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Friday, October 16, 2009

There's nothing to do

Child: There's nothing to do.
Mom: Go surf the internet.
Child: The internet is boring.  There's nothing on. 
Mom: When I was little all we had was TV. 
Child: TV what's that? 
Mom: Think of a type of electromagnetic waves used to transmit web sites.
Child: Sounds quaint. 
Mom: Shows started at a certain time and stopped at a certain time.  If you weren't watching at the right time, you missed the show. 
Child: Like at the movie theater.
Mom: Right. 
Child: Was there one show at a time?
Mom: No, there were four shows on at once.  But at night they shut down. 
Child: Like the internet but with only four websites. 
Mom: Right. 
Child: I'm bored.
Mom: Me too. 

Monday, October 5, 2009

KCSN Statement

KCSN has a statement out on their homepage.
KCSN's commitment to Classical music continues following critical cuts in state funding to Cal State Northridge. "Every part of the university has had to reduce costs, and the radio station is no exception." said Robert Bucker, dean of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communication. Despite the loss of live personal commentary and announcements, KCSN continues to play the same breadth of Classical music and even more of it. While we are constantly evaluating our programming on 88.5 FM and HD2, we intend to continue offering classical music programming to our listener base in the future.
It is tempting to hold Bucker up to substantial ridicule here.  I am attempting to listen to the classical music feed this morning, but it is difficult.  "Breadth" is an inappropriate description of the current playlist.  So far it sounds like Schubert, Mozart, Bach and contemporaries.  Classical oldies.  Classical pop.  No piece titles, no announcements. JACK-FM for the post-geriatric set. 

While I'm hoping for 20th century music other than Rodrigo's guitar concerto and the incessant Copeland favs, it's not looking good for now.  Maybe some Debussy or such.  Post WWII?  Unlikely.  21st century music?  Forget it.  Chamber work?  Nah.  Currently listening to a live recording of a piano sonata.  Film scores?  Doubt it.  Shostakovich has entered the classical mainstream, even supplanting Tchaikovsky as the number one Russian composer these days.  Will we get any Dmitri ever again? 

The KCSN website claims "100,000 loyal listeners per week" still.  I'm listening right now to report on the station.  I don't expect to continue listening to this format. 

After 7pm Jim Svejda on KUSC plays substantial amounts of modern music -- even interviewing real living composers.  Whole 3 hour sets from a single modern composer.  Who knew there were so many wonderful composers in New Zealand?  It's been a wonderful place to hang after KCSN shut down at 6pm.  Now I'll have to give their daytime programming a closer visit. Not much choice. 

Sunday, October 4, 2009

More on KCSN

My favorite announcer was Ian Freebairn-Smith. He liked modern classical music and played many a new piece and violin concerto that I later invested in. His show/time slot Mid-Day Classics with Ian Freebairn-Smith is no longer listed as a program in the KCSN playlist. I'll miss him and his show. He was the main reason I listened to KCSN.

It's quite possible the massacre is related to the massive retrenching at the Cal State University and University of California caused by the legislature's and governor's (and electorate's) shortsighted lack of support for higher education. Unfortunately I don't know how much if any of KCSNs budget came through Cal State.

The station manager is now listed as "interim station manager" Karen Kearns. I had thought that Fred Johnson was the station manager. Not sure when the switch over occurred.


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Long Live KCSN

KCSN 88.5 radio appears dead. The station is off the air. The internet feed is playing lite classical and not bothering to identify the pieces played.

I mourn.

KCSN used to have Martin Perlich, Bill Toutont, Ian Freebairn-Smith on staff. The music was wonderful. They played music by (heaven forfend) non-dead composers! It was great! I haven't specifically heard if Ian is still there, he's been out a lot lately with "feeling under the weather" given as reason, a very worrisome reason for someone in their 70s.

A bit over a year ago, apparently the dean stuck his fingers in the pot and rejiggered the mix. Alan Rich over at his blog details some of the idiocies involved in the assassination about a year ago. The continuing saga appears to have finished now. The station is dead, the quality gone, blandness reigns. It sounds a lot like the other classical station in town now.

If I want to hear interesting, new, music I'll have to rely on my own CD collection. Where did I used to get ideas for my own music collection? From Ian Freebairn-Smith on KCSN. Now where do I go for new ideas?

I have no idea.