I was also considering making the title of this post “Reflection,” after a song of which I finally learnt its name the other day! However, I think that “hearing it on the radio” is a better title of the post, given a few reflections that I will make in this post.
Even though so much music today is available on-demand, through personal MP3s, CDs, YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud, etc., there is still a charm about hearing music on the radio. Not only can it possibly expand your musical horizons, but I enjoy the thrill of the chase and not knowing what will be played next.
Identifying songs, however, is often challenging for me, because even though sometimes I can use a utility such as SoundHound or Shazam to identify the song, many times I’m listening to off-the-wall music or Hebrew songs, both of which these utilities tend to be quite useless.
One of my favorite stations is WNUR-FM (Evanston-Chicago), which specializes in music that you won’t hear elsewhere on the dial… independent rock, jazz, and “experimental” music. Obviously, this means that if I hear an instrumental song, it can be VERY hard to identify.
It is easier if there is a DJ in the studio, because either they will be updating a live feed of the songs, or I can call in to request the name of the song. However, there are times when the studio is unmanned, and instead automated programming is playing on the station. This automated programming is oftentimes reruns of their “Airplay” program, featuring live performances.
There was this one instrumental song with guitars that I particularly liked when I heard it on automated programming, but of course couldn’t find the title… until Tuesday when I saw that this Airplay show had its own website with archived performances. And I found not only the song that I sought, but the whole performance. What is the song that I liked so much? “Reflection” by Joel Styzens, part of the “Relax Your Ears” series. Have a listen here!
Although I now know the song’s title, I don’t plan on immediately adding it to my MP3 collection. There is still a big treat with hearing a song on the radio out of nowhere. Although I always listen to my MP3s on shuffle, it is exciting listening to the radio instead, and getting the pleasant surprise of hearing a favorite song there.
A few more examples of this: yesterday, I listened to WLS-FM (Chicago), and heard “Rosanna” by Toto. This has always been one of my favorite songs, and I love hearing it on the radio, when I am not expecting it. I have written in at least one previous post that I frequently requested the song. Yet, hearing it not on demand can often make that time salient!
The thrill of learning the name of a song, and/or hearing it online, has also applied to the music in Hebrew that I hear. The songs from Israel don’t get registered in the song-identification applications, so I always have to search hard to find them, using a Hebrew lyrics site such as Shironet.
About a year ago, however, I heard a song that I had downloaded… on Israeli radio! It was יצאנו לרקוד (We Went to Dance) (given below). This song was one of the songs that was salient on the bus, as several people said that it sounded a little bit like Michael Jackson. Let me know if that idea is way off base!
What are your feelings about hearing songs on the radio versus on demand?