Last Sunday's Chronicle reports the local classical radio station KDFC, better known by its ad slogan "all comatose, all the time," was third in overall ratings, ahead of even KCBS news radio (let alone the alternative rock Live 105 which was 20th). This probably means they are raking in the cash which means they have no incentive to change their programming which ultimately means terrestrial FM radio has little or no interest for me.
To survey the alternatives, for a month, I relived my youth by listening to Max 95.7 aka "seventies, eighties, whatever" but enough with the pop nostalgia, even if I remember more songs than I care to admit. After too much Philadelphia Freedom, time to move on...
Then, I switched to the local reggaeton station. For those who are unfamiliar, this is a beat-heavy Spanish dance station. Songs and DJs are mostly in Spanish and the traffic report sounds like this to my ears
".................280..............Menlo Park..........McArthur Maze.............Burger King"
I did enjoy the morning call-ins for about a week, even if I couldn't ascertain the subject most of the time. But eventually, it was time to move on to KDFC.
Nothing interesting. Nothing. I would occasionally be surprised by some movement from a concerto from some fourth-rate 19th-century composer; after all those years reading Fanfare, if I can't recognize the names, they must be obscure. Regardless, the overall effect was still soporific.
I don't really understand this. Even today, I listened to Alvin Curran's Inner Cities 1, played by Bruce Brubaker. This is simple music and yet it has some life and vibrance. I don't think I am that hard to please; I can listen to this repeatedly despite what Curran himself says about it:
IC 1, written as a birthday gift for Ernstalbrecht Stiebler, is composed on a single A major chord in first inversion supporting a one note melody on "A." When this gets boring the music "modulates" to a 3 note melody over a 4th chord.
And yet, reggaeton is more satisfying than what I hear on KDFC. In any case, I've now migrated to the Stanford and Foothill Junior College stations. This also means all music and artists I've never heard before but if it leads to discovering fun stuff (as it has in the past with say, Family of God), I'm good, for awhile anyway...