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Thoughts In Transit, Set To Music

February 26, 2010

Ellie Goulding is singing in my ears while the train I’m winds it’s way from Cardiff to Bristol. Given the amount of publicity and accolade Ellie’s been credited with recently you may think I’m being hip and trendy like a cool person, but actually I only have one of her songs. In think it was a free one off of iTunes’ single of the week. Not sure what’s playing now without checking. Hang on… Ok, VoiceOver (which it turns out is auto-capitalized on my iPhone, cool) tells me that it’s a Snow Patrol song. Had to ask “what song is this?” out loud, twice, to find that out though. If I got embarrassed easily then I’d be glad that I don’t know anyone on this train. Having said that I’ve already chickened out from loudly saying “yes, 10 mil! Bingo!” like the Chris Moyles podcast told me to, but it could still happen. Ooo, Gaslight Anthem’s on now, I like these guys, especially this song (’59 sound). This is an iTunes freebie too but I got their album of E-Music when I was a member and it’s really good.

I’m case you’re wondering, yes this post will probably document each and every song that plays while I’m writing it. I like to share. (Green Day doing ‘we wish you a merry Christmas’? I think not. *skip*)

Looks like this is turning into a bit of a music-orientated post, which is not entirely what I wasn’t going for, so that’s fine. Incidentally, good luck keeping up with that last sentence. Distorted double negatives for the win. But music is actually quite topical, particularly non-mainstream music and related stations, what with the news that the BBC is looking to shut down BBC 6Music. This seems to be causing a bit of a hoo-hah on Twitter, and I can kind of see why. I’ve never really listened to 6Music myself, mainly because I don’t have a radio and most radio content I do listen to is in podcast form, but I did used to get one from 6Music that Russell Howard was on. Otherwise 6Music has kind of passed me by. (A nondescript boyband  is singing ‘tidings of comfort and joy’. I forgot I had an album of Christmas freebies in this playlist. May have to change it if these keep coming on.) But despite not listening to it it’s clear that 6Music is loved by many. One Tweep (or Tweeter depending on preference) said something about “interesting (I’m assuming non-commercial) music and non-idiotic DJs”, and loads of comedians talk about music shows they’ve been involved in on there, especially John Holmes who I know from the NowShow on Radio 4 and who’s getting pretty publicly annoyed with the BBC’s proposals.

(I was starting to get bored of alternative Christmas hits but now something classical’s come on so I’ll give the playlist another chance before I bail to a more familiar one.)

From what I as a layperson can gather, the BBC’s trying to slim down to give commercial radio stations a better chance in the current economic climate. Good on the BBC then, well done for thinking of others. The problem with slimmig down is that bits are obviously going to be lost, like 6Music. Whatever way the BBC does it’s going to be criticised (probably by the Daily Fail, as per usual), but what people should remember is that these are just proposals (I think, could be more than that), which if so means that all this Twitter activity and public comment will show that 6Music is defended and that getting rid of it will be very unpopular. I’ll point out here that I’ve heard almost nothing about the other channel they’re doing away with, which I think is BBC Asian Network or something, but that could be because the only Asian Tweep I follow is Shappi Korsandi (who by the way is brilliant).

Whatever happens, as long as people keep voicing their opinions on this issue, and indeed any other, on Twitter, facebook, the BBC messageboards or comments pages, or wherever, then The Powers That Be can’t fail to take note of them. From what I’ve seen the BBC is pretty good at taking account of and accommodating people’s views like this.

For example, the BBC has recently updated the whole of its online accounts and signing on system. This would have affected all of the messageboards, including the not particularly well-known (from what I gather) h2g2 sub-site where many of the members enjoy much longer and quirkier names that on other BBC messageboards. Through the changeover process the BBC went out of its way to keep the h2g2 users informed with how the new system would work, particularly with regard to usernames, and went further out of its way to say that despite the changes everywhere else, they would provide h2g2 users specifically with a facility to keep these longer usernames on the sub-site, if not everywhere else on BBC online.

Now, I’m only a part-time user of h2g2 these days but even I, who only pops on there every now and then to see if anything interesting is going on, was really able to appreciate what the BBC was doing for this small, quirky group of people on this niche sub-site that most people won’t have heard of if they’re not Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fans (which is what h2g2 is modeled on). Though that was only a trivial issue to do with display names on message-boards, the BBC still did it’s best to accommodate it’s users. If this example is anything to go by, I hope that expect the BBC to do pretty will with handling this 6Music issue as well. I hope so anyway, otherwise my Twitter feed is going to be pretty angry for a while.

And incidentally, I haven’t had a clue what most of the past few songs have been, but now the Children In Need medley is playing, which is a song that makes me very happy. A better song to end on couldn’t be hoped for.

UPDATE: In the time between writing this on the train and reading it back once I got home I’ve found out that a commercial radio station, the name of which currently escapes me, is likely to make or has made an offer to buy 6Music and its related branding, so that the station doesn’t have to die and be replaced. If this is true then that’s great, the best option I could have thought of anyway. Keep an eye on this one to see how it goes.

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