R3 86ed

More power to Steve Pratt in his quest to create the “worst” · radio station · ever, but I’ve given Radio 3 well more than the benefit of the doubt and all I can say is it runs the gamut of emotions from A to B.

CBC Radio 3 podcast wallpaper I read the old Globe piece in which Stursburg, or Slawko or whoever it was, said he didn’t know what these kidz were up to but they did, so let’s get behind them. I subscribed to one or more of the R3 podcasts. It took me several months to realize I was skimming through each one of them by skipping from chapter to chapter and auditing the first second and a half of each. I heard one interchangeable indie-rock act after another.

Essentially, that’s all Radio 3 is. Or so I gather – I just can’t use their bizarre 20th-century Web site, with its autoplaying music and “content” claustrophobically sequestered inside frames. (If you deploy your good browser to defeat the frames, you find that hours of effort went into custom JavaScript countermeasures to defeat your defeat.) And how do I subscribe to the blog? Why do I have so much trouble figuring that out when I had no such trouble with the 1,600 other blogs I’ve subscribed to? (Just the blog, not the vague “RSS feed,” which could end up stuffing entire MP3s or a live stream into my RSS.)

If I can’t use the site to figure out what else is on the network, how else am I going to know if my assumption that it’s wall-to-wall indie rock is correct?

Isn’t it true that the section called New Music Canada is really just New Indie Rock Canada?

Mix ’n’ match?

R3 could have done well what R2 is allegedly doing badly – mixing and matching genres. I think it’s well established that nobody wants to listen to a specified single program that mixes every genre under the sun, Buck 65’s ratings to the contrary. (He’s no John Peel.) But listening to a whole station that mixes and matches might be worthwhile. Wouldn’t it?

Or is R3 really a pre-podcast concept? Aren’t online radio stations – even Sirius’s – an exercise in narrowcasting? If so, isn’t CBCR3 just a narrowcast station for indie rock but nobody wants to admit it?

If you find indie rock intolerable to the point of disgust, where do you go?

If we look at the Beeb for everything, why haven’t we noticed the decades of high-profile placement of dance DJs and dance-music shows there? When, outside of a few songs on Brave New Waves, has any CBC branch ever played dance music? (For your master’s dissertation, chalk this up to an urban/rural divide. But what are kids out in the country really downloading? Indie rock?)

If you don’t like dance music, fine; it’s just the example I’m using. If you dislike dance music and indie rock, where do you go? Where on CBC do you go?

What I do is I have undifferentiable streams of drum & bass music playing all day while I pretend to work. The hooklessness and formlessness suit that usage. Other times I listen to KCRW, or the very solid Triple J down in Oz, which still has defined program slots. I subscribe to dozens of podcasts, some of which are borked and many of which are from U.S. public radio. (I’ll send you my OPML file if you want.) I haven’t listened to or downloaded a podcast from CBCR3 in months.

Is this the price I have to pay for not liking indie rock? For someone like me, isn’t Radio 3 already the worst radio station ever?