bells in this track. It’s unexpected, but totally works.

Well, I checked… the playlist updated to show the second hour’s worth of music. So at least it’s all there. Still, I don’t like it showing up ahead of time. My fear is that people will sort of “go shopping” on it, and try to guess whether they will/won’t like something. It would be better if this was updated in real-time. “Sweet Cuts, Distant Curves” from the Balloon & Needle label is playing right now. This was another no-brainer for me to include on the first show. It’s absolutely audacious stuff, and terrifically well-recorded. Wow, this sounds great. Very, very minimal right now. Almost like someone is playing with my headphone cable (which is pretty long right now!)

Double hmm. I think there’s actually a bit of fan hum in the background of the vocal parts. I need to fix this, it’s driving me nuts. Will anyone else care? I don’t know! Right now, we’re listening to Judy Dunaway and Tom Chiu, from “Mother of Balloon Music.” This is another one of those albums that I just knew would make it on the first episode. I’d love to hear her play this with Mike Khoury sometime– I think that would be just about perfect.

I’m still pretty interested in hearing my own show. Granted, I’ll never really hear one of my live shows, but this is pretty close. It will never sound this way again, so it’s nice to catch it while I can. Obviously, I’ve listened to the recording of this premiere more than a couple times now– but somehow, the broadcast transforms it… like watching a dancer rehearse versus seeing the stage show. The elements are the same, but the experience is transformative.

Oh my. Just one more track to go. This is from Annea Lockwood’s “A Sound Map of the Danube.” Not only is this one of my most treasured recordings, but it’s from Lovely Music as well, a really fine label that listeners just can’t go wrong with. There’s a little animal of some sort that makes noises during the woman’s interview– I’m not sure what it is, but the sounds are fascinating– like an underwater cat. Maybe a more wildlife-oriented listeners can figure out what it is.

Nearly finished now. This is a great way to end the broadcast… a little like Charles Kuralt’s “Sunday Morning” nature segment. I used to pay a lot of attention to those segments as a kid; I always knew that they’d be important to me later on. Now I can hear why.

The show just ended. I have a couple things to improve upon, but I’m 98% happy with how things went. I think the flow of the music worked well, and the overall sound quality of the music worked well too. I’ve been very happy to see so many online listeners– thanks for making “Sounds Like Radio” part of your day!

One Response to “Liveblogging the “Sounds Like Radio” premiere!”

  1. Karthik Kakarala Says:

    I for one agree, in wanting that kind of surprise. I mean, I do understand how some pre-recorded programs *COUGH KDHX COUGH* end up showing the whole playlist like that, but it doesn’t really seem very… RADIO, then.

    I WILL CARE about that kind of hum, if it can be addressed.

    For what it’s worth, you definitely sound more live on your live program. Here, it… you sound a bit muffled, like padding is lining your kick drum for no discernible reason, not so much the “underwater” effect of muffling too many frequencies. ¿Why do you suppose this is?

    Enjoyed the hell out of the show, though… I can assure you that, along MY timeframe, it was very necessary on a day like today. In a strange way, possibly because of the material balance, let alone the debut of the show itself, it seemed very… springlike. Ooh, this one really had me going, believing my stream was somehow gone, but I guess it was just silence in the piece itself!

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