Vintage Things That Have Disappeared In Your Lifetime?

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by LizzieMaine, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    On a related note …

    The “new” van has a Bluetooth enabled “sound system,” which had seemed a hifalutin way to say “radio” until I discovered the wonders of Bluetooth and have found myself more frequently listening to podcasts and less frequently listening to radio broadcasts. (It also has satellite radio capability, but we let the subscription lapse.)

    This does not bode well for local radio. I go days on end without tuning in. The local FM jazz station, an NPR affiliate, still gets a little play in this house and in our car, but it’s not the nearly constant background noise it used to be.

    And AM? Sheesh! A near total wasteland these days. The local professional and big-time college sports contests are still on AM, but I pay less and less attention to such things as I grow older and older. But that’s true of most popular entertainments, and I’m not untypical in that regard.
     
  2. LostInTyme

    LostInTyme One of the Regulars

    I remember when AM radio was King of the airwaves. For me, I started listening in the late forties, through the fifties and sixties, and then FM started to gain listeners. The very first song I heard on FM was "Candles in The Rain" by Melanie Safka, 1970.
     
  3. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I still listen to WBZ in the car, as I have all my conscious life, but it's more often a hate-listen now than it used to be. Where it was once a station where intelligent reporters and hosts conducted serious, adult conversation, the nose-pickers are increasingly taking over. David Brudnoy, Jerry Williams, and Lovell Dyett are oscillating in their graves.

    NPR is OK in small doses, but I get tired of the self-consciously "I do the Sunday Times crossword puzzle in ink" tone of so much of it. I do a character named "Camomile Bourgeois" in our own radio show, who is a distillation of everything that irritates me about NPR.

    I've never been particularly interested in the podcasts I've heard. Everybody wants to be Ira Glass, but nobody really is. Half the time, even Ira Glass isn't Ira Glass.
     
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  4. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

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    ...to NPR, occasionally, quite refreshing from conservative talk continuous angst; but the progressive slant habitually
    throws a skewered pitch which objectively analyzed is a lot slower than the franchise acknowledges.
    Too much agenda not enough fact.

    And everybody wants to be Cary Grant, even Cary Grant wants to be Cary Grant.;)
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2021
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  5. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    I fear that podcasts will only further “silo” the populace. A person of pretty much any persuasion and predilection is bound to find several that only reinforce and never challenge what he already thinks.

    “I don’t understand how … ” is a common refrain amongst many people with whom I generally agree when commenting on the opposition. I part company in that I *do* understand, which is not to say I agree. And I believe those compatriots of mine would understand, too, if they took a more personally detached view. People’s political perspectives are grounded more in emotion than policy. Dissing on the opposition (as happens constantly) is no way to win them over. After being subjected to a steady diet of that it’s really no great wonder that they’d be taken with a person who tells them they’re the chosen people.
     
  6. LostInTyme

    LostInTyme One of the Regulars

    Here, I thought Moses lead the "chosen" people out of Egypt to the promised land. But, that was long ago, and far away. And since Charlton Heston has died, we'll probably never know the truth.
     
  7. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    Another wonder of Bluetooth is listening to long-form magazine pieces read aloud while motoring down the highway. Last night I listened to Jane Mayer’s most recent piece in The New Yorker, free of charge. (I let my subscription of several decades’ standing expire a couple-three or four years ago because Remnick has let it become something of an advocacy journal. I left it behind about the same time George Packer jumped over to The Atlantic. But Jane Mayer is still there, and her work is consistently first-rate.)

    The dewy-eyed bride has a subscription to Audible, and listens to books read aloud.

    It all conspires to make radio less relevant.
     
  8. dwilson

    dwilson One of the Regulars

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    Last time I listened to non-sports radio was probably 15 years ago now. Prior to bluetooth being in every car I had this little FM transmitter hooked up to my iPod that would broadcast to a frequency I'd tune my car radio to and listen to music that way. It wasn't great but it worked alright. These days with Spotify and Audible I don't even listen to sports radio anymore. If I want to get sports takes I can find a podcaster who is light years better than the random jock on the radio and not littered with ads every 10 minutes.
     
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  9. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    ^^^^^
    We had one of those little FM transmitter gizmos, too. It worked, but not as seamlessly as Bluetooth. We also had a cassette which slid into the cassette player in our then car (cassettes, too, are all but obsolete) and was connected by wire to the iPod.

    I read that NPR’s listenership dropped by a quarter or more during the pandemic, what with all those commuters, who had listened during their daily drives to and from work, weren’t tuning in so much when stuck at home. And the numbers aren’t expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels.
     
