To the surprise of all who know him, Alan announced one day a couple weeks ago that the time had come for him to get an iPhone. He’s no Luddite, but he is the most phone-indifferent man I know. He forgets his phone, or leaves it in the car, or in the boat bag, or in a pair of pants he hasn’t worn in a while. If I had a nickel for all the times we’ve looked for it by calling it and seeking out the ringing from the dry-cleaning pile, I’d be writing this from Barbados. He doesn’t want to be one of those guys with a holster on his belt and the constant yap-yap-yapping, and I’d say he’s succeeded.
But then he lost his iPod, and the dirt-cheap clamshell spent the night on the deck of the boat during a shower, and he had a mixed-signals night trying to find Kate that would have been aided by text messaging, and the day finally came. Down we went to the AT&T store, re-upped with the Death Star for another two years, exchanged my dying 3G for a 3GS and got the same for Alan. And now I know if I call him, he’ll answer, because that sucker hasn’t gotten far from his hand since last weekend, and here’s why:
The radio. My poor husband has a musically adventurous soul at a time when radio has been turned over to corporate monsters to squeeze of every extant dollar. There is satellite, true, but hello, I DO NOT NEED ANOTHER MONTHLY BILL, and the sub- sub- sub- sub-nicheification of the market, while gratifying for people who are into that sort of thing, doesn’t help much. Maybe I like dubstep-influenced hip-hop, who knows, but I can’t find it, I can’t spend hours tracking it down and I’m not going to spend hours listening to a station devoted to it.
Fortunately, there are a few radio stations out there that still cater to people whose tastes run beyond sales charts and Grammy nominees, and almost all of them have web streams now. One is CJAM, a Canadian station from the University of Windsor that Alan picks up when he’s driving home from work at 1 a.m. or so, but only for a few minutes. Is there anything more evocative than a radio station playing great music in the middle of the night? I can’t tell you how many mornings I’ve found him scouring the internet for clues on some unidentified track that faded out before it was ID’d. I’m not sure if we ever put a label on the selection he described as “Jimi Hendrix at 50 fathoms,” but lord knows we tried. Another is KCRW, the public station out of Los Angeles, and its “Morning Becomes Eclectic” show, which exposed David Chase to A3 and “Woke Up This Morning,” which became the theme for “The Sopranos.” Still another is WWOZ, out of New Orleans and specializing in the music of that city; we had it on for a few hours the other night, and it was a revelation.
We turn ’em on, plug the iPhone into the stereo, and forget all about Clear Channel and the rest of those bastards, if only for a little while.
“Can I plug this in on the boat and not go over my data limit?” he asked the other day. Criminy. Have I unleashed a monster? He might need an upgrade to the higher-use plan. Speaking of monthly bills.
By the way, if you know the answer to that question, I’m all ears. What is the data use of streaming radio?
I have a car repair scheduled this morning, so off I go. First, bloggage:
I’m staying away from Weinergate, having had my fill, for the moment, of stories that involve or suggest bulging underwear. Someone else tell me if I need to care about this.
While we’re at New York magazine, three more tiny photos of the next lavishly photographed Princess Clotheshorse, Charlene Wittstock, whom I will continue to refer to as the Teutonic blonde giantess. Because if the shoe fits, etc.
Granny finally passed, at 106. Another Detroitblog gem on her banner year.
And I’m outta here. Happy Wednesday.