XM Music Lab has a split personality. Sometimes, it plays good ole progressive rock (Yes, Genesis, and the like). Othertimes, it plays “jam bands” like Phish.
My tastes lean strongly towards the old stuff. So my reaction to this channel varied a lot through the day — when it was good, it was very, very good, but when it was bad, it was barely OK.
I’ll be back here, but how long I stay on any visit will depend very much on what mode the playlist is in at that instant.
But the beginning of that famous newscast is even more relevant and welcome today:
“Big light in sky slated to appear in east!”
Yes, there was actually some sun visible on my way to work, for the first time in days. Maybe it’ll be possible to get outside at lunchtime for some walking — I tried yesterday, but decided I wasn’t really dressed for a swim and came back into the building. Walking the halls just isn’t the same thing.
When I was growing up in Richmond, there was one station (WANT/990) which was aimed directly at the Black community. I never listened to it. But the top-40 station (WLEE/1480) played a lot of music from Black artists (especially those who recorded for Motown), mixed in with the rest of their playlist.
Listening to Soul Street today reminded me of those days — I heard many familiar artists and songs which I’d heard often on WLEE — and which, for the most part, I hadn’t heard since.
There were some clunkers, but in general, Soul Street was good listening today (though they lost me when they went to a half-hour of Black History Month celebration — I was looking for music, not documentary programming). I’ll be back, but for fairly small doses; I like my soul music mixed in with other formats, not as an exclusive diet.
After my brief visit to The Torch earlier today, it was time to catch up on the last channel I’d missed while in France — The Heart.
The Heart’s programming theme is very simple and straightforward: all love songs, all the time. They stretch it as far as playing “breakup songs”, but that’s as far as they go. And they lived up to their claims, at least during the time I was listening.
I could see coming back here once in a while (and it might make better background music for activities other than sitting in my office, writing Python code), but it’s not likely to be one of my frequent stops.
Today, Bootcamp visited The Torch, which is the first channel in XM’s Christian neighborhood.
I had considered skipping these channels, since I’m Jewish and have no interest in the message that these channels are preaching, but I decided to tune in anyway and hear what the music sounded like as music, independent of the content.
So, with that disclaimer, let me say that listening to The Torch reminded me a lot of my visits to KISS-XM and Top 20 on 20. I’m giving it the same rating I gave those channels, too. And, like those channels, I won’t be back.