Saturday, September 4, 2010

Earth, Wind and Fire and Bottles

Earth Wind and Fire is and was one of my favorite musical groups of all times.  Growing up when I did, I got exposed to a lot of dance music - sorry, Disco.  With a Big D.  There was also a lot of R and B, Soul and other Black formats of music.  This was the era where it was becoming less of a political statement for a white guy from the suburbs to enjoy the black radio stations.  Good music is universal, just like all good art.

In and near Philadelphia, it never was a big deal while I was growing up.  If you listened to the Disco Station in the 70s, you would naturally tune over to the Black Station when there was a song you didn't like and flip back when you got bored there.  I suspect in the larger markets, especially up North and out on the West coast it was pretty much the same.  Music wasn't quite as political as before then, and shortly there after.

I can't say how it is now, because since Clear Channel single handedly wrecked music on radio during the 90s with the homogenization of radio in the large markets, I stopped listening to music on radio.  Except with my iPod running through a transmitter to my car radio, there is very little use I have for popular music on broadcast radio these days.  NPR and Classical if I'm not listening to something I have handy.

But there's always dance music.  Trance, Techno, Goa... I have links for all of them on my one laptop that I have devoted to the cause of being a table radio.   I can click a button and have international radio and web broadcasters at my command.  I get my news from the BBC, music from Dutch DJs on a London Website.  Maybe one commercial or two every hour, and no mindless DJs like the boneheads that Sirius radio insists on putting on.

Sirius is so bad that I will just save them for a separate rant.  You lost your way guys, and you are almost as terrible as the Clear Channel radio stations that you laugh at.

Every so often when I get tired of the Electronic Dance music, I return to those wonderful days of the "Black Radio Stations" that were actually programmed locally by people who understood the music and wanted to make it fun and worth while to come back.  Earth Wind and Fire is one of those groups that they would play.  Plenty of Albums, active for about 10 years there is enough to listen to to get going and revisit your friends.

I can't picture the teenage kids down the block going on a hunt for Earth Wind and Fire.  I don't know the last time I heard them on the radio... oh scratch that, I haven't listened to a station that might even ironically play EWF in ages.  I will admit that you probably have to be over 35 to be into the group.  If you're over 35 you're not prone to violence unless it hasn't gotten pounded out of you so this news item left me confused and thinking "It must have been an outsider".

Seems that in Fort Collins, Colorado the other day there was a concert where EWF was playing and there was a riot.  Lets see, LA, Riot?  Yeah not hard to picture is it?  But Fort Collins?  That's a small city in a Red State!  College town at that, and they're usually leafy and quiet and sometimes boring but a riot?  At a concert where there were a bunch of 40 and 50 and 60 somethings dreaming about "Back In The Day"?

Where's my copy of Boogie Wonderland on a 12 inch Vinyl?  I want to Dance! with the Emotions while I read about this one!  You can listen to it here...

To Quote CBS News:

Although it is unclear what initially sparked the fight (most likely a combination of alcohol and more alcohol), police say the crowd of about 400 people began throwing bottles, damaging cars, and setting fires in the city of Fort Collins, Colo., about 65 miles north of Denver.

Wow, I guess I'm living a sheltered life.  I've never been in a bar brawl, I've never been in a riot, I've always been lucky that way.  I missed being in the LA Riots by a month and even drove a rental through South Central and came out safe.  There was a Target there and I needed some supplies when I was there for business.

It all strikes me as strange.  Not like going to a hockey game and seeing a fight - you expect that there.  Going to an oldies concert and having a riot break out in a small town?  Bizarre!  You can catch some of that confusion I'm seeing in the article I am quoting above... in the mean time I'm going to go on living my sheltered life and scratching my head.  I prefer my own music without beer bottles so concerts are out.

Freaky!  Hey, stop messing with my oldies and stop harshing my mellow!

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