Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thirty Days of Music: Day Seventeen.


Day 17
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A song that you hear often on the radio: "Magic Bus" by The Who



I worked for my hometown school district one summer when I was in college, cleaning classrooms and scraping an obscene amount of gum off of desks, chairs, benches, and just about any other surface you can find inside a building frequented by hundreds of little cretins. Clearly, there were a lot of students defying the district-wide "no gum" policy, far more than I would've imagined back when I was a nerdy little rule-abiding student there. By the end of the summer, I wished we'd saved it all so we could've presented it to the school board in big five-gallon buckets or something. It was unreal.

(To be honest, though, gum-scraping quickly became my favorite part of the job. We had little aerosol cans of freezing spray that we'd use to ice down the chunks, rendering them unsticky and defenseless against our blunt instruments of gum removal [i.e., paint scrapers and, occasionally, butterknives]. There's little in life I've found as satisfying as the feeling of a frozen piece of gum giving way and ricocheting across the room. Perhaps I missed my calling?)

Anyway, as we roamed from school to school, scraping and scrubbing, we usually had a radio playing, and that radio was almost always tuned to Hot Rock J96. And the crazy thing about Hot Rock J96 in those days was that the same songs played every day, usually at almost exactly the same time as they had the day before. Me and many of my friends were convinced the radio station had gotten rid of their DJs entirely and made mix tapes instead, and that they just sent someone in to flip them over every 12 hours or so.

And every day that summer, "Magic Bus" came on the radio at approximately 11:30 A.M. When we heard "Magic Bus," we knew it was time for lunch. Every. Day.

Hot Rock recently changed formats...it hasn't shed its classic rock image completely, but now it's incorporated a bunch of overplayed butt rock from the mid-90s to the present into its lineup. (I would've been perfectly content if I'd never heard another Third Eye Blind song on the radio again in my lifetime.) It's more aggressive and it's lost a lot of its charm. And as much as I mocked it all those years, I kind of miss being able to set my watch based on what song is playing.


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