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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

charming things: music to your ears

Typically on weekend mornings when I was in Los Angeles covering movie junkets you would find me with the French doors open to the balcony (always on the 10th floor viewing the Hollywood sign) and the sun streaming into my room at the Four Seasons Los Angeles. I would be listening to The Wave as I steamed my clothes for my interviews that morning and prepared my questions for the actors I would be talking with on camera.

When I stopped traveling, on weekend mornings I missed listening to LA's The Wave. For 9 years this was what I listened to every Saturday and Sunday morning when I was working in Los Angeles. I liked the soft jazz as I sat at the desk, drinking iced espresso and writing out my questions for the actors. I associated The Wave with happy, sunny mornings in L.A. doing a job I loved and seeing people I loved hanging out with every weekend-- fellow reporters from around the country and my favorite publicists from the movie studios and agencies.

It's interesting how music invades your memories. Think of  summertime when you were in high school, driving around with your friends or laying by the pool listening to the radio. What city did you live in after college? Where is that favorite vacation spot? There is something about listening to radio, not just the songs but radio-- the ad spots, the traffic that makes you feel like you are right there, still there. I missed listening to The Wave and their live show on Sunday mornings from Spaghettini.

I also miss Magic 106.7 in Boston. In college we listened to Dave Allan Boucher's Bedtime Magic every weeknight. (Boucher is an institution, hosting the evening hours on Magic 106.7 since 1982.) I thought of other places important to me. I worked often in Oahu, Hawaii, covering movie junkets and set visits for "Lost" and vacations L. and I took in the islands.  I miss these places that have taken hold in my heart.

Which is why L. surprised me on Friday by loading in the app on my iPhone and on our iPad at home. (I'm also listening right now on my laptop.) With this app you can listen to 50,000 radio stations from around the world. L. tuned into The Wave on our home sound system. Hearing the L.A. traffic live made me feel like I was back there driving top down on my way to dinner at Il Cielo. I applauded L. for making me so happy. Later that evening he surprised me by tuning into Magic 106.7. I closed my eyes and listened to David Allan Boucher doing a break, his soothing voice talking about the humid, hot night in Boston. I was back there in my dorm room, writing a philosophy paper and laughing with my roommate, Bonnie. This morning, out on the deck I listened to traditional island music on KKNE from Honolulu. (You can also listen to talk radio, sports and your favorite artists.)

This is genius. To be able to listen to radio from places that are close to your heart or places that you've never been to. 50,00 stations from around the world all yours, wherever you are.  It's just brilliant and lovely and happy. Where do you want to be?

Visit and look up your hometown, your college town, a town you've always wanted to visit. Not able to go on vacation this year? Throw on some Coppertone and listen to music from Martha's Vineyard.

The memories of a sound can bring you right there, in the moment, in a place that lives in your heart. Tune in, close your eyes and be happy.

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