Gustav's Electric Cafe

Afternoons 12p - 7p


Of Sweeping Generalizations & Other Things

Here's an email feedback that I received yesterday (1/22/09):
"Dear 94.7 FM, It is a well-known fact that the only people who listen to trance are people who are on drugs. The reasons for this are also well-known: the only people who can listen to trance without gouging out their ear drums are people who are on drugs. That being said, I fail to see why you would put your cocktail mix hour that is to say, an hour of trance music from 6-7PM on a Thursday. Considering that the overwhelming majority of your listeners at that particularly hour are likely stuck in traffic on their way home from work and, therefore, most likely not on drugs it seems counter-intuitive that you would play music that only people on drugs would want to listen to. Moreover, considering that people sitting in rush hour traffic are already experiencing a near suicidal desperation at their inability to move anywhere a problem compounded by the fact that this is Portland, with some of the worst highway congestion I've ever encountered I fail to see why you would think playing music only capable of making that suicidal desperation worse is a good idea. I know you must rely on advertisers to pay your bills, and they couldn't possibly be happy that at an hour when they could have many listeners, all of their listeners are being driven away by s*&t music. I ask you, then, for your own sake, to please cease and desist with the cocktail mix/trance abomination that is your Thursday 6-7PM slot. Thank you, Concerned Listener."

I really have no choice but to respond to this letter on my blog, as this "concerned listener" was concerned enough with their diatribe to leave a bogus email address so that I could not address their statements head-on.  That said, I say this to you "concerned listener."  I would like to see where you're getting your "well known facts" about substance abuse among those who enjoy this particular form of music (the "48 Hours" exposé on Raves back in the early '90s doesn't count).  Given your generalizations about certain forms of music, I'd assume that you'd pin the label of "pot smoker" on those who enjoy Sublime, or think that those who listen to hardcore skate punk are more predisposed to go out and commit crimes.  FYI, the mix that I spun on Thursday evening was not a complete hour of dedicated Trance, but I don't expect you to be able to discern between genres, given the fact that you've already applied your pre-conceived label to the form of music anyway.

I am, admittedly, horribly biased, as I quite much enjoy Trance, along with numerous other forms of Electronic Dance Music.  I try to expose people to this now and again during the "Cocktail Mix" as it's an outlet to try on a few new things.  As a DJ, and someone who has been mixing music for a little over 20 years now, I like to demonstrate this skill now and again with the hopes that I might show people a few new things.  I don't expect everyone listening to immediately latch on to it and love it, but it is my hope that those listening wouldn't apply such a sweeping generalization so as to imply that those who enjoy this form of music are habitual drug users.  I was first turned on to this music in 1990.  Do I, "concerned listener" strike you as someone who needs drugs to enjoy this music?  I would hope not.  DJs of international renown who spin this music (Paul Oakenfold, Armin Van Buuren, Tiesto, Paul Van Dyk, to name a few) continually sell out large venues around the world (even selling out places here in town such as the Crystal Ballroom with next to no promotion).  I suppose that these millions of Trance fans out there are simply too stoned out of their minds to realize their mistakes at attending these functions, aren't they?  Yes, that's right... legions of suicidally depressed fans who want to stab out their eardrums, only looking to make it worse by going out to see their favorite DJ play live!

If you want the traditional guitar driven, verse/chorus/verse, three and a half minute toe tapper that you've already heard dozens of times, then the "Cocktail Mix" isn't for you anyway.  If you want an upbeat remix of a familiar song, something sonically different, or just want to get a taste of what a good portion of the rest of the international music culture enjoys, the "Cocktail Mix" welcomes you.  If you're so concerned with your self perceived depressive attitude that drivers out there are facing, maybe something upbeat and motivating such as the "Cocktail Mix" is just what the Psychiatrist ordered.  Oh, and lastly, it's not Trance every night of the week... only when my much abhorred-by-you personal collection takes over on Thursdays. 

