The primary focus of this post will be Bloomington, Indiana, but inspired by Detroit and peppered with references to radio shows and DJ mixes that I've been listening to lately. I regularly listen to things on Red Bull Music Academy radio while at work. One of my favorite things to listen to is Preset, Todd Osborn's 2 hour radio program. It's always great, lots of eclectic music selections, and keeps my mind buzzing and tuned in. So, a few days ago, I went to the RBMA site, the radio player opened up in a new window, and what do you know, Preset Volume 30 is playing on their live radio program. It was already about a half hour into the show, so I just went to the actual page for that particular show and started listening from the beginning. Starts out with all kinds of nice sounds, including the Cure and Dopplereffekt...whoo hoo! Then he gets into some Jamaican dub and reggae for a little while. Then a little foray with the Electrifying Mojo introduction to his Midnight Funk Association radio show, Prince, D-Train, and then the B-52's "Mesopotamia." Okay, and now is where every ounce of energy and focus that was distributed elsewhere (remember, I'm at work and the music is emiting softly from my computer speakers in the office that I share with three other women) begins to slow down and get drawn dramatically into a single sonic experience. Right before this happened, I was hearing some nice old house, "Farley Farley." And then all of a sudden I hear a syththy voice singing a beautiful little melody and nothing else. To be real, my heart altered it's rhythm a bit in this moment, my universe zeroed in on what I was hearing and nothing else was left. I couldn't even muster the power to bring up the Firefox browser to check what the song was on the tracklist for this Preset show. And then shortly after that moment passed, I began to hear some talk boxed vocals singing something about Detroit and I heard the instrumental from Snoop's "Sensual Seduction." Here I am sitting at work grinning from ear to ear trying to conceal it into my computer because I'm not interested in explaining why I'm so ecstatic to anyone right then. Yeah, I'm a bitch, what you gonna say?! Turns out the synthy vocals is Bon Iver "Woods" on Jagjaguwar and the Detroit talk boxing is a track by Todd Osborn called "Detroit Seduction."
And now here's where Bloomington comes in...Jagjaguwar, also linked with Secretly Canadian, is a record label based in Bloomington, IN, where I lived for 7 years before coming to Detroit. Bloomington has such a great music scene and I have paid almost no attention to it over the past year except for a few listens to WIUX, Indiana University's student radio station. I've been emersed in Detroit for good reason! Bloomington is such a great town and it's kind of home to me because it is the start of my married/family life, my kids were born there, and it is the start of my life as an ethnomusicologist. IU forms a large portion of the jobs and the population there, so summers in Bloomington are quite lovely and quiet. It is extremely liberal in the middle of a state that is typically conservative in religion, politics, and life in general - except this past year. Indiana went to President Barack Obama, yes it did. And there are huge homebirth, and homeschooling communities in Bloomington. It is a place where lots of people are very open to alternative ways of living and growing. Bloomington has a good bit of ethnic and cultural diversity because of the university, lots of good restaurants, including Snow Lion owned by the Dalai Lama's nefew, who has lived in Bloomington for decades. There's an excellent coffee shop called Soma, a great CD and record store called TD's CD's and LP's, a lovely burrito place called Laughing Planet with delicious veg and vegan options, and a pretty vintage clothing shop called Cactus Flower - and that's just one old building on one corner of this town!
And I have to mention Land Locked Music. It's such a lovely music store with all kinds of music, particularly music that might be classified as indie rock, or perhaps sad bastard music by my music loving husband!! Whatever you like to call this kind of music, prog rock, emo, indie rock, and etcetera, Bloomington is all about it! So if you ever get the chance, I highly recommend going there. It is so choice.