It is easy to forget when I am railing against all the stupid headlines these days -- but we are still living in amazing times.
What brought on this incredible insight, you ask? Well, I've been developing some podcast concepts with a friend (more news on that in the near future -- news that might include ray guns!), and so I've been researching audio storytelling, which led me to radio dramas, and an excuse to spend a little time web surfing about the not-so-good old days of the golden age of radio. From this website:
Even though many people couldn't afford payments on their washing machines, vacuum cleaners, or Model A Fords, they desperately struggled to keep up payments on their radios. (Keep in mind that not only were all of these things relatively expensive in the 1930s, but a large percentage of people were out of work.)
(And here we are, with dozens of podcasts downloading to our phones in our back pockets...)
Let's face it, life is awesome! I don't have to make any payments on my olde-timey radio, and I've got all the music I can take! But, of course, I take it all for granted. All those delicious podcasts, all that streaming music - is, more often than not, background noise. Boo.
I am starting to think that, instead of tuning out, I should make a serious effort to tune in, instead.
Today's listeners, who use radio largely as a background to do other things, might wonder how radio could hold a listener's interest for several hours at a time.
There's a one-word answer: imagination.
It's reminding me that there's a lot to be said for lying on the floor in the dark, listening with all your self to something beautiful or scary or wonderful.
Speaking of listening with all your self, the next time you are in Austin, may I suggest that you take an hour out of your day and check out the Stevie Ray Vaughan exhibit at the Bullock Museum. I hadn't listened to SRV's stuff in over a decade - but his music is coursing throughout the exhibit, and after a few minutes, I realized how much his music is a part of who I am. His albums came into my life back when I still really LISTENED - when I had hours of free time and a burning desire to spend those hours in the listening booth at Waterloo Records. I never thought I was that into his music - guitar rock, sure OK I guess - but after this exhibit, I remembered what a total badass the dude was, and how anybody who strives for excellence is an inspiration, no matter wtf they do.
"Jimmie would leave his guitars around the house and tell me not to touch 'em. And that's basically how I got started."
- Stevie Ray Vaughan, Guitar World interview, May 1984
(Also, side note, all museum exhibits should include rock music, blasting at high volume in every room. No matter the topic. The life cycle of butterflies? Led Zeppelin! Fifteenth-century farm life in Italy? Bjork! F it! Why not?)
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