The ds106 99: #15 Suburbia

This is the last episode (thus far) of the Radio Free Ferris soundtrack shows on ds106radio (you can find episodes 1 and 2 here and here). My memory of this one was tainted by the fact that I thought it went off-the-rails and became a free-for-all, but in fact on second listening it is far and away the most compelling of the three. It marks a particular moment in the evolution of ds106radio—at least for me—given that Mikhail Gershovich had figured out how to have Skype and iTunes (or all system audio for that matter) broadcasting together seamlessly (something Downes figured out for the PC before this) but it remained a nut we hadn’t quite cracked for the Mac. If you listen, you’ll note Mikhail is still figuring it out while we are live—he finally gets it working about 10 or 15 minutes in. Also on the call is Noise Professor, Dr. Garcia (who was feeling shunned by us), and later on Scottlo comes in the fold for a while.

Image of the Suburbia PosterThe tension is that Mikhail and I are trying to do a show about the soundtrack of Penelope Spheeris’s 1984 film Suburbia, but it keeps going in all kinds of crazy directions. Dr. Garcia is either breaking out in uncontrollable laughter or typing away at the computer while we’re talking. Noise Professor is being is usual cool, calm, collected California self, but you can sense he is feeling the discomfort because he wants to make it all good. I’m starting to lose it because I have this misdirected idea that my ideas about Suburbia are more compelling than people having a good time. Scottlo is busting out the Liberace from his own computer—-which he could do thanks to Mikhail’s tutorial. And Mikhail sees the whole thing as a an excellent example of why protocol is important on ds106radio. In the end though, what’s so cool about this for me is the tension and the uncertain boundaries we are starting to form as a community that is still getting to know one another. What makes it compelling is that we are going through a series of social and cultural negotiations amongst nascent friends that is happening in the genre of a radio show—it is really quite bizarre when you think about it a bit. The whole show is over two and half hours long!!!—and I think I hung up on Noise Professor and Dr Garcia at about the two hour mark because I was  still stuck on the idea of the show—but as it turns out the stuff about Suburbia was probably the least interesting thing about the experience—what was interesting was our interaction, our making sense of this space for meeting and getting to know people, and the sense of wonder with what we were doing at that moment. This is some ds106radio gold right here, and I hope you all enjoy it.

Radio Free Ferris: Suburbia and much, much more.

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2 Responses to The ds106 99: #15 Suburbia

  1. Mikhail says:

    This show was a blast to do and a turning point in my thinking about what ds106radio is and should be. Since you and I did a little bit of planning before the show, it was hard for me at first to let go and let it spin out of control into the free-for-all it eventually became. That experience did raise many important questions about this experiment which I think you nailed here: “what was interesting was our interaction, our making sense of this space for meeting and getting to know people, and the sense of wonder with what we were doing at that moment.” Sometime later, maybe the next day, Dr. Garcia, Noiseprofessor and I think ScottLo and I talked on air about the show and my annoyance at folks wanting to take it in different directions. After that conversation, it was pretty easy to read that show as you do here as generative — as a coming together of nascent friends and testing, negotiating in a sense, the terms of the relationship, our ideas of what the medium was, what we were doing with/to it, and what each of us thought it meant to “play radio.” Thanks for posting this.

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