Thursday, November 26, 2009

Radio Radio

Radio is a sound salvation. Radio is cleaning up the nation.

Here are some great radio shows with information about Boston music and rock & roll in general. Ironically, the lyrics above and below come from Elvis Costello's "Radio Radio", which was a protest song condemning the commercialization of radio. Also ironically, I'm more likely to listen online these days than live on the radio. But I do listen...

So you had better do as you are told. You better listen to the radio.


Three Ring Circus (3RC) with Joan Hathaway
Fridays 4:00-5:30PM WMBR 88.1 FM

This is a recent discovery for me, although the show has been on a mission since 1991. It specializes in roots rock music, with lots of local music and previews of upcoming shows. There are occasional stuoursdio guests and in-studio performances. The events calendar is almost as good as our calendar and contains most of the shows that you need to know about. I think they're stalking me, or maybe I'm stalking them... The playlists are also informative, especially if you missed part of the show. I generally listen to this one streaming live on There are usually two archived podcasts on the WMBR website listed below, so you can listen to the most recent shows.

Boston Emissions with Anngelle Wood

Sundays 10:00-midnight 100.7 WZLX

This show has been an institution of the Boston rock music scene for years and fortunately survived the move from 104.1 to 100.7 FM. The show specializes in local indie rock and features Boston music exclusively, with guests and in-studio performances. Originally aired on WBCN (The Rock of Boston), the show is now going strong on WZLX. I generally listen to this live on my stereo, but also listen to the podcasts on the website when I miss it.

Sound Opinions with Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot
91.5 FM WBEZ Chicago 

This show covers all aspects of rock & roll, from pop to rap, and the hosts are very knowledgeable. Each show has a theme and can range from changes in the music business to a dissection of a landmark album.They often have great in studio guests and live performances (including Boston's own Mission of Burma and Frank Black of the Pixies). It is very much like a "Siskel and Ebert" for music and even originates from Chicago. Like that pair, they may be most entertaining when they disagree. CD reviews are on the buy it, burn it or trash it scale, similar to the famous "thumbs up" ratings. The show airs on NPR, but I have not found it locally. I listen to this exclusively as a podcast, available through iTunes.

On a sad note, Blues on WGBH (Saturday nights on 89.7FM) and their folk show were discontinued in Nov 2009. I admit that I've only occasionally listened to the show in recent years, but I was a big fan of Mai Cramer's original "Blues After Hours" show. Mai (pictured at left) lost her battle with breast cancer in 2002, you can read more about her legacy here. For the past few years, there has been an annual benefit blues concert at The Regent Theatre in Arlington. Look for the next concert in April.

Wonderful radio, Marvelous radio...
Radio Radio

The video below comes from SNL's 25th anniversary show in 1999, where Elvis recreated his infamous 1977 appearance by interrupting The Beastie Boys and performing "Radio Radio". The original Attractions may have been better, but this version rocks, too...

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