Thursday, July 12, 2007

Why the Excitement Over WCBS-FM ? Here's Why

I'm back. Miss me? Spent a couple of weeks doing stem-cell research in Indochina, but now I am back and going, going, gone...the excitement of today was the return of 101.1 FM in NYC. WCBS-FM. Wow, when it went away two years ago it seemed like another post- 9/11 casualty in some perverse way.

After 9/11 Bloomberg was elected and New York was going to turn modern, corporate and bad to the bone. Let's start by getting rid of all of those old fogey institutions and replace them with something..well, "Youthful". Well, it turned out that youth (or "yutes" to quote Joe Pesce in My Cousin Vinny) don't listen to the damn radio when they have Ipods and Iphones and Idon't know what else. There was something so New Yawk about cbs-fm..It was always there (kind of like NY1 is there, I guess, or the Drudgereport), every season, at work, at home, in the car even , or when you are exercising. And it was like a particular kind of musicology lesson, where you honed your musical knowledge and chops. Tonite, I was on the elliptical for an hour in the basement and I was hauling ass & I Listened to 101.1 and there was not a song that was not wonderfuly familiar, memorable, and touched you in a special place. I know all of you young uns are moving in, with your inspiration, your derivate musiques, your wishes lies and dreams and you would like nothing more that us older 50s to take a powder or generally move off stage and that's what theoriginal removal of 101.1 was..I tried to listen to Jack, I really did, but it had no personality..to remove cbsfm, which had so much New Yawk brassiness and pizzazz and that was kind of a melting pot for the diverse, black and white pop musics that were new and fresh in the 60s-80s and that we grew up on, well, to remove it and replace it with the weak Jack FM was a repudiation of all of us who were young once too, damnit, young just like you, ya fools...

While we didn't take to the barricades over cbsfm, it did represent a loss and a fear that wow, to quote Bob Dylan, Things Had Changed.. and while change can be necessary and good not everything needs to tossed in the trashbin.. so the fact that it is back is a little bit of a mystery and an unexpected joy and in this hot summer of Iraq slaughter, global warming, a weak dollar and other very pressing "gut" fears, it is great and wonderful to have this little bit of familiarity and comfort back in our lives as we make our way through each New York day.

Peace Out

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