Monday, February 8, 2010

Give Me The Beat Boys

I have a rather mundane job that I perform for my bi-weekly bread: I do payroll.

I have, over the past couple of years, waxed poetically, waxed philosophically, waxed angrily, and waxed incredulously, over the various aspects of my job.

Today, I will wax musically over my current job.

As I've mentioned previously, I spend an inordinate amount of time not being busy, simply because I have been able to get all of my required work done when it was supposed to be done. However, this isn't about that 50% of my bi-weekly time. This is about the other 50% of my bi-weekly time in which I am consistently busy, which are the two days leading up to, the day of, and at least two days after pay day.

To help me keep my mind focused on what I'm doing at a given time (processing paychecks, entering and auditing timesheets, etc.), I listen to a lot of music. I'll even listen to music that I'm normally not a major fan of, but because it has something resembling a good beat, it becomes my white noise (ex: urban & soul).

Not only do I listen to all types of music, be it stuff I like or dislike, but I also listen to specific shows that play these certain types of music. Because I enjoy the variety that is the spice of life, I don't listen to commercial radio for this specific shows, but instead, listen to college radio.

I would say that the bulk of what I listen to (75%) when I'm doing payroll are the various offshoots of rock, with the remainder covering genres like jazz, soul, true r&b, urban and the various country sub-sects.

About the only genre I can't listen to is metal and its various sub-sects. It's not because I don't like it (because I do), but more because of not being able to get a particular station on my radio (incredibly weak signal, as the station has a radius of about two miles, maybe).

So my radio helps me get through an otherwise increasingly painful day (due to the various medical problems I got) that would be much longer than if I didn't listen to music. Specifically, two particular radio stations help fulfill the need: WRTC & WWUH.

These two radio stations: WRTC 89.3 & WWUH 91.3 have specific programming that I make it a point of listening to on a weekly basis. Of WRTC (Radio Trinity College) and WWUH (University of Hartford), WWUH is the more reliable of the two. By reliable, I mean that the volunteer staff will actually show up for their shift, and not temporarily end its broadcasting day like WRTC does from time to time. However, WRTC has the more eclectic day time programming than WWUH has.

Please note that all of these show times are Eastern Standard Time/Eastern Daylight Time. As of today (2/8), we're Eastern Daylight Time.

The following is a list of shows that I enjoy listening to on both stations. The one thing that both stations are know for, is their jazz programming. WRTC has jazz M-F from 6a-9a and from 3p-6p, whereas WWUH has theirs M-F from 9a-12 noon. I normally don't listen to jazz, only because I find it a bit too mellow for my tastes, at least for what they play out here.

1} The Marti Party: Mike Marti plays a fantastic collection of 50's & early 60's rock & roll, doo wop, r&b, and rockabilly from 1p-4p Mondays on WWUH. Not only does he play the well known stuff, but he often digs deeper into the lesser known regional stuff. Also, he has from time to time, done artist spotlights on his show.. And on the rare occasions that a well known performer has passed away, he'll devote an entire show to the artist (most recently, a three hour show devoted to Bo Diddley).

2} The Boris Rock Show: He plays a great eclectic mix of rock, both domestic and import. Normally opens his show with some funky instrumentals, which can be heard Wednesdays from 9/10a-12 noon on WRTC.

3} The Pine Grove Blues: River City Slim (has his own cajun/zydeco band called River City Slim and the Zydeco Hogs) plays an extended mix of cajun, zydeco, swamp pop, and blues. His show is on from 6a-9a Thursdays on WWUH. Always has a spotlight on a a legend of American roots music around 7:30a.

4} In the Weeds: Dwight Thurston plays the best of American roots music, r&b, ska and reggae (mostly old school reggae with some modern stuff thrown in). His show has a particular emphasis on Bob Dylan. Fridays 1p-4p on WWUH.

5} Friday Morning Rock: Roger Catlin, who is a music critic for the Hartford Courant, has a nifty morning rock show from 9ish to 12 noon on WRTC, with a special emphasis on Elvis.

Although there are other shows that I will listen to depending on my mood (specifically, Saturdays from 9a-1p Bluegreass and 1p-4p Doo Wop), there are the five that I try to make a concentrated effort in listening to M-F. These particular shows help make my day go just that much smoother, and more often than not, put me into a better frame of mind to deal with the people who are the tail that wags the dog.


  1. Funny as a teen I loved 50's and 60's music. Now I can't stand either. OK that is harsh...not a big fan.

  2. Though I like some of the commercial stations, the playlist is so repetitive, you can almost write it out yourself after a few days. I wish they'd vary the tunes a little. As much as I love music, when I'm writing, I usually need quiet, unless it's a very subtle jazz, very much in the background.

