Bootcamp Day 100 — XM Live

Today is the last day of XM Bootcamp II. I don’t know what I’m going to do without clear direction on what channel to listen to each day — I guess I’ll cope somehow.

Anyway, today’s channel is XM Live, which bills itself as “The Artists’ Playground”. The gimmick is very simple: play live concerts. Well, previously-recorded live concerts. Many come from the BBC; some come from XM. The concerts are generally one hour long. And the schedule is published well in advance.

So it’s pretty easy to listen to what you like on this channel, and avoid what you don’t like — if the schedule shows an hour of Black Eyed Peas, as it did at 11am Pacific today, that’s an hour to avoid. In contrast, an hour of Santana is going to be Good Listening (not to be confused with Good Eats).

I’ll be back, but only for certain hours.

Bootcamp Day 99 — XMU

XMU is XM’s answer to college radio stations, and in many ways, the music I heard today wouldn’t have been out of place when I was at WRPI/91.5, back in the ’70s. Of course, we didn’t have hip-hop when I was in college, and I could have done without the hip-hop I heard today, but it wasn’t offensive, and it was part of a pretty good variety of music.

I didn’t get to listen to any of the “special” programs (like Chill), so I also didn’t hear any DJs at work; just uninterrupted music.

This isn’t a channel I expect to put into heavy rotation in my XM listening after bootcamp, but I could easily come back for occasional visits.

Bootcamp Day 98 — Luna

There are only three days left in XM Bootcamp II; today’s channel, Luna, is definitely worth having gone through Bootcamp to discover.

Luna plays Latin jazz. The music, at least so far today, has been upbeat and very listenable — good music to think by, to dream by (not on company time, of course), or even to have telephone calls by…but it’s even better with the volume turned up.

I’m a member of the local jazz station, KCSM/91.1, which plays Latin jazz from time to time, and they even have a program devoted to it on Sundays, but I’ve never gotten around to listening seriously. Perhaps I will try it some upcoming Sunday, so I can get a little background on the music and the artists; Luna has no DJ, so there’s nothing but the music.

This channel is definitely worth many return visits!

Bootcamp Day 97 — Suite 62

My radio spent most of the morning on today’s channel, Suite 62, and I’ve returned to it after my catchup excursions. It’d be more fun to listen to this channel as part of an evening’s entertainment, but it’s not bad for the office, either. Definitely a pleasant surprise, and worth a return engagement.

Bootcamp Day 75 (Delayed) — XM Comedy

Music makes a much better accompaniment for work than comedy does (sometimes, tragedy would be even more appropriate!). So trying to listen to XM Comedy in the office was probably a mistake.

The bits I did hear didn’t impress me much, though; I prefer clean comedy to routines laced with gratuitous profanity.

This might be a channel to listen to in the car, when I’m by myself. But otherwise, it’s not going to be one of my regular stops.

Bootcamp Day 74 (Delayed) — Raw

Raw warns you that it “may include frequent explicit language”. I guess that’s fair — while I was listening, there were occasional periods of as much as five or six seconds with not one word of “explicit language”, but then they made up for it.

The good news about listening to Raw in my office was that I could turn it off, unlike hearing it coming from the car three lanes over on the highway.

Bootcamp Day 72 (Delayed) — Extreme XM

Extreme XM calls itself “Gonzo Radio at Its Most Warped”. I tuned in during the news, which was just fine; then they continued with last Friday’s broadcast of the Phil Hendrie Show. I lasted through the first few minutes, while they were setting up an elaborate gag to protest the FCC’s recent indecency fines, but it wasn’t worth sitting through the commercials for male enhancement products to get to the payoff (if I wanted to know more about male enhancement products, all I’d have to do is read my spam!). Besides, the show’s website gave away the punchline anyway.

Stupid radio comedy, delayed by a day. Just what I want to listen to. NOT.

Bootcamp Day 73 (Delayed) — Ethel

I was travelling during the Bootcamp’s “Hell Week”, so I’ll be making up for those channels during this week, before Bootcamp officially ends on Friday.

The first channel I visited was Ethel, which plays harder (and uncensored) alternative rock than Fred does. Ethel’s page says:

On Ethel, expect to hear deep tracks from many HUGE artists…songs that were never played on the radio, but you know ’em cuz you bought the CD.

Well, I didn’t buy the CDs played on Ethel, and what I’ve heard doesn’t make me want to go buy them (or even download them). I much preferred what I heard during my visit to Fred — I don’t know if that’s because I visited Fred in the evening, while I’m listening to Ethel mid-day, or whether there are deeper reasons, but I think it’ll be a long time before I come back to Ethel.