Thursday, December 5, 2013 2 Comments
I don’t consider myself a music snob, but I have to say that there’s something about commercial radio that always makes me feel like I’ve mixed my beers with my wine coolers. Considering the delicate balancing act between the station DJ’s ubiquitous brand of bum humor and fast food advertising, it’s amazing they have time to play music at all. Amazingly enough, the stuff they do play is on such high rotation that it isn’t uncommon to experience ear bleeds during extending listening sessions. With present day commercial stations broadening their genre selection, now frequently spinning tunes that were once indisputably indie only tracks, it is often with great sadness that I hear songs that I really like suddenly adopted on commercial radio, for I know it won’t be long until the mere opening notes of such songs will invoke a pain akin to childbirth for me. And don’t get me started on their Australian content….or lack of it, with many commercial stations struggling to even reach a 10% Oz music quota during their daily broadcasts…. pitiful!
It’s fortunate that there are so many alternatives to the tediousness of commercial radio these days. From supporting community radio to exploring the veritable smorgasbord of digital station offerings, there is no excuse for subjecting yourself to such repetitious mediocrity any longer.
Dig Music is a relative newcomer to the digital arena- kind of…. this ABC-owned digital radio station actually started out in 2002 and was for many years ABC Radios only continuous stream. In October 2013, it came under the management of youth radio station Triple J. As with the previous incarnations of this station, the musical stylings are aimed at what I would commonly call a more discerning audience of music lovers (aged 30+). In other words, it’s meant to appeal to the kids who tuned in to triple-j around the same time that Seattle became known for grunge music. In saying that, the station is currently in a beta stage of programming. What this means for you, dear reader, is that you have the opportunity to influence this station’s future musical programming…. pretty exciting, huh?
I have been checking out the station over the past few weeks, and I have to say, I’m liking what I hear…. there’s a great mix of old-school indie classics (think the likes of Tom Waits, Flaming Lips, Dandy Warhols and so on) and previously unheard, but instantly likeable new stuff, including a generous lashing of Australian meaty goodness. There’s some cool accessible content, including themed playlists programmed by influential muso’s. At the time of writing, these included the likes of Katalyst, Mia Dyson, Ian Ball (Gomez) and Jae Laffer (The Panics). There’s also a weekly feature album spotlight and an entertaining segment called the Untidy Desk, where artists and groups perform live acoustic versions of their tracks at a desk within the confines of the triple-j office. With no programmed DJs and no intrusive advertising, you can enjoy quality, uninterrupted music any hour of the day.
If you like the prospective sound of Dig Music and would like to hear how it sounds in the first person, there are a number of ways that you can tune in….. From your PC, visit www.digmusic.net.au and hit the Listen Live button; on your digital radio, you can scan for Dig Music; flick across to channel 200 on your Free-to-Air television stations; or download the ABC Music App on your iPhone or Android device.
With the new station due to be officially launched in April 2014, there is plenty of time for you to influence the evolution of Dig Music. You can do this by hitting the DIG IT button beside a currently playing track every time a song tickles your fancy. Unfortunately, this function only seems to be available via the web interface for the station. You can also pitch your program ideas, suggest a guest presenter or throw your hat in the ring as a prospective host by contacting the station directly.
If you have been subjecting yourself to commercial music, it might just be time to clean the blood from those lugholes and seduce them with some quality acoustics. If you’re wanting to check out something new and maybe help shape the future of music in a rather insignificant way, why not give it a listen…. Whatever your justification, I just reckon you should check it out, ‘K? You can thank me later.