I’ve mentioned before, I listen to Electronic Dance Music mostly on satellite radio. It’s good for road trips in the car, but also you can get a home satellite radio, smart-phone sized, from Best Buy or of course via the web. You can listen on the internet, too. This way my EDM is constant, varied, and uninterrupted.
XM has two full-time channels, BPM on #51, and EDM on #52. Tiesto also has his very own “Club Life” channel, #340, with limited listening on the internet. Satellite is great as a 24/7 thing; #52 has lots of regular shows from the usual suspects – Above & Beyond, Armin van Buuren, Ferry Corsten, Fedde Le Grand, Diplo/Hardwell/Tiesto, the ever-popular David Guetta and many more. There are others, such as Carl Cox from England and Josh Wink from Philadelphia, that are new to me and I really like, such as Wink – his six-hour set New Years Eve in Tokyo was great, spread over a number of his shows.
I like the international flavor of the programming – Umek? EDM behind the Iron Curtain? – since EDM is still strongly Euro flavored. There are the usual Top-25 offerings, more on BPM, but overall the two channels are solid. You do get more of a sense of personality listening, as well. Some of the folks, such as Armin van Buuren, come across as relaxed and really good guys, while others are scripted down to their last butt hair, and sound it. I can do without some of the DJ talk. They are useful throwing out the latest info on tours and festivals, but “Afrojack is no longer dating Paris Hilton?” Really Important News…
There are weekly schedules for both channels posted on the SiriusXM site; #52’s schedule, for instance, has an extremely long URL, so I’d suggest just going directly to the channel guide.
Some highlights include Trance Around the World, hosted by Above and Beyond (see recent interview) Tuesdays 7-9 p.m., PDT; A State of Sundays with Armin van Buuren, actually from 3 a.m. Sunday through 3 a.m. Monday, PDT; Nervo Nation (see their recent interview as well) on #51, Wednesday 9-10 p.m. PDT. Personally, I enjoy Dada Life, 8-9 p.m. Friday, PDT, and Adam Bayer/Drum Code, 1-2 p.m., Mondays.
To me, music is meant to be heard more than seen, an aural medium, so satellite is great. Some of the videos these days are not so great – truly awful actually – and interfere more than enhance the music. A good example is “Concrete Angel” by Garth Emery. I love, love, love the lyrics, the passion and mystery and power of the song. Too bad the video is such crap.
Another age card here: I ate up the videos on MTV in the mid-80’s when they were just getting started. Dire Straits had a spectacular computer-animated version of “Money For Nothing” that was pre-Pixar and just as good as anything Emeryville’s ever produced. It seemed like a high percentage of videos from that time were mini-operas, tone poems, spectacular images, visual short stories with depth, etc.
I think the reason so many great photographers, directors and artists were attracted to music videos then was the nature of the music business at the time; money was made (mainly by the record companies) off the records, with touring and videos for support and publicity. Today, money is made touring, music is often free and videos are really mediocre. Seems like a lack of financial support and creative interest.
“Concrete Angel,” as much as I am enthralled by the song, is a classic example. It’s as good as the stuff Dylan or Leonard Cohen used to write, in some ways, and listened to, deserves its spot at the top of the charts for many months. The “official” video is cold, emotionally distant, unrelated to the passion of the music – a downer all the way around. Hell, I could do a better video, with real concrete angels such as the ones toppled when Penn Station was demolished, and the script a better match for the passion of the music. Music IS emotion, and if “CA” the song is the personification of that, its video is the anti-personification. Of course, there are 10,000 videographers, photographer, directors, artists and art students out there who could do much better than I.
One delightful video, “So Much Love” by Fedde Le Grand, is so much fun – a perfect video match for the music. Happiness, enthusiasm, that corny heart-shaped hand thingy, dance, show spectacle. You come away uplifted. Of course, “Concrete Angel” is serious shit compared, but the video completely misses the mark. Such a shame.