25 February 2007

Paradisical Radio

As most of my recently acquired new music has come from "recommendations" from The O.C. I hadn't listened to Radio Paradise for ages and I had forgotten how awesome it was. It is a "listener-supported" internet radio, with a "pay as much as you can/as much as you like" non-subscription policy. But it's not just any old internet radio station; it is as though someone has taken the contents of my iTunes directory and created a constantly streamed playlist of these and similar artists, all intermingled with the gravelly, soothing voice of Bill Goldsmith who only occasionally reminds listeners that any (monetary) support is very welcome. February is their fund-raising month and they have set a target of $100,000; by the middle of the month, they had reached $40,000, which isn't bad. I must remember to donate...

As the station is just run by Bill and his wife Rebecca, they do need to set up the playlists in advance and if you listen over a period of a few weeks, you will definitely notice that the same segues come up a few times, but that's okay because they are usually so well chosen in the first place. I have just finished listening to R.E.M. (So. Central Rain), followed by Radiohead (I Might Be Wrong) and the Doves (Darker), all of which I already like, and these were segued by a song called Wonderful Wizard by the Guggenheim Grotto, which I've never heard of before but which sounds like my kind of group! I guess it is this combination of great songs that I already know I like (but may not have heard for a while) and suggestions for other songs, which I haven't heard of but which are definitely my style. Even in the case of songs to which I listen all the time, there's this certain thrill about hearing a song you like played on the radio, although I'm not sure why; maybe it's because you know then that lots of other people will be listening to the great song at the exact same time as you - that's kind of nice, I think.

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