  3. Thank God for music! I couldn't imagine a day without it.

  4. Ahh, can soothe our souls, march us through the work, put us to sleep, calm our spirits, make us dance, sing and tap our feet.
    But, it's funny as I grow older and older I find that I enjoy silence. The sounds of nature, a baby sleeping and snow dripping off the roof. My music has changed. :)Bea

  5. First of all - that second paragraph is fantastic! And who could not listen to the Boris Rock show? Great name!

  6. I saw Bo Diddley in concert more than once and he was brilliant! Pure genuis.

  7. I typically listen to music only during my daily commute. I never listen while I'm writing but I do listen at night sometimes if I'm just playing games or something. Lately I've been seeking out "nightwish" on you tube. A great band I just learned about.

  8. Me again, G. Forgot, while I was thinking so hard about music to say how much I enjoyed reading about all the different kinds of music that you DO listen to. :)Bea

  9. Bearman: No, that isn't too harsh. I grew up listening to '50's rock and roll and 60's folk music, so I can sympathize. I still dig 60's folk, but for 50's rock, I really have to listen to the Marti Party show, for my weekly dose, which this week he did part 2 of Dion.

    Joanne: So very true. I have exactly two commercial stations programmed into my car radio, the rest being college radio. The absolute worst radio station here is 99.1 WPLR (New Haven). They play what I call 'geezer rock', simply because it came out while in high school.

    And I'm much like you. I need quiet when I write, with no background noise at all. Which is why I deal with music at work so much.

    Talon: I don't think I've gone an entire day without music. Even on the weekends, I still get a dose of it while I'm doing short driving errands.

    Bea: Thanks. My music listening was quite narrow while I was a teenager and twenty-something. I really didn't start to appreciate the multitude of genres, strangely enough, I started listening to college radio back in the mid 90's, shortly after I started working for the government.

    R.K.: Thank you young lady, you are too kind. :D

    I simply call it like I see it when it pertains to my job.

    And yes, you can't help but really like a show called "The Boris Rock Show".

    Joe: I really didn't go to concerts that much in my lifetime, probably less than ten: Jethro Tull, The Cars, Wang Chung and AC/DC, Robert Palmer and Billy Idol, were the summation of my concert going years.

    Now if I go to a concert, chances are it will be something like a friends cover band (see the link called "Shaded Soul Band") or a folk concert of some type.

    Charles: I don't listen to it while I'm writing, but the funny thing is that most of my music listening has been for the most part, relegated to work. Ever since I temporarily stopped my LP to CD conversion, I haven't listend to much of anything at home, although there are temporary spurts of sanity every now and again.

  10. It bothers my co-worker when I listen to music, so I don't when I am working. (It's not worth the hassle.) I am on and off the phone so much that an ipod doesn't work either. So I revel in the time I am in the car (or at home) and can play music. I understand exactly how you feel - I am not fulfilled by my job either. So music would make it so much better.

  11. Wow, I'm not sure how it would really bother your co-worker unless you had the volume up to high or something.

    I think I'm fortunate at this stop in my career that my co-workers (and myself) usually keep their radios very low, mostly due to the fact that we have an open floor environment.

    I don't think I've had one complaint in four years about the my radio, as I make it a point to ask the people next to me if my radio is too loud for them.

    But yes, music does make a long day go just a little bit smoother.

  12. I'm lazy now and just use the Internet, after being introduced to Pandora radio. I'm my own programmer.

    Have you used it?

  13. Pamela: Can't say that I have. I use the internet at home in one hour spurts and have no access to it at work, beyond the intranet (agency policy and electronic snooping, per state regulations).

    I used to listen to the internet when I was working at the library. Found a couple of good stations in New Zealand and Australia at the time, plus the University of Hawaii as well.

  14. I like a lot of variety and novelty when it comes to music, so thank goodness for It's free online and it provides an infinite variety of tracks and djs. You're also free to "preview" any track in their databse, which means that you can listen to it all the way through, with optional pause function. You just can't fast-forward or rewind. I don't want to remember what life was like before I discovered No one paid me to say that.

  15. S.R.: Sounds like a great online radio system you found there...I know the Internet has some great radio/music systems out there, and if I had the type of daytime 'net access that everyone else has, I would probably checking out either what you listen to or what Pamela listens to.

    The beauty of the 'net is the infinite music possibilities that are available at one's fingertips...

  16. A day without music would not be a full day for me. I love old time music. There was character and texture to those lyrics.

  17. Absolutely. They packed an emotional punch that you really don't find in this day and age.


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