Since starting this blog, I wanted to write an occasional entry that was a little light-hearted – still topical and perhaps prompting a little discussion but that would also cause a smile or two. So how is a piece on ‘sodcasting’ going to make anyone smile? Or maybe you’re scratching your head wondering what on Earth I am going on about? So to start at the beginning, Pascal Wyse reputedly describes the noun ‘sodcast’ as: “Music, on a crowded bus, coming from the speaker on a mobile phone. Sodcasters are terrified of not being noticed, so they spray their audio wee around the place like tomcats.”
Strangely, the loudest voices against the practice are the thirty, forty and fifty-somethings. Cutting through the social commentary and psycho-analysis of why youth insist on playing music in public places, they summarise the practice as just being “obnoxious”, “arrogant” or “intimidating”. Well we should know, eh? I remember my grandparents moaning about the awful noise coming from a transistor radio being played by a youth on our West End
night-bus in the late 60s; and my parents moaning about cassette tape players being played in the streets of the 70s, and the continued griping as the cassette player metamorphosed (seemingly with the advent of punk rock) into the 80s boom-box.
It is, I believe, simply a generational thing. For as long as the delivery systems for music have been transportable, young people have broadcast their favourite tunes as they go (and older, more weary generations have complained). In the course of thirty years, I have gone from listening to music for hours, every day, to rarely dusting down a once favourite CD or spinning my treasured first purchased 45 r.p.m. (I just want a little peace and quiet; is that too much to ask?). Sure, the tinny sound from the mobile phone seems like a retrograde and irritating step in portable music but maybe we should be grateful for that – it could be worse, you could be forced to listen to Lady Gaga or Nicole Scherzinger on a boom-box set at 11.