We are now in year 12, and if you hadn't noticed... things have changed. This blog began in April of 2005. From the middle of that month until early March of this year I blogged 5 days a week. Then there was the great sabbatical of 2016. Suffice it to say, other projects have been monopolizing my time. I still remain fascinated by radio history; so the writing will continue slightly abated.
(You can see previous years lists at the links below)
I wrote about... unknown Polka DJ Bill BeDilion, the phenomena of Somali radio in Minnesota, a briefly famous silver brick, The short-lived CBGB radio show, DJ and multiple-felon Rayon Payne, and radio performer Raymond Robert Myers. I interviewed author K.E. Edwards. I described early broadcasting in Jamaica. I parsed a completely arcane radio reference in Fahrenheit 451, and wrote up everyone's favorite Naval Air station NAR. I also posed two different black radio firsts... Earl Fatha Hines, and Ethel Waters. [Unfortunately it's the same first and only one of them can be right.]
Most Popular Posts:
My most popular post since 2009 has been a post about Peter Tripp. Thank you Reddit. It was re-blogged by many others and remains an aberration in my web-traffic with 90k+ hits. My 2007 post on the Career Academy of Famous Broadcasters continues to earn comments from it's legion of former students. In third place a 2010 post on Barn Dance programs remains popular. My readers continue to debate if I was unfairly harsh to Kevin Metheny. I think not. But that post remains quite popular.
Best Radio Show:
I listen to less terrestrial radio than I used to. I find myself in a popular movement. TV viewers and Radio listeners are moving away from "channels" and toward content providers. People are ultimately loyal to content and platform agnostic. Baseball fans will follow their team to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon or that expensive expanded sports package at Comcast. So to that end, my favorite programs right now are actually Podcasts. My two are Actually Happening, and Grapple out of WHYY.
My zine of the year is the Summer 2016 issue of Comestible. This issues is about focused on where some of our favorite foods come from. Written by Anna Brones, you can hardly tell it's the handy work of subversive foodies. Her latest work The Revolution Must Be Fed, ships in January 2017.
Best Record Store of 2016:
This year it was definitely Records - the Good Kind in Manchester, CT. They have a nice big selection of classic vinyl, and a surprisingly good jazz CD section. I was blowing thru town on a road trip and also hit Tumbleweeds in Niantic, I also hit Oliver's Music Shop in Danielson, CT on the same trip. Oliver's was the weirdest by far, but my biggest haul was at Records the Good Kind. I also hit Willimantic Records... because you should never skip that store.
Top 10 Records of 2014
1. Octagrape - Aura Obelisk
2. Melvins - Basses Loaded
3. Jars - Kotobus
4. Qui - How To Get Ideas
5. Candiria - While They Were Sleeping
6. Pink Wash - Collective Sigh
7. Car Bomb - Meta
8. Bleak - No light, No Tunnel
9. Norma Jean - Polar Similar
10. Sky:Lark - LP2
Honorable Mentions go out this year to: My Disco - Severe Remixes, Violent Mae - Kid, Black Table - Obelisk, Child Bite - Negative Noise, Every Time I Die - Low Teens, Russian Circles - Guidance, Dillinger Escape Plan - Dissociation, Voivod- Post Society, Gorguts - Pleiades' Dust, and Dysrhythmia - The Veil Of Control, Greys - Outer Heaven, Black Crown Initiate - Selves We Cannot Forgive