Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The WSJR Summer Podcast

The recent news of the downfall of Frequency Down on KNTU (one of the last good radio shows in town), combined with the continuing limpness and utter irrelevance of the Adventure Club, the Edge in general, and the rest of the radio dial in DFW that isn't called NPR, Legends 77 or The Beat has prompted many recent conversations around here concerning the piss poor state of Dallas radio and the local music media in general. The popular consensus on the subject seems to be that the local Dallas music scene suffers due to a lack of decent radio programming in the area.

And although we would agree that local radio is terrible 99.9% of the time (with that one one hundredth of a percent reserved for Meat Radio, which seems to be getting better and better every weekend), we sort of have to ask why anyone really cares. Not that sarcastic apathy is something that should be worn as a badge of honor, but when has the radio ever been good in Dallas? And in what way does its suckness take away from local music? Again, it seems that this is yet another excuse that scenesters, band members and everyone else likes to make instead of dealing with the whole "lack of talent in the area" issue head on. This might also be why people make empty calls for local radio to focus more on local music, with the idea being that the local scene would improve if more local bands got more radio play. This is one issue that finds us in agreement with Adventure Club Josh: local music, at this point, doesn't deserve much radio play, and if anything, hearing the bands that seem to be popular in Dallas at the moment ( Black Tie, Belafonte, The Valentines, etc.) would probably do more to convince people to stay home than anything else.

While its true that more solid radio programming would probably help local bands, and actually hearing good music on the radio from outside of Dallas might inspire some kid here or there to pick up an instrument and start a band that we might actually enjoy in a few years, podcasts, audio streams, internet radio, Myspace, satellite radio and many other innovations have left that argument with a hell of a lot of holes in it. People don't need broadcast radio to hear interesting music anymore, and while better programming would certainly improve car trips and serve as a nice change of pace, we're not sure what kind of impact it would have aside from that.

So whats the point of all this? Well, the first is that local radio sucks, and requires us to only listen to Meat Radio, talk radio and hip hop (not that theres anything wrong with that necessarily.) The second is that local music gets little attention from local stations for many reasons (corporate controlled playlists, legalized payola, etc.), but one of the main reasons is that local music doesn't happen to be very good right now. And finally, with all the options that people have for hearing music these days, the state of local radio might not be all that relevant when discussing the health of the local music scene. I'd be willing to bet that commercial broadcast radio could disappear all together aside from NPR, Mavs games and The Ticket, and most readers of this blog would hardly even notice. And with Clear Channel running the vast majority of the show in this town, that is probably a good thing. Its a good thing that many of us choose to ignore what they're selling us, because it shows that we can possibly turn our indifference towards boring products into a market force that asks a bit more of our media.

So in that spirit, we're announcing the We Shot J.R. summer podcast. No, this isn't our attempt to "change" anything or to become something other than a blog with a little podcast. Its just our attempt to join in what everyone else seems to be doing: ignoring the overly commercial avenues of communication that have traditionally been available while seeking out better media outlets to hear and share good music. What we're planning isn't a regular podcast, but a 2006 midterm report showcasing the few highlights that have come from the area so far this year. What we plan to do is play the 12 best songs to have been released by DFWd bands so far in 2006, and we'd like to get some suggestions from our readers. We've already got a lot of the songs picked out, and we're not taking a vote. We'd just like to see people share some of the local tracks that they have been digging this year in case we've missed something. So share away in this comment thread if you're interested, or tell us that there couldn't possibly be twelve good local songs to put on a podcast this year, or that the idea is dumb all together. We plan to have this thing widely available in the area within the next four to six weeks, and we might even include some other features in the podcast as well. It seems that a lot of people are already in this business, and we figured we'd give it a try. We'll give you more details when we figure it all out.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds like a good idea!


4:48 PM  
Blogger wakka-wakka said...

SR: It's none of my business, really, but I'm still curious: what ever happened to "teaming up" with dconstruction for a podcast?

4:52 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

well, thats still in the realm of possibilities, but we'll see what happens.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Some of my friends sit around every evening and they worry about the times ahead, but everybody else is overwhealmed by indifference and the promise of an early bed. you either shut up or get cut out, they don't wanna hear about it, it's only inches on the reel-to-reel, and THE RADIO IS IN THE HANDS OF SUCH A LOT OF FOOLS TRYING TO ANESTHETISE (sp)THE WAY THAT YOU FEEL
radio is a sound salvation
radio is cleanin' up the nation
they say 'you'd better listen to the right side of reason', but they don't give you any choice b/c they think that it's treason.
so you had better do what you are told, you'd better listen to the radio"

....hopefully you know who this is, and probably think i'm lame for quoting it.

