I listen to NPR almost daily on the drive to and from work and it makes me feel like I’m more intelligent and sophisticated than I really am… until they get around to covering music. The music profiles they do occasionally more often leave me feeling like a clueless moron. Granted I freely admit I’m still largely stuck in the vapid wasteland of 80’s pop and new wave music, but I’m not so out of touch with present day musical groups that I can’t recognize at least some of the songs I hear on those rare occasions that I turn on an actual music station, usually whenever Courtney’s in the car and the wife is sick of listening to NPR. Some of the stuff they come up with, however, is so freakin’ obscure that I have I never heard of it and, more often than not, I’m amazed anyone would actually listen to it. Sometimes I get lucky and can at least recognize the style of music as being opera (which I’ve never liked) or jazz or folk or what have you, but it’s rare that I’ve liked whatever it is their covering that day and I wonder if there’s something wrong with me that my musical tastes seem so limited. The one kind of obscure group they covered on their show once that I not only recognized and enjoyed was They Might Be Giants, which is to be expected as I’m a big fan of the group, but I’ve always thought those guys were kind of obscure and some of the stuff that shows up on NPR practically makes TMBG seem mainstream in comparison.
Am I the only person who has a habit of turning off NPR whenever they get around to doing a music profile because it’s going to be 8 to 10 minutes of my life listening to something that’ll just leave me irritated by the time it’s done? Surely I’m not the only person befuddled by the choices of CDs they pick to review? Not that I’m suggesting that NPR change or eliminate those segments as there must be someone out there who finds them worthwhile, but it would make me feel better to know that I’m not the only person who feels stupid whenever one of those bits comes on the air.