Playlisticle: McINTOSH MUSIC

As I'm typing, Parliament's "Up For The Down Stroke" is playing on the McIntosh Music Custom Channel. It has been decades since I last heard that song on the radio and I know a jockless, streaming, and commercial-free station isn't considered "radio" by many folks but I'll allow it.
McIntosh audio gear is legendary among lovers of high fidelity audio. It looks and sounds excellent, is built like a tank to last forever and is easily identifiable by the black glass front, the iconic glowing green company name, and the "McIntosh blue" lit meters. McIntosh amps, tuners, pre-amps and the like are also easily identified by their astronomical prices: vintage equipment fetches five figures and the new stuff is priced to move in the high four figures. Short of a lottery win, this stuff will never appear in The Hideaway.
I stumbled upon McIntosh Music while doing a deep dive on MOD Pizza Radio (both are Custom Channels), added a link to the channel/station on The Hideaway homepage and then after a two-week intensive listen a little later, here's my review: LOVE IT but...! Listening to McIntosh Music online while standing here at my desk through my Klipsch 2.1 system is an absolute joy but my attempts to recreate the experience via the iOS app have all failed - it cuts in and out in The Blueberry and on the back porch despite almost a dozen tries. The sound appears to have a little extra processing on it and even golden oldies from the Fifties sound better than I've ever heard them - it's like listening to FM radio after all those years of AM. The treble is a little too much on some songs and sounds shimmery sometimes but the lower end sounds just right to these ears.
The songs played are from the entire 60 plus years of the pop/rock canon up through five minutes ago and while certified chart hits are played, its the deep cuts that set McIntosh Music apart from any other station. I counted 3837 different songs played across fourteen days. In tracking every song, another thing that stood out was what was NOT played: No "Born To Run", other than Johnny Cash there was virtually no country music to speak of, no "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" and no songs whatsoever by KISS. That being said, it is the inclusions, the songs that were played that make the station worth listening to as you will never ever be able to guess what the next song will be. Here's what was played on McIntosh Music between 11PM and Midnight on September 24, 2018:
  • 22:59 Joe Walsh - Life's Been Good (edit)
  • 23:05 Josh Groban - Granted
  • 23:08 Annie Lennox - Why
  • 23:13 Kingsmen - Louie Louie
  • 23:16 Digable Planets - Pacifics
  • 23:21 James Brown - Papa's Got A Brand New ...
  • 23:23 Spoon - Do You
  • 23:26 FM Belfast - New Year
  • 23:29 Heart - Crazy On You
  • 23:34 Gorillaz - Humility
  • 23:37 Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You
  • 23:42 David Bowie - Hang on to Yourself
  • 23:44 Mavis Staples - Fight
  • 23:47 Eric Clapton - No Alibis
  • 23:52 Bobby Day - Rockin' Robin
  • 23:55 Kills - Cheap And Cheerful
  • 23:57 Floaters - Float On
It's not all wall-to-wall music, though. At the bottom of each hour, there is a brief plug of a McIntosh product and a mention of the corporate website. And anywhere from 0-3 times an hour, there is liner hyping a Classic, a Modern Classic, or New Music. And New Music was pretty much the only music getting multiple spins - I counted 147 different songs from 2017 and 2018 getting three or more plays during those two weeks with nearly a thousand older tracks getting just two spins. I made a playlist of most of these songs a few weeks back if you wanna sample them:
And finally here's a listing of the Top 30 Artists on McIntosh Music based on the number of unique songs played from their respective catalogs during the two weeks I tracked every song with help from onlineradiobox.com:
  • Beatles (65)
  • Rolling Stones (42)
  • David Bowie (32)
  • Prince (29)
  • Marvin Gaye (28)
  • Stevie Wonder (28)
  • Michael Jackson (26)
  • U2 (26)
  • Bruce Springsteen (25)
  • Led Zeppelin (23)
  • Bob Dylan (22)
  • Tom Petty (22)
  • Bob Marley (21)
  • The Clash (21)
  • Pink Floyd (21)
  • James Brown (20)
  • Jimi Hendrix (20)
  • Kinks (20)
  • The Police (20)
  • Eric Clapton (19)
  • Ray Charles (19)
  • Talking Heads (19)
  • Fleetwood Mac (17)
  • Pretenders (17)
  • The Who (17)
  • Elvis Presley (16)
  • Queen (16)
  • Rush (16)
  • Van Halen (16)
  • The Cars (15)
Just missing the Top 30 were The Supremes, Steely Dan, R.E.M., Billy Joel, and The Smiths. I'm telling you if the mobile app - which looks black and sleek - worked and they threw in a little more vintage country music in the mix, this could be my favorite radio station.

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