The Hurdle

The Joy Formidable – The Hurdle

Living in New England, we are pretty well stocked with colleges and, subsequently, college radio stations. In my long commute I drive through the broadcast range of at least five of them. I know a lot of people who just categorically don’t listen to fm radio anymore but I do, in part because of these college stations.

To be sure the shows can be pretty hit or miss. You will have one post-punk show followed by three hours of polka music. A new releases show (where I heard this song on my drive in this morning) and then a basketball game. For this reason my alarm clock’s radio is usually set to one of three commercial radio stations (each in a different state but we’re packed in tight like that) that define themselves as alternative or progressive.

Of course there’s also the internet and the endless amount of music there. It can be a little overwhelming sometimes and I often feel like I am hopelessly out of it. How do people do it? I think back to when I considered myself to be much more aware of new bands and it was when I was young, single, and living in a city. I spent a lot of time going to clubs and seeing bands and buying zines. I don’t really have the time or budget for that level of immersion now. I skim the surface, easy enough with the internet, but I don’t delve as deeply as I did before.

It does feel like a hurdle sometimes and I can understand how some of my friends have just decided they aren’t that interested in adding to their music collection. I still listen to (and love) a lot of the music I did 25 years ago. But I also love going out to see bands in small clubs and that means keeping an ear tuned to what’s new. I’ll never be as well-informed as I’d like but I’m still going to try.