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Tiki Central Forums Tiki Music On the Rocks, XM Radio, and Don Tiki
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On the Rocks, XM Radio, and Don Tiki
cybertiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 28, 2003
Posts: 234
From: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posted: 2004-08-02 8:35 pm   Permalink

Well, it's a sad day for choices when the only station that I could get that played Don Tiki, Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman, and Les Baxter is removed from the air. It wasn't always stellar programming, but XM Radio's "On the Rocks" was the only station that provided this programming on the service. I wrote the following letter to the programming department at XM Radio.

--- cut ---

Note that OTR was unique, and was really not an overlap with the "Franks Place" listening community. The pop culture of the 50's that included bachelor pad, lounge scene and tiki bar elements is a unique and exciting era in American History that associates with specific artists and musical metaphors that differ significantly from anything else that is available to listeners today (with the possible exception of "Vegas Vic's Tiki Lounge" on the Live365 Service). Artists and composers that were played on OTR such as Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman, Les Baxter, Esquivel, Don Tiki, Yma Sumac, as well as some of the more well recognized artists such as Sinatra, Dean Martin and Julie London typify this wonderful musical era. I thought it was horrifying when XM Radio replaced OTR over the Christmas Season with a poorish selection of seasonal tunes, and I wrote to complain at the time. The total elimination of the station, to my mind, is an unforgivable and unconscionable offense to those of us who still enjoy sipping a Martini or Mai-Tai in swanky surrounds while socializing with our friends and listening to the tunes that we love. I urge XM to reconsider this decision, and to reinstate the ONLY station that provided a window into a bygone era when the Cocktail Culture ruled.

--- cut ---

I'm not a person who enjoys change and things like this really bug me. Anyone know if Sirius carries a station that provides comparable programming to what I'm losing on XM? Barring this, I guess it's time to figure out how to adapt an iPod to the car stereo system.

Time for another Mai-Tai ... I haven't had enuf by half.

Cheers!

_________________
Stay on the beach. The natives over there are cannibals.
They eat liars with the same enthusiasm as they eat honest men.

http://www.cybertiki.com

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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2004-08-03 11:15 am   Permalink

Quote:
Barring this, I guess it's time to figure out how to adapt an iPod to the car stereo system.



Here you go, for only $35:
http://www.griffintechnology.com/products/itrip/



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Sabina
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 08, 2002
Posts: 372
From: The Lounge of the Seven Pleasures!
Posted: 2004-08-04 2:09 pm   Permalink

Cybertiki, I couldn't have said it any better.

We'd watched the slow devolution of On the Rocks over time, and yes, the X-mas replacement was horrible- we went through withdrawal.

We listened to both Frank's Place and OTR, and you're right- while I enjoy both, it was for different reasons. Now that OTR is gone, well, XM just isn't the same.

Between this and Special X's demise, XM has lost some of it's quirky flavour that made it so neat in the first place.


 
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cybertiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 28, 2003
Posts: 234
From: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posted: 2004-08-04 2:16 pm   Permalink

I actually just called and cancelled my XM Radio subscription. I'm going to get one of those remodulator doohickeys for the iPod and use my own playlists while driving. If you're upset with XM, be sure to send email to programming@xmradio.com, or call 202-380-4000 and ask for Programming. Not that they care, but they should hear it anyway.

--- cut ---
<additional rant removed>
--- cut ---

Cheers!


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dcrisis
Member

Joined: Mar 09, 2003
Posts: 5
From: Treasure Island, CA
Posted: 2004-08-05 2:55 pm   Permalink

There's a pretty good show of support going on right now for the lost channel.

Get on board and help by looking at a few links like..

http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/ontherocks

and the discussion at

http://www.xmfan.com/viewforum.php?f=30

From what I've seen, one of the channels that came on to the network actually was one that returned due to audience response and a coordinated grass-roots effort. Please spread the word and let Lee Abrams, the director of programming there know how you feel. They should know how many fans there were "On The Rocks".

DC

(thanks to Unga Bunga for pointing me at this thread)


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cybertiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 28, 2003
Posts: 234
From: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posted: 2004-08-05 7:44 pm   Permalink

I spoke with Lee Abrams, XM's Senior VP and Chief Programming Officer and he said that OTR was cancelled after polling "over 200,000 subscribers", and that there was very little interest in the station. He also indicated that the decision to eliminate OTR was taken after "much consideration"

I was not in nice mode.

