Thursday, March 6, 2008

another thing i like

I bought this shortwave radio at Goodwill last week, and I must say that I am mostly disappointed. Instead of the crazy newscasts in unknown languages and cryptic numbers stations that I was eagerly anticipating, I get mostly squelch and static. But we do what we can with what we're given (or purchase for 7.49), and so I am learning to enjoy the odd accidental collaborations that I stumble across. For a few minutes, a piece from a Chinese opera is mangled by ionospheric artifacts, the gongs splashing strangely, as if Joe Meek had been engineering the session, the erhu shattering in and out of audability. Later, a commercial break on what might be a Spanish language radio station, the voices boiled down to a one-note stutter, the only hope for identifying what language is being spoken is by listening to the rhythm of the words, until the fickle kami of radio waves causes this station too, to melt into pink noise.

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