Changing Stations

Today, I told my students that I don’t listen to Spotify or Pandora because I like radio DJs. To a few astonished faces, I admitted that I listen more through the web than through the airwaves, but a robust response might require an entire semester. In short, it is the hosts of WFUV who explained to me the impact of producers and independent record labels on the development and proliferation of late-20th-century music on both sides of the Atlantic. Listening to their program Words and Music is like attending a workshop on being a freelance musician. I virtually went to SXSW Music 2012 through their broadcasts. This Bronx-based station also introduced me to James Blake, The Roots, Mumford & Sons, Adele, Tom Waits, and Ingrid Michaelson.

More than I luv FUV, however, I am devoted to connecting locally. As I wean myself off WFUV, I am fortified by Philadelphia‘s WXPN. I esteem Rita Houston in a male-dominated industry, but other than WFCF, the University of Pennsylvania’s station is the only one I know that regularly airs at least one hour of music exclusively by or featuring women. I had forgotten that the Big Apple’s midnight broadcasts of World Cafe originated in the City of Brotherly Love. The show’s home finally registered when Joy Ike announced that she was being featured on it. If I move again, I will commit myself to another local station, but right now, I am XPoNential-ly grateful.

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