In Celebration: Public Radio Music Month

Like Jeannette mentioned in her most recent post, there has been quite a hiatus here at The Dish. April is always a busy month, and for me, that was no exception. I’ll be finishing up grad school in May, and it seems like many of my classes backloaded our syllabi with rather large projects (or busy work, depending on the class), and my projects and events for my internship have been consuming most of my in-front-of-a-computer time, which is ok with me since I definitely love working in Student Programming. Besides being a part time graduate intern, part time student employee, and full time student, I’m also serving as one of my sister’s maids of honor for her upcoming wedding, which kind of equates to another part time job. (I really like doing this, too — if Student Affairs doesn’t work out for me, I’m totally becoming a craft concierge!)

April is almost over, though, and I wanted to write this post while it was still relevant. Public radio stations across the nation are celebrating Public Radio Music Month, in recognition of these small, locally supported radio stations that aren’t afraid to take chances with their playlists and programming. These stations are able to bring a more diverse sampling of music to a wider audience than mainstream stations on the dial, providing tunes that don’t necessarily sound like anything else that’s out there right now. For classical music lovers that can’t make it to the symphony in person, public radio puts the listener right in the front row, and alternative music fans can have that small club right in their own car. According to NPR Audience Insight & Research, public radio stations play 4,797,660 hours of music a year. That’s a whole lot of listener supported music.

In Northeast Ohio, my public radio of choice is The Summit FM (91.3 Akron/Canton, 90.7 Youngstown), and that’s usually where you’ll find my radio set. Don’t get me wrong, NPR is great, too, but I just can’t get into classical music on the radio. I do, however, like to catch up on the news and listen to Fresh Air and Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me when I get a chance. (Can I please have Carl Kasell record my voice mail message?!) The Summit is an entirely listener-sponsored radio station, and has been for over 30 years. This allows them to bring you music for your drive home, minus all the annoying commercials that you get on other stations. Plus, there’s a wider variety of what you’ll hear, since they don’t play the Top 40 in a continuous loop. As I’ve traveled all over Northeast Ohio, I’ve discovered a lot of great music that I never would have heard on other stations. While some of the artists they feature are quite well-known (Bruce Springsteen, Adele, and the Black Keys, to name a few), there are others who are gaining more and more notoriety by being featured on these local stations.

Here are a few of my favorite finds that I’ve discovered listening to The Summit (which you can listen to right now, since they stream it online for free, and also through a free app for your iPhone!). Whenever the first two songs on this list come on, I tend to crank it up and rock out…  Support your public radio stations and tune in; you never know what you may find!

Other songs on the list:
Mat Kearney –  Hey Mama
Michael Franti – Subterranean Homesick Blues
The Head & the Heart – Lost in My Mind
Of Monsters & Men – Little Talks
Eric Hutchinson – Watching You Watch Him
Mumford & Sons – The Cave
Dr. Dog – That Old Black Hole
Imelda May – Mayhem
Wilco – Dawned On Me
Florence + The Machine – Dog Days Are Over
NEEDTOBREATHE – Drive All Night
Dave Matthews Band – You & Me
Red Wanting Blue – White Snow

Tramps Like Us, Baby, We Were Born to Run…

Have you ever had to participate in one of those group ice-breaking activities? You know, where they ask you some random thing about yourself and you usually have to stand there for a minute or two and say “um” multiple times? Like, “if you were a cartoon character, who would you be?” (A mix between Lisa Simpson and Leila from Futurama, obvs.) Or, “Give us a motion to associate with your name,” to which I respond by recreating Olive’s Super Freak routine, move for move:

However, if I’m ever asked what animal I would be, I’m going to respond “bumblebee.” We’ve all heard that very scientific fact that the bumblebee should not be capable of flying because of it’s awkward body and tiny, fragile little wings, but it does.  In that sense, my friends, I am like the noble bumblebee. I’d like to think that my little legs get me where I need to go. Perhaps not very quickly, but I get there. So, this is probably why I surprised myself a little bit when I decided that I would participate in the 2nd Annual Campbell-Dickinson St. Patrick’s Day 5k Run/Walk in my hometown. I’m sure a lot of other people never expected me to want to participate in such an event, either. I chose this as a short-term goal for myself towards the end of last year. But, I actually really enjoy working out, when I can get to it, of course; it’s just that walking/running is perhaps on the bottom of my list of enjoyable workouts, which looks like this:

