Thursday, October 04, 2007

Sounds of the Season

I've spent a while debating what music (that is, which of Bright House cable's digital music channels) to play as house music in the Artsgarden. It has to be good, can't be too sleep-inducing, and needs to be appropriate for all audiences (by which I mean older people; kids can handle a much broader range of music than their grandparents). There's a limit to how much dentist's-office soft rock I can handle, and the smooth jazz channel gets excruciatingly dull with a quickness. I experimentally tried the electronica channel for about five seconds, until I figured out that the sample song was Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up". We've spent a few years tuned mostly to the blues and jazz stations. The reggae station's fun, and is a practical sort of inoffensive: the people who would be offended by the lyrics, can't understand the lyrics. And we've had good luck with the Party Favorites and classic R&B stations, too, though they're not for all audiences.

We've recently discovered some extremely cool music on the Sounds of the Season channel. Sometimes. When no particular holiday's upcoming, Sounds of the Season plays a station called Pulse. It's highly eclectic modern music: trip hop, ambient, new age, light trance. Unfortunately, a lot of the time they play actual seasonal music. Right now, it's all drinking songs and oompah music for Octoberfest, which I can only handle for two or three seconds at a time. We get a week of good music again starting next Monday, but after that it transitions to Halloween music, then directly into Christmas music on November 1. No more Pulse until January. If you're curious about their schedule, go here and click on the Sounds of the Season to see the pdf file. You'll also notice descriptions at the bottom of the page for their specialty shows. My favorite is for the Last Rites show on the heavy metal channel. It promises to "rend the flesh of nonbelievers". I'm wildly curious about this; if I find myself here at the appropriate time, I'll have to give a listen. If it turns out I'm not a true believer, you'll know by the rent flesh the next day.

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