Sunday, April 03, 2005

Radio Daze

Co-hosting a radio show, I am discovering, is a bit like having sex. Just a teeny weenie bit. It gets better over a period of time. As I haven't had sex in more than a teeny weenie time, I am relying on recollection. The show started off as joke - and I am glad it has remained a private joke. We were asked to critique the content of an FM radio station. I kind of -sort of - implied-insinuated that all radio in Pakistan was white, rock oriented, red (wheatish?) necked, and whiter than white. Uhun. So what's the solution ? "You need soul. Jazz. Blues. Music that speaks from the soul. Not from the sound lab." "Can you do a demo ?" The rest, as they say, is geography.

Trying to do radio in the twenty first century is not as easy as it sounds. The studio here is microscopic - the leg room is positively economy plus minus some. The walls are the shade of rotting tangerines. Soundproofing chemicals make the eyes water. The equipment is fancy and sexy - OK, I know I haven't had sex in some time. Even the flat screen displays are beginning to look erotic. The trax (as "we" call them) are heard over the week. I now have over a hundred hours of music on my notebook. (Windows occasionally reminds me that it is malfunctioning as I have too many files out there.) I also have brilliant friends (where would I be without them?) who supply me with inspiration, cds, ideas and all else.

And then there is my co-host. We fight, squabble, bitch, gripe and - sometimes- debate what should or shouldn't go into the show. The process is becoming typical - I listen to music the week through. If I like a track I hit a magic button and it goes onto a hot list. About a dozen of these are culled and sent to Co-Host. We meet Sunday, about an hour or two before we go live. Over mugs of tea, angst, family dramas (hers, not mine) we decide what goes on. A quick playlist is prepared. The rest is all chemistry. For sixty minutes we have to figure out what to say in between. People think we script the show. We don't. Yes, once in a while, she or I will say "What do we talk about next?" The other replies, "Chill. something will happen."It does. Always. Without realising it, we have comfortably slipped into the cool personas inhabited by our songs.

The highlight of tonight's show was a jazz standard called Bye Bye Blackbird by Rachell Ferrel. Live. Skat. Jazz at its best. I sit behind my enthusiastic (but not terribly efficient) sound engineer. The track started. Rachell's live/impro/skat reached orgasmic proportions. He reached out for his headphones. Swung his swivel chair back. Stuck his arms out. His expression said it all. He felt good. One down. Another hundred and some million to go.


Blogger livinghigh said...

the radio show sounds like a hell of a fun time! yay! When Complaints become Heaven - the new real;ity show.. o, i'm talking nonsense, dribbling it, is more like it! ;-)

PS: I like jane austen too, read emma, and know all about trying to find that elusive mr darcy! ;-) never heard of the botswana writer, though... hmmm..

4:04 pm  
Blogger Uber Homme said...

live radio IS funky ...all that live babbling. The Botswana man is good fun. Try the first novel ..and if you like, the other five to date!

5:52 pm  

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