Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Radio as objet d'art

How do you wake up in the AM?

This how we rise and shine à la maison de Favog. It's a 1951 Stromberg-Carlson clock radio I found on eBay.

Once upon a time, beauty in the things we use every day wasn't unusual. Televisions and radios were pieces of furniture that commanded attention, things that stood out whether they were in use at the moment or not.
Now, unless you pay a premium for the privilege, not so much. A TV is little more than a screen; a radio -- You remember those, right? -- is a plastic box with a digital display.

A CLOCK RADIO is your smartphone . . . or one of those unadorned little thingies you stick your smartphone or iPod into. And the sound quality is such that your low-bit rate MP3 file sounds the same as a high-bit rate MP3 file that sounds like a low-bit rate MP3 file.

Yecch.

No, I am a proud anachronism. I love beautiful anachronisms, and I use them whenever I can. AM radio. Vacuum tubes. Analog clock dials. Young people still can tell time on analog clock dials, right?

If the power goes out, I can reset the clock in a snap on this thing. Try that on your digital clock radio -- assuming you have one of those and not a little box into which you shove a smartwhatever. When I was a little kid, my parents used this for a clock radio.



YOU BETTER damn believe everybody woke up. WLCS PLAAAAAAAYS the hits!

If only I could get the new-old clock radio to pull in the Big Win 910 all the way from Baton Rouge, circa 1967. Or 1971 -- I'm not picky. I'd settle for Omaha's Mighty 1290 KOIL from the same time.

Unfortunately, it's just a great old AM clock radio, not a great old AM clock radio time machine. So KHUB in Fremont, Neb., it is . . . the only station on that venerable old amplitude-modulated band that has both music and news hereabouts.

No comments: