Charlie’s Playlist: Guy vs. Device


    Charlie’s Playlist: Man vs. Maker

    < img src =" "class =" ff-og-image-inserted" > It didn’t rise to the level of Kasparov versus Deep Blue, however still, it was another example of male vs. device. This time it was radio DJ Charlie Bermant playing music from 1967 versus playlists I asked two various clever speakers to generate.

    For the arena, I walked between 3 listening spaces. In my kitchen, I asked Alexa to play music from 1967. In my solarium (in fact a den with the sun shining directly onto a lounge chair), I asked Google Home Assistant to do the same. And in the home workplace, I utilized my computer to listen to Charlie live as he streamed from throughout the continent on KPTZ-FM, Port Townsend, Washington.

    Charlie turned 67 this day, so his trick was to play music released in 1967. Throughout the 2-hour show, he managed to squeeze in 26 tunes beginning with “I Dig Rock-and-roll Music” (Peter, Paul and Mary) and “Creeque Alley” (The Mamas and the Papas) and concluded, on time, with “Time Has Come Today” (The Chambers Brothers).

    He would have been able to suit more music if it weren’t for the public service statements. He likewise named all the tunes and artists he played, with shout outs to artists like Eric Clapton who are still alive. The clever speakers, drawing from Amazon Music and YouTube Music respectively, had no such disruptions, since for them the music never stopped.

    Yet, Charlie’s point of view and his self-edited commentary (he confessed that he could have informed his Lovin’ Spoonful story) included a personal touch that pure silicon merely can’t.

    Bermant also confessed on air that he was actively leaving out a few of the more commonly played tunes such as those by the Jefferson Aircraft and the Moody Blues. (Thinking About that my Google Assistant prefaced its playlist for 1967 as “the year of the album,” how might he not play anything from Days of Future Passed!.?.!?) But he did play two tunes each from the Beatles, the Bee Gees, the Velour Underground and Buffalo Springfield.

    The two of us spoke on Facebook while the program remained in development. Charlie disputed selections I told him were playing in another room. “Dylan didn’t launch an album in ’67,” he exclaimed. [Complete disclosure: I understood Charlie when he operated in the adjoining cubicle at a computer magazine in San Jose throughout the 1980s.]

    In his Facebook action, Charlie referred to my wise speakers as “artificial stupidity.”

    In his Facebook action, Bermant referred to my smart speakers as “artificial stupidity.” I might tell he was upset that I ‘d even consider using these devices to challenge his living understanding of a time that we had actually both endured.

    As Bermant mentioned on air, “Music resembled journalism back then, where you ‘d get a huge song practically every day that was brand-new and great and experimental.”

    In terms of audio effectiveness, I admit that I offered Charlie the benefit. My wise speakers are monoliths, but my PC monitor is flanked by 2 speakers and a floor-squatting subwoofer. Thinking about that specific recordings from the late sixties are understood for pressing the sound solely into the left or right channel and mind-bending mixing, only my computer system setup might deliver stereo separation and the most pleasurable, authentic listening experience.

    Charlie didn’t come into this contest without qualifications. He has published two books featuring his writing as a part-time rock critic: Never ever Enough: My Cultural Journey and A Serious Pastime (coat revealed). Plainly, his 1967 playlist was neither unimportant nor superficial– or driven by the Billboard Top 100.
    For me, whether a song was technically released that year wasn’t as important as the truth that Charlie’s list was distinct. He might have been only 13 at the time, but whether he first heard the tune in 67 or in 1971 when, for instance, “Waterloo Sunset” by The Kinks, lastly signed up with him, every choice had a personal connection to unforgettable moments in his life.

    Can Alexa claim the very same?

    Compare Charlie’s list to one played from a database in which millions of listeners will hear the same set of tunes repeatedly. I believe years from now, “Alexa” and “Hey, Google,” will respond with the very same lineups. Sadly, devices will outlive us, and boomers like Charlie will not be around to keep them honest or individual.

    At the end of the program, I declared birthday kid the winner.

    It’s Saturday! with Charlie Bermant is heard every Saturday between midday and 2 p.m. on the East Coast and 9 – 11 a.m. Pacific time. It streams from, where you can hear Charlie’s archived 1967-themed program from March 27, 2021, or, if you’re in radio broadcast range, you can tune into 91.9 FM.

    Released at Thu, 01 Apr 2021 19:30:14 +0000