Radio Days — Then and Now: July 18, 2021

This series of posts covers my long, beloved history interacting with the medium of radio, including the music that flowed through the airwaves.

Any time I cross the threshold of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s student-run radio station, WWSP-FM, it is always a cause for personal celebration. Thanks to a lucky alignment of the calendar the past couple years, I’ve had the opportunity to use a couple slices of broadcast days for more official celebrations, marking landmark birthdays by borrowing the weekly Sunday night show my friend Wayne Edwards has presided over for more than twenty years. Last year, I commemorated the turnover of the first digit on my own age odometer. This past weekend, my partner in all things crossed the same line, and specifically suggested a show in her honor, a callback of sorts to the days when she knew she could always find me during her visits to Stevens Point. All she had to do was turn on the radio.

I picked all the tracks that I played, but I picked them to represent her. These are her discoveries, her favorites, her history, her songs. I must concede that essentially turning the show over to her yielded a better playlist than if I’d just plopped in there and pulling in response to my own instincts. She has damn good taste. If you’re interested, and for the sake of posterity, this is what I played:

The National, “Day I Die”
Fleetwood Mac, “Tusk”
Joel Grey, “Wilkommen”
Shilpa Ray, “Morning Terrors and Nights of Dread”
The Raconteurs, “Steady As She Goes”
Imperial Teen, “Birthday Girl”
Miniature Tigers, “Tell It to the Volcano”
Tykwer/Klimek/Heil, “Supermarket”
David Bowie, “Cat People (Putting Out the Fire)”
The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Zero”
The Strokes, “Someday”
Wild Flag, “Romance”
Louis XIV, “Illegal Tender”

Billy Idol, “Rebel Yell”
Neil Patrick Harris, “Sugar Daddy”
Pulp, “Common People”
I Am the World Trade Center, “Follow Me”
Savages, “The Answer”
Material Issue, “What If I Killed Your Boyfriend”
The Black Keys, “Lonely Boy”
Lucinda Williams, “Joy”
Ben Dickey, “Sing That One to Me”
Mountain Goats, “No Children”
Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, “Fool Forever”
Jonathan Richman, “You Can’t Talk to the Dude”
Neko Case, “Knock Loud”
White Lies, “Death”
Madonna, “Like a Prayer”

Tina Turner, “I Might Have Been Queen”
Blur, “Song 2”
Sinéad O’Connor, “Mandinka”
Old 97’s, “Every Night Is Friday Night (Without You)”
Courtney Barnett, “Elevator Operator”
Baxendale, “Music for Girls”
B-15 Project featuring Chrissy D and Lady G, “Girls Like Us”
Wood Chickens, “Theme from ‘Carlos'”
Simon and Garfunkel, “Keep the Customer Satisfied”
Arcade Fire, “The Suburbs”
The Waterboys, “The Whole of the Moon”
Ani Difranco, “Superhero”
The Sisters of Mercy, “More”

Previous entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Radio Days” tag.

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