  10. LostInTyme

    LostInTyme One of the Regulars

    A Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keillor, and PowderMilk Biscuits
     
  11. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    I suppose you’ve seen the SNL parody of an NPR food show (“The Delicious Dish”) from at least 20 years ago featuring Alec Baldwin playing a character named Pete Schweddy, whose company, Season’s Eatings, makes holiday treats — balls, mostly, Schweddy Balls.

    And doesn’t everyone do the NYT crossword in ink? It was my daily habit, and that of many people I knew, from taxicab drivers to college professors, back when the Seattle Post-Intelligencer was still in print and carried the NYT puzzle.

    I haven’t listened to NPR on Sunday mornings for so long I wouldn’t know if that annoying Will Shortz, the NYT puzzle editor, still does his little segment.
     
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  12. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Yeah, it's that -- slowwww, overrrrenunciated, patronizingly sympathetic "NPR voice" where all the "r's" are exaggerated that really crawls down my neck. It's almost as bad as that eye-bugging, handwaving "OMG voice" the late-night comedians and You Tube vlogger morons do.
     
  13. ChiTownScion

    ChiTownScion Call Me a Cab

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    My favorite This American Life guest is Sarah Vowell. Quirky to the point of geeky .... but always thought provoking. How could I not be enamored with a woman who not only plans vacation trips around sites relevant to American presidential assassinations and the Cherokee Trail of Tears, but authors fine books on the subjects?
     
  14. Fifty150

    Fifty150 One Too Many

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    NPR has an audience. There's a certain group of people that NPR appeals to. It's not me.


     
  15. belfastboy

    belfastboy I'll Lock Up

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    When we travel in the US and can pick up the NPR affiliate we listen to the Friday night blues show....7-10:00PM if I remember correctly. And KING FM out of Seattle for an all classical music station when travelling in WA state.
     
  16. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    ^^^^
    That would be the old KPLU, then? The jazz station out of Tacoma? I hear they’ve changed the call letters, since Pacific Lutheran University sold the station or gave up on it or whatever it was that went down.
    I can’t imagine that it isn’t available online.
     
  17. It's not me either. "John" has been my best friend for about 50 years now, and he listens to NPR regularly. One day I asked him for the station's location on the local dial, he provided it, and I gave it a listen...for a couple of minutes, because that was all I could stand.
     
  18. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    I have no problem with the *content* of NPR at all -- it's the house style that makes my skin crawl. It's in its own way as obnoxious as the confrontational approach favored by its polar opposites on the AM dial.

    "Style" is also the main beef I have with podcasting -- there are too many of them that are so caught up in production technique that they forget to have anything meaningful to say. "American Life" worked, for a while anyway, because it was an original concept -- well, Fred Allen was doing something similar with his "People You Didn't Expect To Meet" in 1938, but it was original as far as this generation is concerned -- but hundreds of amateurs trying to do the same thing without the talent or the staff required to do it well kind of wears the edge right off.
     
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  19. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

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    There are so many podcasts that it’s darn nigh impossible to accurately and fairly make blanket observations about them. A friend had one. Maybe he still does. A listen or two to his self-indulgence was more than enough for me. When the barriers to entry are so low you’re bound to get some pretty low stuff.

    Attracting an audience large enough to actually make it pay would seem the biggest challenge to the more serious podcasters. In my admittedly limited experience, it’s the podcasters who have already made a name for themselves in other media and other fields who draw the audience and the advertisers. You know, people with talent! And something of value to say!

    The lovely missus tosses a few bucks to her favorite podcasters via Patreon. She’s the one in a hundred (or thousand) who actually pays.

    In time it will flip — the better podcasters will cross over into other media. That’s already happening, to a limited degree. I see on TV Joe Whatshisname from the Suchandsuch Institute further identified as the host of the Joe Whatshisname Podcast.

    As to NPR …

    It was, and still is, a good news-gathering organization. And the absence of overheated advertising, as you get on most commercial radio, made it more tolerable as background. As I’ve already noted, the better jazz stations are commercial-free (not really, but still … ) NPR affiliates. You get the top of the hour news and for the rest of the hour you get music that doesn’t grate.

    And NPR gave us Tom (RIP) and Ray Magliozzi. That atones for myriad sins.
     
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  20. Harp

    Harp I'll Lock Up

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    "Progressive" Chicago radio is hardly docile compared to more conservative voices along the dial; wither reason,
    rhyme, and rhythm, it's really all bark and no bite dead static. NPR is not without confrontational personalities either.
    A British host of one of its segments blew a fuse when a guest insisted that Covid birthed inside a lab at Wuhan, China.o_O
     

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