Tuesday, January 17, 2006

In The Pink

This week's Pink Section in the SF Chronicle was a mirror to my recent blogging interests. They noted Channel 1049's demise about 3/4 of the way through Ben Fong-Torres Radio Waves column, gave Party Ben's "American Edit" mash-up album a rave review and had a puff piece on Live 105 music director and former Subsonic host Aaron Axelsen. The interview played up the importance of Axelson's club Popscene, which is a Bay Area institution, and the importance of Live 105's Sunday night new music show which he hosts. Axelsen has been around the station for years and is the glue that has kept the station somewhat consistent with it's heritage of playing interesting new music that doesn't always jive with the mainstream. As you might expect from a music director who has lasted over a decade in the position he is pragmatic and the station doesn't always reflect his own taste:

...he dismisses rumors to the contrary as the groundless charges of message-board-frequenting music snobs who complain that the Bay Area's oldest alternative station has become anything but alternative.

"For every person that accuses the station of being too mainstream, there's someone else who wants to know why we aren't playing more Linkin Park," he jokes. "My job isn't to cater to this group or that group. My job is to understand our listeners' taste and to give them what they want."

: I think it's telling that on Live 105's pre-Soundcheck Sunday night new music show he played Creed before anyone had heard of them, took some on air calls bashing the band that he agreed with saying that they were a warmed over Pearl Jam lite that weren't a "good fit" for the station's sophisticated audience before adding them to the station's playlist the next week. I realize he's fighting for good music within the system, and I respect that he does can which is one of the reasons I've stuck by the station for so many years. It's Axelsen's okay-to-loose-some-battles-to-win-over-the-long-term attitude is why I think he has been quiet over Subsonic's recent cancellation.


Z! said...

i did NOT know that subsonic had been cancelled. that blows.
btw, came here by way of audioscrobbler, currently last.fm. your blog (or the two entries i read) are interesting and on target. im on last.fm as gothicarose.

Daft Monk said...

Thanks for the kind words, and I looked at your lastfm playlist and you've got great taste in music.
As for Subsonic, I did a couple of entries about the show and got a response from one of Live 105's dj's about it.