Friday, June 17, 2005

XM Gets Really Weird

XM Satellite Radio has managed to carve out enough music channels to satisfy those of us who've been disenfranchised by the stultifying safety of commercial radio. But while there's something for just about everyone, there's such a thing as too much narrowcasting, even for XM.
That's where it can help to also spend time listening to them online, which is the only place you'll find channels devoted to Retro Lounge, Southern Gospel and especially Heavy Metal. But my favorite of the online-only offerings is the Special X channel, which is billed as "Just Plain Weirdness."
True enough.
It's sort of like a Dr. Demento show on warp drive, lots of stuff you've never heard, totally forgot about, or never should have been recorded in the first place. It also makes for some unique segues. Where else would you hear Liberace playing "Flight of the Bumblebee" followed by Frank Zappa's "Stevie Spanking"?
A few other samples from recent listens:
William Shatner--King Henry V (he reads Shakespeare, sort of)
Kurt Russell--Sugar, Sugar (Yes, the Archies tune)
Lee Marvin-Wand'rin Star (Makes Shatner seem like Pavarotti)
Surf Punks-Klo-Rene
Jack Kerouac reading lots of his poetry

And so on. You'll leave with quite a buzz. But it's a lot cheaper than getting stoned.

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