1. Zumba      2. Lifting      3. Running/Walking

 I just find it boring, especially if you’re on a treadmill or just walking around a track multiple times. You’re not really getting anywhere. I do enjoy using the ellipticals at the Rec Center, but I have a hard time finding one that’s parked below a TV with a channel I like. Most of the time, I end up on the machines closest to the TV showing CNN or VH1. I need something to motivate me when I work out, which is why good music is an absolute must. Zumba obviously has fun, energizing music to dance to, although I do appreciate it when there are Top 40 songs mixed in with raggaeton, salsa, and cumbia. It makes it easier for me to do the arm workout or squat songs at home. When I lift, I prefer something with a slower, heavier beat, that puts me in a kind of, let’s say… overly self-assured attitude. That should explain why Kanye West shows up a couple of times on my lifting playlist. Actually, looking at a small sample of it, a lot of it is rap, I guess:

1. Let Me Blow Ya Mind – Eve w/ Gwen Stefani
2. God’s Gonna Cut You Down – Johnny Cash
3. Amazing – Kanye West
4. Black & Yellow – Wiz Khalifa
5. Can’t Tell Me Nothing – Kanye West

Johnny Cash? Where did you come from? Whatever, that song is hard. Anyway, I’m walking in this 5k on Saturday, and I need to update my playlist. I’ve already taken out the songs I skip most of the time whenever I work out, and this is what I have left:

  1. American Girl – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
  2. Bad Romance – Lady Gaga
  3. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
  4. Born This Way – Lady Gaga
  5. Devil’s Dance Floor – Flogging Molly (It is St. Patrick’s Day, after all.)
  6. Dog Days Are Over – Florence & the Machine
  7. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love – The Blues Brothers
  8. Fat Bottomed Girls – Queen
  9. Get Me Bodied – Beyonce
  10. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones
  11. Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars
  12. Kissing the Lipless – The Shins
  13. Let It Rock – Kevin Rudolf w/ Lil’ Wayne
  14. Please Don’t Stop the Music – Rihanna
  15. Proud Mary – Tina Turner
  16. Rebel, Rebel – David Bowie
  17. Rebels of the Sacred Heart – Flogging Molly
  18. Renegade – Styx
  19. Sabotage – The Beastie Boys
  20. Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
  21. Single Ladies – Beyonce
  22. Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
  23. Tighten Up – The Black Keys
  24. U.S. Bumper Sticker – Red Wanting Blue
  25. Under Pressure – David Bowie & Queen
  26. What’s Left of the Flag – Flogging Molly
  27. You’re the First, the Last, My Everything – Barry White

But, I need your input. I’d like to have a few more songs on this list in case I don’t want to hear one of these. My only stipulation: absolutely no country music.

So, what would you suggest I listen to while I participate in the 5k this weekend? For those of you who have run/walked a 5k before, any hints or tips? I’ll check back in sometime next week and let you all know how it went. Thanks!

I choo-choo-choose you, Valentine!

Valentine’s Day. Shmalentine’s Day. Ok, I’ll admit that it never amounted to a hill of beans when I didn’t have a reliable and pretty permanent plus-one. But, I’m a little softer on the holiday now that I do, and it’s changed my perspective on it a bit. Valentine’s Day isn’t just about being head over heels in love with your Mr. (or Ms. Charming), but showing all of your significant others in your life that you love them. I did not spend Valentine’s Day this year with my manfriend, but he still found a way to make it special by sneaking a card into my purse while I was sleeping. However, I’m excited to have our V-Day date tonight, including a viewing of “When Harry Met Sally.” (There is literally nothing we we’re willing to shill out 20 bucks for to see at the theater.)

I spent my Valentine’s Day non-school or work hours (all 3 of them, after the hour drive home and before my mom fell asleep) with my mother and sister. I made a dozen chocolate covered strawberries for them, only to have my mom remind me that she’s not a big fan of them. (My bad.) But that’s ok. Not a day goes by without me telling my mom I love her, whether it’s in person or over the phone. My family is pretty small, so it’s important for me to be as connected to them as possible.

That leaves my lady friends. I wanted to be really awesome at doing a holiday right, but something always gets in the way of me being awesome. So, I’m compiling a short list of my favorite Valentine’s Day related things for my fellow Dames. Happy V-Day, lovely Valentines!

First, here’s a playlist for your listening pleasure. Only slightly NSFW (one silly but catchy song, I’m sure you’ll be able to pick it out), I found this mix by looking up other mixes featuring Red Wanting Blue. I’m a big fan of 8tracks — I’ve found a lot of cool music through it.

For Joni:

from chadat.tumblr.com

For Sarah:

For Jeannette:

from someecards.com

Maybe Conan O’Brien can help us find Valentines? (Yes, John Krasinski. My answer is yes.)