Respectfully (and not on drugs),

Gustav




 
01/23/2009 3:56PM
Of Sweeping Generalizations & Other Things
Please Enter Your Comments Below
01/23/2009 4:25PM
Emily
Good for you Gustav. I hate it when people automatically assume such standards. You said it better than I could, so I just wanted to thank you for saying it!
01/23/2009 11:29PM
Denny
I don't use drugs. I'm just a 40 something year old professional Engineer and I dig the Cocktail Mix. I especially like Gustav's personal collections and the Area54 mixes. Keep up the good work. You got me tuning in.
01/24/2009 6:07PM
Alex
Well put, Gustav! And for the record, the Cocktail Mix is the best thing on the radio right now.
01/27/2009 9:31AM
Michael Navarro
I think this critic is certainly entitled to his opinion, but to assume trance lovers are all drug users just really weakens his case. I love all kinds of music, including trance, without the benefit (or detriment) of drugs. I also quite enjoy death metal, but I don't worship Satan or have hockey hair. So please don't change the Cocktail Mix for anyone, it's in the perfect time slot and as Alex says, "the best thing on the radio"!
01/27/2009 10:59AM
Travis
great response gustav. im a drug free hard working individual who would actually prefer a lot more trance thrown in to the coktail mix.thanks for makin traffic that much more tolerable.
01/27/2009 3:40PM
Adam
ZOMG, what a failure at life this "concerned listener" is. The cocktail mix is the 13373$7 thing on the radio, and the only thing I would personally change about it is to make it longer. keep the good stuff spinning Gustav!
01/27/2009 5:17PM
Jo
What Everyone Else Said :D I'm a British Expat and I miss our music scene so very much. The Cocktail Mix is a delight for the commute home.
01/27/2009 8:03PM
Glenn
While I am a long-time fan of Gustav DJ skills, I will admit the cocktail mix is hit or miss for me sometimes. That being said, I think the idea behind 94.7 is "alternative" and the cocktail mix is an alternative that lots of listeners (who aren't on drugs) enjoy. Keep broadening my horizons Gustav!
01/28/2009 1:05AM
Brian
The guy is a complete idiot - but I have to admit I don't enjoy the show myself. I listen to area54 at midnight, but the cocktail mix is sometimes a bit more of a mash-up than electronica to me and it is just not my cup of tea. I love everything else you do though Gustav!
01/28/2009 4:11PM
Michael
I would like the cocktail mix better if there were fewer remixes of regularly played songs and a little more adventure. That being said, I can't help but think the mix (and the station)would be best served if you switched the mix with the new music hour.I always wish that the new music hour took place when I am more likely to be in the car and therefore more likely to be listening to the radio.
01/29/2009 2:33PM
Ashley Rose
I agree with everyone else. I am 100% drug free, and the Cocktail Mix is my favorite thing to listen to, I never miss it. And if someone has an issue with trance, maybe they should, I don't know,not listen to the Mix at 6? Go Gustav for defending the Mix.
01/29/2009 2:56PM
Deema
I personally am not a huge fan of the remixed music (and admittedly change the station when I'm just not feeling it), but I think that the "concerned listener" was a bit harsh in expressing his frustration. I know the mix is very popular and a great way to try on new types of music, and while it's not necessarily my preference, I respect the work you put into giving us a variety of listening experiences.
01/30/2009 5:48PM
Ben
I really miss being able to hear the CM@6 personally. 107-7 the end tries nothing so adventurous up here in Seattle. That set list for Thursday 1/22 looks like it would have been really pleasing to the ears, actually.
02/13/2009 3:51PM
Mike
Way to go Gustav! Personally I think the hallmark a good radio station is one that's going to play music that I haven't heard, and quite frankly, may not like. It's only by continuing to push the envelope and refusing to fall into a "pop-mix" rotation of demographically targeted 20 songs that music and radio stations can continue to grow and remain vital. I'd have advised "concerned listener" to go back to the teeny bob station and leave the real music to people who can appreciate it.
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