Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Guerilla Radio

One day, driving home from school, I turn on the radio to hear a song called "What's Left of the Flag." The artists, Flogging Molly, has become one of my favorite bands. Now, sitting here, wearing my Flogging Molly T-shirt, I discover that the radio station I was listening to all those years ago has just shut down.

I grew up listening to WBCN, and I had come to consider the station as a landmark in the electromagnetic spectrum of Boston. So naturally, the news of its imminent demise came as bit of a shock &mdash a very concrete example of how modern media is changing.

The tendency is to blame iPods and MP3s for killing the radio, but I'm not sure if it is true. NPR's podcasts give me the opportunity to listen to programming that I enjoy, such as Car Talk, without me having to tune in on a Sunday afternoon. WBCN's song list will even live on via the station's website.

Infinity bigshot, Oedipus, sticking to his pseudonym even on PBS's Greater Boston, points out that only half of a radio station's job is the songs. Good radio content is determined by character, and the homoginization and nationalization of radio content has made the airwaves boring.

The Rock of Boston built its reputation on the creation of personalities, and a commitment to Boston's local scene. However, in recent years BCN lost the spark that introduced me to bands like Flogging Molly, the Dropkick Murphys, and showed the country bands like U2 and The Pixies (It also had a strange affinity for Irish bands).

So Boston says goodbye to an a piece of history, even though the golden age may have ended years ago. Whether it is the cause or the effect, the trend seems to be clear: The airwaves are full of naught but the most mainstream of media, and listeners are turning to internet and satellite radio for niche and novel content.


An addendum for people in the Boston area, one of BCN's major local features, Boston Emissions, is slated to continue on WZLX 100.7 in August.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

You've got to take her out

Energy drinks are great! What else is there to keep you going when it is four in the morning and you have an after party to attend. (besides cocaine of course) In highschool, when I was bored on a Saturday night, there was nothing better than shotgunning two Mountain Dew Amps, bouncing off the walls for two hours then collapsing in a sugar coma.

However, in the seemingly endless field of bull-piss-fueled, super-power-endowing quaffs, it is hard to get the attention as the trucker reaches into the gas station ice box. Let's face it, giving wings worked well for Clarence, but it is not for everyone. Now that you mention it: "I want to live!" would make an awesome tag line for on of these sodas. The trend now seems to aim at the not so bright, yet health conscious crowd — you know the people who work out and/or diet all the time, but whose knowledge of nutrition is "calories are bad".

See Exhibit A:

I understood 5 hour energy's angle, the high sugar content definitely makes energy drinks far less appealing than your standard cup of coffee. (This is not to be confused with 6 Hour Power, which gives you head.) Celsius' shtick totally takes advantage of the fact that everyone wants to be skinny, but doesn't understand how thier bodies work.

The ingredients are the same as if you added some vitamin C and B to a diet Redbull. This means that the "calorie burning" effect comes from the raised metabolism that is associated with the "energy" giving ingredients which you cannot pronounce. So, yes, it will help you burn calories, but so does coffee... and cocaine. So, I suppose, if you are looking to supplement your diet, but for some reason can't seem to score and eight ball, you can always go down to the supermarket and pick some of this stuff up.