OK so I checked out of the rock and roll clinic for awhile to make space for other things including another blog, which is not neccesarily the most brilliant thing to do when you are suffering from the dreaded 2006 disease called "blogging burnout." Nevertheless I was out of the music space doing other things, etc. and in that time I don’t think I listened much to anything so my MP3 player collected dust on the night table waiting for its chance to once again plug into the rock and roll main vein.
Finally a few days ago I was using iTunes for something or another and I (finally!) noticed the podcasting section and had a quick look at the Music section. Lo and behold I noticed that one of my favourite bunch of rock and roll miscreants at Garage Punk.Com produced a podcast. Now these are the people behind The Wayback Machine on KDHX FM in St. Louis, Missouri USA so you know that they will have some very cool raving rock and roll on tap so I decided to download their Garage Punk podcast to my newly dusted off MP3 player and hopefully shake the cobwebs from my brain.
After that download the wheels started to turn and I started to think that I needed to balance out this sample of fine, snotty garage punk with something a little more melodic like power pop so off I went to the mighty Not Lame record label to see what was happening over there. I was actually looking to download some of the MP3 freebies that they have on tap every Tuesday but was floored when I realized that they too have a podcast called iPop which was next up to get loaded onto my MP3 player. I was now starting to warm up all over again to this whole podcasting thing so I kept on trolling for more.
How about something a bit more modern or (god help whoever coined this phrase) "alternative I thought? Well I have always been a big fan of the indiefeed podcast and more specifically their alternative/modern rock podcast so I started downloading a bunch of those with abandon as they offer a fine mix of individual songs from a wide variety of indie bands and singer/songwriters. And so the megs just kept filling up but I was not quite done yet.
I decided to head back to some more punked up rock and roll action and downloaded the latest from the Detroit flavoured Plan 9 Rock Show, a link incidentaly that I picked up from the Garage Punk website (something that tends to happen as you wander from podcasting site to site). Well the latest show kicked off with the New York Dolls so I knew the show would be worth it but I figured I would download just one more podcast and call it a night since I still had to find the time to listen to all this stuff (a common problem with things like blogs and podcasts where you sometimes get so carried away subscribing to their RSS feeds that you realize you can’t sleep for the next three weeks if you possibly want to read and listen to everything on your computer or iPod).
So finally, to finish of my podcast smorsgabord I headed over to The Podcast Network and their TPN Rock Show for some more happening modern rock and roll. The TPN Rock Show is similar to the Indiefeed podcast in that it features indie rock and roll but they mix things up with a variety of shows featuring just one song with longer 30 plus minute podcasts.
Now for those of you that are already on the podcasting bandwagon I know I am preaching to the converted but to those of you who crave rock and roll but for some reason remain committed to your local commercial rock radio outlet the only thing that you can do to save your sanity is to SHUT IT OFF. The podcasts that I have just mentioned are the tip of the iceberg. Every one of them featured something that I had never heard of but enjoyed enough to play multiple times and then take the next step and actively search out where I could listen to more and buy the CD. What things like podcasts, streaming internet-only radio shows and websites like My Space and stores like CD Baby offer the music fan is the chance to explore. Now to some people the idea of exploring rock and roll, listening to various bands and records and trying to figure out what you like and don’t like is a foreign concept. It sometimes seems that it is easier to sit back and listed to Hotel California and Immigrant Song for the 4000th time than to possibly take a chance listening to something that you might not like. Plus there is just so much out there! True enough but in the words of the immortal "Way-Outs" from the Flintsones, "That’s where the fun is."
And if you think you need an iPod to listen to this stuff I can assure you that you do not. Any MP3 player will do and they get cheaper every week. Another alternative is to download a bunch of podcasts and burn them to a CD so you can listen to them in your car or on your stereo. It’s a low-tech way to enjoy a high-tech phenomen that just gets better every month.
Give it a shot tonight. Google "rock and roll podcast" or try the ones I’ve listed here and take them for a spin. If nothing catches your fancy just wait for the next edition or search out some more. Use the multitude of free music being made legally available on the net to sample the incredible variety of great, bona fide rock and roll that you thought had gone extinct in 1974. Trust me it will open up your eyes and make your ears smile. Once you start you won’t be able to stop and soon you will see that rock and roll is alive and well in 2006, just not being played on your FM dial any more.
The adventure continues.