Re-education for the Masses!

I live in the Philippines, and for a small little country, I’d like to think we have a rather diverse set of radio stations. We have NU107 for rock n’roll. CHR/pop from stations like Magic 89.9, Jam 88.3, Monster Radio, Max FM and Hit FM. A variety of easy-listening from Mellow 94.7, 105.1 Crossover, Wave 89.1 and 92.3 XFm.
While we do have a lot of ground covered in terms of music, I think we need a venue for music-maniacs like myself to learn new stuff. I was already into music early on in my life, collecting some 45s, even bought an LP of Michael Jackson’s Thriller, then went on to cassette tapes (ha! I think some of my first buys were Heart, The Bangles, Rick Astley and Debbie Gibson!). Haha now that I think of it, I was such a pop-boy. My education in cool didn’t come ’til much later.
I think it was in 2nd or 3rd year high school when I was introduced to 99.5 RT, new wave (via NU107 and Crossover), A to Z records (in Anonas), XB102, the local punk scene, N.W.A. and Eazy E, and other stuff. I would study (study?! who studies?!?) at 2 or 3 AM and it was then I discovered the music of 99.5 RT. It was pop/top 40 stuff, but not entirely the kind of stuff played on other radio stations back then. And for some reason, I liked it: “Walking On Ice” from Devonsquare, Paul Carrack, 38 Special, Expose, Tracy Chapman, some Lita Ford, even classics from China Crisis, The Pretenders and The Little River Band. (looking back, that was some pretty diverse adult contemporary stuff!)
Anyway, I thought I knew a lot about music til I actually JOINED 99.5 RT as a lowly DJ in 1994. It was cool playing all the music you enjoyed so much, but what I also enjoyed was hanging out with all the other DJs, and they’d even go far as saying, “Hey man, you should play this stuff next week,” and hand me over an album of Roxy Music (Avalon– which contained “More Than This” and, well, “Avalon”). Also, hanging out at RT’s massive music library was such a treat- and there would always be somebody around who’d tell you a little something about any song you were curious about.
These days, you don’t HAVE to join a radio station to have a kick-ass education on music and music appreciation. You have the internet, you have music video channels, you have wikipedia, and countless other sites online that offer all kinds of information on all kinds of artists from all over the world.
My current favorite? Yahoo Launchcast. You can pick just about any kind of genre there is, and immerse yourself in some new and familiar tunes from your favorite kind of music. Lately, I’ve been immersing myself into lots of 80′ rock and alternative, 90’s big hits, today’s big hits and lite office music. Great stuff, really.


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