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The Music Column

Doing Music Wrong

National Public Radio is a bad idea, as you can tell from the name.  But the specific reality is even worse, though I suppose it comes in different forms.  The service is varied in that local stations can tailor themselves differently.  But I believe that my take on NPR is basically true about the “NPR effect” and its treatment of “classical music,” as it is quaintly called.

Now I don’t deny that some NPR elements are good, Car Talk being the best, though that show was no longer produced after 2012.  (What you hear are reruns.)  The loss of Car Talk was a blow to what little entertainment value or humor or good sense NPR had.  A Prairie Home Companion also has its moments, though adjusting for the condescending vanities and indulgences of Garrison Keillor can be a challenge.  I also concede that, possibly through error or inattention, sometimes good music well played is actually broadcast by NPR, but they seem strictly to limit the threatening phenomenon that should be their obvious priority.  But besides the points noted, the effect of NPR is to make you want to listen to anything else, and I mean anything.  Out of a scrupulous respect for the mental health of my devoted readers, I am going to skip over here the long list of alternatives that are either the bane of the airwaves, or better than NPR, or both.

I am not going...

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