Tuesday, January 05, 2010

FMN! Vol 8

Free Music Now! Vol. 8: The Freedom Fifteen
Original broadcast: January 6, 2010 (Wed), 2230-0000h (GMT +8)

Presented by Mark Wong

Not since 9/11 had we experienced such a jolt to global consciousness as on June 25, 2009: the day MJ died. I'd woken up early that morning, seen the BBC tweet, then promptly posted the news on my Facebook wall. The air seemed to hang a little heavier that day, and I turned in a little late for work because I really had to re-watch that 1983 Motown performance of Billie Jean on YouTube.

For the next days and weeks, emotional tributes poured freely alongside more cynical commentaries. A cottage industry of conspiracy theorists was spawned, with news articles and blogs poring over "evidence" of his murder or "conversion" to Islam, even as Michael's "ghost" was spotted revisiting its old Neverland haunts.

If you're finding this all a little suspicious, don't worry, this week's show won't be about MJ. But as I was preparing for this relook at the year in music in 2009, I couldn't ignore the fact that MJ's death marked the significant passing of an entire cultural era; Michael may well have been the last truly global superstar with a multi-generational audience base to (moon)walk the planet.

MJ's universal appeal was the result of a number of factors, not least being the consolidation of media power amassed in the music industry of the eighties and nineties. This control of the channels of information lay the groundwork for a monolithic superstar to emerge. Simon Reynold's recent observations about the "musically fragmented" age we live in is precisely the result of the dismantling of the traditional music industry, the ascendancy of the internet and the gradually unfolding revolution in music production, distribution and consumption--hey, this is why unpopular.radio and Free Music Now! even exist!

So anyway, FMN008 presents the Freedom Fifteen: 15 songs of 2009 that made us feel a little better to be alive.

To tune in "live" to the show, please click on either of the following:



Open the listen.pls file in your iTunes, Winamp or VLC media player during the broadcast time.

Honourable mentions:
* Animal Collective - My Girls (5:42)
* Burial - Fostercare (5:32)
* Dinosaur Jr. - Plans (6:42)
* Eswandy Sarip/Muliana - Darkness in Our Light (10:23)
* Patrick Wolf - Hard Times (3:33)

And the Freedom Fifteen...
15. X'Ho - Substation 1992 (3:46)
14. NAO - Movement (3:48)
13. Arrington de Dionyso - Rasa Sentuh (Sense of Touch) (2:42)
12. Killeur Calculateur - Tigers Gone Ape (2:13)
11. Stellarium - Fader (6:14)
10. Gnaw - Vacant (5:03)
9. I, Noiseferatu - In the City (4:43)
8. Max Lane - Preamble (3:29)
7. aspidistrafly - Endless Dreamless (3:05)
6. Joy Orbison - Hyph Mngo (5:38)
5. Tortoise - Prepare Your Coffin (3:37)
4. Mellonyellow - The Longest Yard (2:29)
3. Dirty Projectors - Stillness is the Move (5:14)
2. Sunn O))) - Big Church (9:42)
1. The Observatory - Mind Roots (5:35)

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