Perambulating the Bounds

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Disoriented with satellite radio

Had XM satellite radio in my rental car this week. It makes music even more like wallpaper than commercial radio. Some of it is the lack of talk breaks. Just this smooth, endless flow, one song after another that fits together without interruption. Airless. Even when it’s a show that has someone tending it, it still seems deracinated. Part of it is the excess of polish that comes from something deployed on a national scale, but it’s also the lack of any reference to the ground it sits on, whether a DJ’s reference to the weather outside or a sports score, or an ad for a car dealer. It so obviously comes from no place, and this leaves me feeling depressed and alienated. I think of the automated radio station in Night of the Comet. Something left over after the world has been destroyed. I guess I feel the same way about most nationally syndicated radio shows. Radio is a lot better when it comes from some place – even if you are at a distance, listening on the internet.

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