Monday, November 20, 2006

A Weekend Full of Dance Music

Friday night I listened to Vic Latino's last radio show for New York City's radio station WKTU via the web. For the past ten years the station was known as a dance station but for the past several months Clear Channel, which owns the station, has been dropping most of the on-air staff and has pretty much dropped most of the current dance songs from the playlist. They now considering themselves as a "rhythimic AC" station rather than a dance station by concentrating on "dance classics." I could feel that listening to the show that evening; though it was started out with a mix show that had some current tracks (Cascada's "Miracle" and DHT's "I Go Crazy"), much of that evening's show featured classic dance, R&B and pop tracks that has been played thousands of times. I think that dance classic do have a place on the radio but new dance material needs to get airtime as well--today's new song or artist can turn out to be tomorrow's "dance classic." In the past everytime I would be in the NYC I'd listen to KTU. It was one of the few commercial radio stations I made a point to listen to. With the way it's gone now I don't think that I'll be doing that anymore. It's insulting to dance artists like Madonna when the station will play, say, "Holiday" and "Like A Virgin" to death but won't consider playing her great new single "Jump." If you live in the NYC area and don't like Clear Channel's effort to gut out one of the prime dance stations in this country, check out the Metro NY Dance Radio Coalition via MySpace. Lots of luck to Vic Latino's new endavors; I heard that he's going to have a show on satilite XM radio early next year.

Oh and the last song that Vic played on his show was "What A Feeling" by Peter Luts and Dominico. I'm not going to listen to that song in the same way again. It's like Pearl Jam's "Alive" being the last song on Philly's commercial alternative stations (WDRE, Y100) before they "flipped" to another format.

Saturday night I attended WMPH's DANCEfest 2006 at Baxter's, which is a gay club in Wilmington, Delaware. I had fun that night. Ten acts on the bill. Got to talk with a couple of the station's staff members and to artist Drea (a great trance remix of her "Reincarnation" single has just been released). Gay porn star-turned-singer Fredrick Ford did a surprisingly fierce tribal remix of George Michael's "Too Funky." Topping the bill was Pepper Mashay (best known for "Dive In The Pool" with Barry Harris, which has been played in gay clubs to the point of cliche) and Georgie Porgie (who mentioned onstage that WMPH was now the only dance station left on the east coast, which wasn't accurate--there's also Party 105.3 in Long Island NY, however that station doesn't stream online like WMPH does). There was a good crowd turnout and hopefully some money was made for the fundraiser; all proceeds go to the station and the Broadcast Learning Center, which is a non-profit that gives Brandywine School District-area high-school students experience in broadcasting.

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