I was walking out of Trent Radio one Monday evening, eager to get downtown before it closed. For those of you new to town, Peterborough closes around 6, and is half-closed on Mondays, already. Anyway, as I reached the sidewalk I saw two teenage boys passing by, headed in the opposite direction. Spying my vector, one of them announced to the air in general, with loudly purpose: “Is this where Trent Radio is? Your music sucks!”
My mind staggered and coughed like a dead motor at the thought, and the Red Hand was about to come up to prevent me crossing Parkhill. So, I carried on, troubled by the statement.
I’ve gotten into several arguments resident primarily in my head as an extension of things I should have said when the time was right. I suspect this may be art, not just an art unto itself, but all Art. For, what is Art but the imaginary conclusion—intellectual or just emotional—to unresolved slights, by man, nature, or the self? In an attempt to heal the psychic wound left in the wake of teenage brutishness, I find an opportunity for Art.
I present to you the several idiosyncratic rebuttals I have to the statement “Your music sucks!”, to let everyone know that Trent Radio’s music not only does not suck, but is a reflection of the multi-facet soul of the Trent and Peterborough communities.
1. Trent Radio’s music is Your Music. Trent Radio has no programming – we don’t play anything. Programmers come from Trent University and the wider Peterborough community, submitting their ideas for a show and then broadcast through our facility. As of the start of this fall season (Monday September 16th) there are 81 programmers on Trent Radio in the broadcast week. Genres vary widely between…
Russian death metal (The Berlin Wall, Thursdays 1700-1800), to western swing (Catfish Willie’s Swingbilly Round up, Tuesdays 1130-1200), to a 90s none-nostalgia (199X, Wednesdays 1500-1600),drum and bass music (Sub-Culture Sounds, Thursdays 2000-2100),garage, punk, psych, rock ‘n’ roll (We Shit Vinyl, Thursdays 2100-0000 and anon), British and European music, (British Beats, Fridays 2100-2200), independent electronic music (GRND_FLR, Fridays 2300-2400), or simply just experimental noise music that is the ritual music of an imaginary culture (Preying Mantra, Wednesday nights 2200-0000 and anon).
2. Trent Radio’s music is Peterborough’s music. After we go off the air for the night (usually around midnight) and before we start live programming in the morning (usually around 9am) we play Radio Free Peterborough (RFP). RFP is an Internet radio station that plays only local Peterborough music, and occasionally a few smatterings of radio drama. Similar to Trent Radio, RFP only plays what has been submitted.
If you wish to listen, there’s radiofreepeterborough.ca, also a link if you are a musician, and want to contribute to your community by sharing your music.
3. “Yeah, well…YOU suck!”
There is no doubt that these arguments are too esoteric and drawn-out to have appealed to the mind of the teenager who uttered the original offence. As much as media is an extension of arguments into the imaginary, I would never have gotten through to him with art. I will never get the opportunity to sit him down in a chair, grab him sincerely by the shoulders and say, “Now see here,” and explain to him our dogma. The role of art will substitute this, acting as one more “instead” in life.
The point is, we’ve got just about every kind of music broadcasting through the facilities of Trent Radio. Trent Radio’s music is your music. It’s the music of the Trent University and Peterborough communities, reflective of its multitudinous spirit.
Should that spirit in fact be wicked, oh, teenaged boy on the street corner, well then you can come in and do it your own darn self. Become a programmer for Trent Radio, take up the mallet of programming, and smite “suck” with an awesome blow, bringing what you feel is the best of music to the most of people in Peterborough. Otherwise, you can’t complain.
“Is this where Trent Radio is?” Yeah. Yeah, this is where Trent Radio is. So, there.