I’ve recently been taking advantage of the technological marvels afforded to me by the endlessly interconnected digital world to listen to my alma mater college radio station with some regularity. Though I have an obvious bias coloring my perception, I still maintain that this particular oasis on the left end of the dial is programmed better, smarter, and more effectively than just about any other outlet with a transmitter tower at their disposal. While so many other noncommercial stations indulge in extensive block programming, allowing the on air staff to craft playlists that speak exclusively to individual, hyper-focused music preferences, the place I once called home has an overarching program philosophy that creates consistency. As long as I’m tuned in during a general programming shift, which is the bulk of the schedule, I’m confident in what I’m going to get. It’s not an hour of late-sixties Motown one day and an hour of nothing but French math rock in the same time slot the next day.
One thing that has amused and pleased me is the scattering of songs from my distant day that still make the rounds among the current staff. I feel strongly that the focus should be on newer material — and it is, thankfully — but it’s nice to catch an old favorite now and then, even if (and maybe especially because) the little stumbles of the novice DJs remind me of how far removed our former mainstay bands are from today’s college kids. Just a few days, I heard “Joey” played on the station. This was the biggest hit single, by far, for a band that was played with devoted regularity. I can’t imagine any one of my peers back in the day stumbling over the name of the band. When the DJ played it the other day, she backsold the song as a contribution from “The Concrete Blondes.” And I was completely and utterly charmed.
Listen or download –> Concrete Blonde, “Ghost of a Texas Ladies’ Man”
(Disclaimer: “Joey” is on Bloodletting, the 1990 album that is probably Concrete Blonde’s artistic peak and is undoubtedly their commercial peak. In fact, I think it may be the only Concrete Blonde album that is still in print as a physical item that can be purchase from your favorite local, independently-owned record store in way that compensates both the proprietor of said store and the original artist. Give that, and given that I’ve already shared two tracks from that album’s immediate predecessor, the very fine Free, I wanted to look elsewhere in their discography for today’s selection.The shared song is the opening track and lead single from the band’s 1992 release, Walking in London. Though I believe it to be unavailable under the terms noted above, and I equally believe that sharing the song in this manner is an instance of fair use, I will gladly and promptly remove this digital file from my little corner of the digital world if asked to do so by any individual or entity with due authority to make such a request.)