Monday, 5 November 2012

easing toward middle age with classic rock radio

My alarm clock has an old school analog radio dial. On days when I don't have to jump straight out of bed to take on the world, I like to ease into consciousness to the sounds of a radio soundtrack. Normally campus radio is my preferred format. But the diversity of campus programming suits my waking brain better than my awakening brain, so my alarm clock is tuned to the more predictable playlist of commercial rock radio.

I enjoy (and have a scholarly interest) in the local aspects of radio so for the past few years I've been waking up, when I can, to my local rock station. But after sleepily hitting the FM dial instead of the volume one groggy morning, I ended up tuned in to Toronto's classic rock station Q107. And for the most part, that has been suiting me just fine.

There's something (oddly? unsurprisingly?) comforting in listening to the station I woke up to in my teens and finding that not much has changed. Something guiltily pleasurable in erasing the past couple of decades of popular music history. And maybe smoothing over the discontinuities of youth and adulthood (to whatever extent I can be said to be 'adult') and the experiences that transformed one state to the other.

When I switch the radio off I come back to the present. I can revel in the virtual and physical stacks of new (mostly underground, mostly metal) music I accumulate on a weekly basis. And I can deal with/enjoy the experience of living my current (mostly grown-up) life. But in the mornings time blurs and elides for a little while as the frequencies of radio modulate the frequencies of my brain into a rock and roll fantasy.

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