In between living a mostly car-free lifestyle and my current dietary choice, lays a deep connection with music in the primary form of the radio. I owe a lot of who I have become to these three. For now I would like to talk about a topic that hasn’t been discussed as frequently as the other two.
Most of the people who I talk to seem to have lost their faith in the power of the radio. I’m no historian, but I am sure there was one point in time where most of the radio stations that were broadcasting played a great selection of good tunes. In the present time that same nostalgic sound is harder to find. The repetition of most music can drive a song and an artist into a category that resembles a dull knife. There will always be one point in time when a new song heard on the radio is fresh and enjoyable. Depending on the station you listen to, certain stations will try and preserve that freshness by playing that artist sparingly, or do the exact opposite and risk ruining their sound for the masses. I too find that when I listen to most radio stations, it metaphorically resembles using a once sharpened knife. Each play adding one more use to the tool, eventually wearing away and becoming difficult to work with and enjoy.
Most radio stations will do the latter of the two. Which has lead me to search for a new type of sound to listen to. Thus my discovery of radio in the public spectrum. What once was an odd stray from the norm has become a religious experience for me. I often catch myself raving and ranting about not only new music I find but also local events that are put on by such stations. Not only does the station play new and up-and-coming artists regularly, but they host events that are tied to the same concepts for an affordable cost (mostly free.) Think of it as a farmer’s market for the ears. A refreshing experience put on by people who genuinely care about what they’re playing and who they are promoting. There are times when an emerging artist begins to perform regularly on the public spectrum and eventually makes the bridge to the more mainstream field. I can say with complete honesty that listening to this happen makes me giddy inside. I rarely have hard feelings for that artist making that transition mostly because I was able to listen to them at an earlier stage in their career and am able to identify their musical goals from their actions (whether it be playing a bunch of free shows in the area, or creating a more polished product for the masses.)
The radio has played an important role in my self-discovery and growth. Going out to these local events allows me to have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the city. The atmosphere is the best part of the entire experience. That homegrown, grassroots vibe is what I strive for in my everyday life. It’s those experiences that create the most heart-felt and strong relationships. Much like how riding with a group of strangers can turn into a unbreakable bond in a matter of hours, so does experiencing the city through music, food, or the scenic views. This has all been made possible thanks to local radio stations.
The reason I brought this up was because I’ve not only had trouble gathering up all these thoughts to try and explain it to others, but because I want to show how important this is to me. I remember a conversation I had with a friend the other night that focused on the topic of the radio. No matter where I am, the radio always seems to be on point with the current vibe or whatever I may be doing at the time. Call it what you want, but this in combination with all that I’ve mentioned above sparked a few creative thoughts. One was to write a story similar to the book, “Love is a Mix Tape” but instead of tapes, it’s the radio.
Another serious thought I have has to do with taking a step that involves more commitment and a threshold for pain. I have trouble committing to a show or movie on Netflix let alone having ideas I want inked into my skin. That being said, I am considering the latter of the two. What better way to show your love and appreciation for something than the idea of a tattoo? It’s the one idea I’ve come up with that I would feel comfortable explaining to others while it’s still on my body. There is a deep rooted passion behind it, and can be made my own without clouding other creative ideas I hope to add.
Radio has stood the test of time and will continue to exist for a long time. One of the things I like about it is that it doesn’t anchor you to sit and become idle. There are interplanetary missions that are conducted where explorers communicate through radio waves. This method of communication is a crucial part of our existence. The reason I’m bringing all these points up is to rule out the argument that this idea is just a phase. While it’s been about a week that I’ve thought up this tattoo idea, the feelings behind it have been around for years. Hell, I even considered donating my car since I don’t use it very much as it is.
That’s what’s been on my mind recently. That and the new addition of work hours along with the possible second job opportunity. But until that bridge presents itself, I continue to think about ink.