Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Laurie Brown. For me, her show is constantly exciting. Never before has the radio been a way for me to discover new music. Instead, it’s been a way to kill time and distract myself as I drive, a chance to sing along to half-remembered lyrics and melodies that somehow exist, often unwelcome, in my subconscious. Of course, there’s the unique joy that comes from the surprise spin of something truly great – and I love this part of radio. However, I’m finding though that the bar I set for “greatness” slips lower the more time I spend in my car. Before, I’d roll down the windows for true favourites like New Order, Harry Nilsson, or Lou Reed. More and more, I’m finding myself cranking up “Hungry like the Wolf” or “Come on Eileen”.
Laurie Brown’s show The Signal offers something totally different for me. I rarely recognize what I’m hearing, but I’m always interested. The music she plays demands attention.
I have not digested music this way before, ever. By the time I was looking for music of my own, the Internet had ascended to become the media source of choice. Don’t get me wrong: this has been great for so many reasons. New, small, under-funded bands can be heard by millions, labels no longer have an iron grasp on distribution, and spheres of sonic influence have expanded to encompass the globe. However, every new song, new band, is always presented pre-judged (pitchfork 7.3), pre-analysed (derivative of joy division), and slotted into an ever-expanding genre catalogue (chillwave, slowcore, nu gaze, etc. etc.). Listening to this radio show is exciting for me because I can make up my own mind.
So here’s Weird Ceiling by Zammuto. I heard it on The Signal. What do you think?