Thursday, May 19, 2005

Mass. bound mix tape

Music has always been a big part of my life. Baseball, riding bikes and around the age of 8, discovering rock 'n roll via my cheap transistor radio and WPNO (AM-1590). For today's post-modern travelers, AM and rock 'n roll are like oil and water. However, for someone of my advanced age, growing up in the late 1960's/early 1970's, hearing Blue Cheer's version of "Summertime Blues" on our local AM rock station was not uncommon.

One of the cool things about WPNO was their weekly top ten list that you could pick up at some of the local retailers like Sparks Department Store, or Kresge's in Lewiston. My mother, who always drove to Lewiston on Friday to grocery shop, received a weekly request to pick up the latest 'PNO offering. For an eight or nine-year-old, first embracing the medium of rock, I had a sense of empowerment--I thought I could influence the DJ's and place my favorite songs on the list. For instance, when Grand Funk did a cover of Little Eva's "Locomotion", I called the station multiple times for a week and sure enough, the "hot track of the week" was none other than my fave song. Was it coincidence? I think not!

My love and fascination of rock has not dampened over the years. Even though I'm in the process of doing a million things in order to get myself out the door and off to the Cape, one of my priorities is a mix tape for the drive south. In this day of high tech devices, Ipods, satellite radio and other gadgets, my '98 Taurus wagon is equipped appropriately, with a tape deck. Hence, if I want to listen to something other than bad FM rock via the stations south of here (personally, I don't find the Boston stations any better than Maine--just more bad choices available), I have to provide my own selections via a mix tape.

Having become a regular traveler south on those 2 3/4 hour trips to Wheaton and other ball fields, certain bands have been frequent fellow passengers. Swervedriver, a British band with an affinity for books and effects pedals, has been a favorite soundtrack for the past three years. Their Rave Down LP, with songs like "Son of a Mustang Ford", "Pile-Up" and "Sandblasted" seem to be the perfect music to navigate the crazy traffic in and around Boston. At 85+ mph and drivers who have no understanding of lane management, I often feel like a stock car driver at Darlington or Daytona.

On this trip, I'll also have Matthew Sweet, Idlewild (the perfect post-modern group of blokes, literate and possessing the caustic wit of all great UK bands), as well as a truly great and typically under-appreciate U.S. band, Swearing at Motorists (how appropriate, seeing that I'll be fender-to-fender with some of the craziest drivers around).

Gotta' go and get Bernie (my trusty Sheltie companion) to his weekend lodgings, finish the mix tape and throw some clothes in the travel bag.

Please send some positive energy my way and towards the Wheaton Lyons. Let's hope they can play up to their abilities and that the seniors, as well as big #24 stays hot. If that happens, I may be reporting from Wisconsin next weekend! Peace out.


weasel said...

Let's Go Lyons!
Here's hoping the DH comes up big. Having just made the journey Maine to Cape last week I applaud your mix tape plan. We brought Mrs. Weasel's Ipod but my lighter hole thingie wasn't working so it was radio all the way... WFNX out of Boston isn't that terrible, and over on the AM band you should be able to pick up Air America in both Portland and Beantown, as well as continuous WEEI Sox coverage from door to door should they be playing. Whatever you do, avoid Mike FM (eesch, what a name): a non-stop mix of pop pablum spanning the decades that Mrs. W was inexplicably drawn to around Quincy. They describe it as an "Ipod on shuffle" in their jingles. Enough said.

ChefDunn said...

I'm a "BIG" WAAF 107.3 fan. I've been listening to that station since I was about 12 years old. The format has changed over the years, but on Saturday night they still play a couple of hours of late 80's/early 90's metal. Oh, ya!

Jim said...

Listened to almost no radio while on the Cape, other than the obligatory weather forecast. Sat. was a washout, but we got the games in Sunday. Unfortunately, the tourney is extended into Monday, so I had to drive home Sunday night after the 7pm game. I left Harwich @ 10pm and arrived home @ 1:30am, so needless to say, I'm on "fumes" right now.

My mix tape got me home, as I didn't dare to trust my state of alertness to corporate programming originating from some suite on Madison Ave.