I pointed out that I felt XM had deliberately permitted the quality of programming on OTR to go downhill because they did not have a program director who understood the genre. I indicated that there were plenty of talented individuals who were actively working to keep the genre alive and fresh - and some who were making a living doing so. I indicated that rather than find someone who was up to the task of making OTR the fresh and innovative program that it had been upon its inception that XM chose to neglect it and then kill it off. I suggested that he listent to Vegas Vic's Tiki Lounge on Live365 to get an idea of what I was talking about. I said some other things, that in retrospect are probably regrettable, but the bottom line is that I don't think the decision to cancel OTR is likely to be rescinded.

Now, on the upside, the O&A mailing list has just informed me that Opie and Anthony will shortly be joining the XM lineup with their own peculiar brand of humor ... I actually like O&A, but if it's a tradeoff between O&A style programming and decent music programming, my cancellation of the XM service stands.

Just thought I'd post the followup for anyone who's interested. I think more people should be calling XM Radio directly and asking to speak with Lee Abrams. Who knows, maybe there's a job up there as a program director for someone who actually understands the Exotica/Lounge/Bachelor Pad genre of music.

Cheers!

_________________
Stay on the beach. The natives over there are cannibals.
They eat liars with the same enthusiasm as they eat honest men.

http://www.cybertiki.com

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dcrisis
Member

Joined: Mar 09, 2003
Posts: 5
From: Treasure Island, CA
Posted: 2004-08-06 10:50 am   Permalink

I've worked with XM before. I was talent for one of their launch stations before the company I worked for left the broadcasting business.

It's an interesting problem. They need to maximize their profit potential while presenting 100 channels in the same market. So the equation comes down to this: make it as cheap as possible, first. Then, maximize to use of available streams for maximum subscription. Variety just isn't in the formula anymore. The promise of satellite radio just isn't going to be delivered and doesn't stand out much from terrestrial radio. I've never been that big a fan of Sirius, but if they figure out the nature of the satellite radio "beast" their chances are much better than I originally thought.

It's a new medium and everyone is still learning how to use it. There are no models to follow so programmers are going to make mistakes like this until they can see the trends.

DC


 
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ikitnrev
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jul 27, 2002
Posts: 1313
From: D.C. / Virginia
Posted: 2004-08-06 11:33 am   Permalink

I was very annoyed with the dropping of 'On the Rocks' About two weeks ago I had the XM adapter kit placed in my car (I had the Delfi boombox version before), partly because I was doing a two week roadtrip, and wanted to be able to listen to all those cool tunes along the way. I even left many of my exotica and lounge CDs at home, rather than risk them being stolen or lost -- XM 'On the Rocks' was going to be listened to a lot.

Two days into my trip I dial channel 76, and I hear nothing. I felt very cheated - it came with absolutely no warning, else I would have brought my own music along. I've been flipping through the other stations, and the whole XM experience seems much less now.

I do think that XM and Sirius are now trying to get a consumer base of rstaurants and other business places who need MUZAK-like programs to provide background music. A few of the new stations definitely are in this mode.

I will definitely call and write XM upon my return in protest. I chose XM over Sirius mainly because of the 'On the Rocks' station - that made them in my mind the much cooler company.

Vern


 
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Iolani
Tiki Centralite

Joined: Sep 30, 2003
Posts: 89
Posted: 2004-08-06 12:35 pm   Permalink

I've been considering getting a satellite 'radio' and this OTR news makes two disappointing developments about XM that I've read about today. (The first being that I'd have to pay extra to get my O&A fix)

As far as Sirius goes, they apparantly nixed their all-Hawaiian station and threw it into the 'Vacation' station with Buffett and the Beach Boys. WTF!

Sirius still has it's all-Elvis station, but I still wonder if it's worth the subscription. For either of these services.


 
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Tiki-bot
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 1345
Posted: 2004-08-06 1:46 pm   Permalink

I'm considering subscribing to XM, but have not made up my mind yet. As much as we all like to think that exotica/lounge/bachelor pad music is a viable programming category, it's really a pretty small niche in the grand spectrum of music. I don't mean that in terms of importance or musical relevance, but in terms of how many people want to listen to it - there just aren't that many.

I'm more concerned that they just don't play music with enough variety in general. Any chance I can listen to an XM station that plays Bill Laswell's Miles Davis remixes, some Leon Redbone, some late 90's experimental electronica, and a cut from The Conet Project? I doubt it.