but seriously. the radio sucks period. i don't think it's about "local radio" anymore. it's a global (or at least NATIONAL) phenominon. i applaud you for thinking globaly and acting localy, but it ain't dallas radio that sucks, it's the whole system.

amen, though. it was well written. though i do feel as though a lot of this was just sorta preaching to the choir so to speak.
i refuse to listen to the radio, even when my girlfriend begs me to stop playing the undoing and let her hear some christina.... she can like what she wants, but she cant upset me and my car w/ the radio's mind numbing sounds.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, and to start the local songs thread:

The Strange Boys: Modern Lee Miller
The Undoing: By The Sign of the...
Happy Bullets: Vice and Virtue Ministry
Eat Avery's Bones (haven't paid enough attention to know exactly what SONG should go on there, but certaintly there are some)

something by Bosque Brown, Something by Fishboy, One of the Theater Fire songs you guys posted,

...12 might be a streach, but you could probably make it happen.

...i mean, there are plenty of bands i can't objectively say should or shouldn't be included who i am familiar w/: Black Arm Band, Mazinga, Fra Pandalf, the tah dahs, ...i'm just not familiar w/ names of songs

...oh, and that Washing Machine song y'all showed the video of. i dug that.

so yeah, you could probably do that.

...you could also go through your archives and pick out a few tracks that you've already posted on the blog, or just bands you talk about from texas... even if they aren't from DFWd specifically: The Evangelicals, the arm, Voxtrot.... blah blah blah.

...hell, do two.

8:41 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

good calls. All of those names are being floated around.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Instead of playing modern local music, why not play some obscure tracks of local music history:
Like a track of Sons of Sound, (which contained members of the Happy Bullets and the Drams.)
Or Carrier Wave, (which had members of American Analog Set and the Theater Fire,)
Funland, (Centromatic, Bedhead)
Captain Audio (Secret Machines, Chao.)
My Friend the Atom, (Pegasus Now, Theater Fire.)
Pantera, (Damageplan, Down.)
There's so much great local music that never recieved any REAL distribution, and will probably disappear unless we make an effort to catalog and play it.

10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah play pantera!! fuckin dime bag! woo!

10:30 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

hmmm.... thats a fantastic idea too, Anon 827, except for the Pantera thing. Where might we find CDs of that stuff do you think?

10:34 PM  
Blogger Eric Grubbs said...

What about local traffic reports? Thoughts?

10:50 PM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

if we decide to go with local traffic reports, then you're our man.

10:55 PM  
Blogger pimplomat said...

stonedranger, in reference to Anon 827, I could leave a lot of those old bands' CDs in a locker at a bus station, and you can have one of the DOMA impersonators come pick them, thus retaining your anonymous status.

Oh, and I believe the Sons of Sound are playing a birthday party show in June for one of the member's dad.

11:37 PM  
Anonymous delmore said...

sounds great -- someone needs to start a site that features videos of a song or two from various local shows

a "see what you missed?/better make it next time!" kinda thing

12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

me and my buddy have been doing that for a few shows... but timliness has been a factor. apparently, it's hard to edit two angles and get that shit out in a day or so while going to work and sleeping.

...but it's being attempted to some degree.

oh, and sound is an issue. sometimes loud bass (i'm looking at you undoing) gets ROUGH on a dv cam.

12:38 AM  
Blogger jonofdeath said...

Would it be inappropriate that I put a link up to my own bands myspace? It's called Beauregard and there is a song called "Just Before You Wake Up" that has a summer vibe to it.

1:11 AM  
Blogger stonedranger said...

No, thats not inappropriate at all. We'll be sure to give it a listen.

And we're trying to get concert videos going on this site too, but its really hard to pull off. In order to make it worth it, the video and sound have to be pretty decent quality, and editing probably helps too. Now, I don't think that its necessarily bad to post footage that is a week or two old, but even getting that can be a bitch, especially since WSJR has to rely on outside people due to the fact that we don't have the money for cameras, etc.

1:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think all those bands broke up because they weren't that good. Just sayin.

cowboys from hell? please.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


2:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All of them broke up because of a lack of infrastructure... something that has been rectified somewhat by the internet. If support comes, then bands have incentive to keep things going. Like a relationship, community is something you have to work for. It's a simple fact. Let's stop hatin'.
A podcast is an excellent idea.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous earl said...

washing machine video? wha?

anon 905, funland kicked major ass. as does peter schmidt nowadays. also, if anyone has
the Tomorrowpeople's "Marijuana
Beach," please burn me a copy to
replace mine that was stolen.

1:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the strange boys- the one about his diction, the best song.
eat avery's bones- sweater petter would be my pick.

9:11 PM  

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