Now, about Ipods. How the hell can I hook it up directly to my car stereo? We use it on the home system and a portable speaker, but not the car. Don't they make car stereos with aux. in jacks? We got one of the FM transmitters and it didn't work with any reliability.
_________________


 
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cybertiki
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 28, 2003
Posts: 234
From: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posted: 2004-08-06 2:01 pm   Permalink

I spent a whole day listening to Sirius, and focused on Vacation and Elvis Radio. I wasn't overly impressed by either. I like Reggae, and don't have a problem with Buffet or the Beach Boys, but the genres just weren't mixing well with the Hawaiian standards, and left me wanting. Elvis Radio is cool, but I have all of it in MP3 and if I want to OD on the King, I can do it in the privacy of my own home without paying a monthly fee.

I tend to agree with dcrisis that satellite radio will probably never live up to its potential - and why should I have expected that it would? I've always felt that TV and Broadcast Radio have both failed the consumer miserably - this is just another face of the same old problem. All in the name of profit we degenerate into the least common denominator. It's Borders for books, and Wal-Mart for everything else. Hungry? Go grab a Big Mac. It's all gotta be the same in the name of market competition. Differentiation is OK as long as the product is the same (yeah ... I'll take a Whopper with cheese please).

The really sad thing is that the market for things that are "different" LIKE EXOTICA MUSIC, would probably be much larger if the mass merchandisers permitted a wider exposure of these items to the potential consumer base. I know it's a lot deeper than that, but the whole rant would take the rest of the afternoon to write, and I'd prefer to go down to the Mai-Kai, sit in the Molokai Lounge and down a couple of Rum Barrels while sucking in the ambience. To that end, I'm gonna shower now, put on my brightest Aloha Shirt, and head downtown.

Cheers!

Hey Vern! Good to see you again. You coming down for Hukilau?


 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2004-08-06 2:19 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-08-06 13:46, Tiki-bot wrote:
Now, about Ipods. How the hell can I hook it up directly to my car stereo? We use it on the home system and a portable speaker, but not the car. Don't they make car stereos with aux. in jacks? We got one of the FM transmitters and it didn't work with any reliability.



Did you get one made for the iPod like iTrip by Griffin Technology? I'm curious as I've been thinking about getting one and want to know if that will work well.


 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2004-08-06 2:28 pm   Permalink

I looked into getting XM or Sirius a while ago. I went on their web site and checked out the sample stations. I thought it was OK, similar to Music Choice on cable. Not enough variety.

Now, when they design a car stereo that connects at high speed to the internet with Wi-Fi anywhere you go I would be all over that! Imagine getting internet streaming radio in you car.

Currently I use a program to record streaming audio to a MP3 file, burn it to a CD, and play it in my car (I have a 10-disk changer that plays MP3s and connects to the antenna cable and plays through a FM channel). It's great for road trips because you can fit the equivalent of 100 CDs worth of music on 10 CDs of MP3s.


 
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Tangaroa
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Apr 25, 2002
Posts: 1558
Posted: 2004-08-06 4:35 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-08-06 13:46, Tiki-bot wrote:
Now, about Ipods. How the hell can I hook it up directly to my car stereo? We use it on the home system and a portable speaker, but not the car. Don't they make car stereos with aux. in jacks? We got one of the FM transmitters and it didn't work with any reliability.




I had a C. Crane FM transmitter for my iPod last year. It worked so poorly, I almost got in several accidents trying to tune in a clear signal when it invariably "floated". Of course I live in L.A. and empty spaces on FM are really tough to come by. And the sound quality was horrible. I finally sold my transmitter on Ebay - I'd doubt that the iTrip works any better (if you live in a big city that is...) The best thing I can do, is use one of those cheap cassette adapters & plug it into the tape deck. Apple really needs to come up with some sort of deck that also plays CDs....
Anyone try the BMW/iPod thing...?
_________________


 
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thejab
Grand Member (first year)  

Joined: Mar 25, 2002
Posts: 2986
From: Tradewinds Apartments, Alameda, CA
Posted: 2004-08-06 4:46 pm   Permalink

Quote:

On 2004-08-06 16:35, Tangaroa wrote:I had a C. Crane FM transmitter for my iPod last year. It worked so poorly, I almost got in several accidents trying to tune in a clear signal when it invariably "floated". Of course I live in L.A. and empty spaces on FM are really tough to come by. And the sound quality was horrible. I finally sold my transmitter on Ebay - I'd doubt that the iTrip works any better (if you live in a big city that is...) The best thing I can do, is use one of those cheap cassette adapters & plug it into the tape deck. Apple really needs to come up with some sort of deck that also plays CDs....
Anyone try the BMW/iPod thing...?




The review in MacAddict tried one in San Francisco and agreed that it took a while to find a clear frequency, but they were eventually successful. I use 88.3 for my CD changer in the Bay Area.

http://www.macaddict.com/issues/0308/rev.itrip.html


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