in Musings

Tune In And Tune Out

There was one of those moments of Radio Zen last month: the kind of moment when a song that’s playing connects with you. I was with the family waiting for dinner at Schooner’s. While the house band was setting up XM satellite radio played throughout the restaurant. The song was Catherine Wheel’s Black Metallic [warning: music] and hearing it put me in a trance, taking me back fifteen years. I silently mouthed the lyrics to a song that I’d be willing to bet no one else in the restaurant knew. That song was for me.

That’s the power of good radio. It takes you somewhere.

I took radio with me on my trip from Chicago to South Bend. I had Sirius cranking on the drive, listening to ex-VeeJay Alan Hunter play John Mellencamp‘s Cherry Bomb right as I crossed into his home state of Indiana. I’d been thinking of Mellencamp right before Alan played the song. Very cool.

These kind of moments are rare on what passes for broadcast radio nowadays. Stations are programmed to the hilt, with little regard for what song feels right at any particular time. Our robot overlords have killed broadcast radio.

Still, I was happy to find some breath of life on Raleigh’s radio dial. I’d tuned into 100.7 The River from time to time and frankly been impressed. In spite of The River being owned by evil ClearChannel, it did things no other local radio did. It played good songs. Not only that, but it played those good songs in their entirety. If there was a gratuitous guitar solo or a long introduction in a song, The River played it all. Sure, it was a robot station, but it offered more music than other Raleigh stations do.

I read by way of the excellent Raleighing weblog that evil ClearChannel has nixed 100.7’s alternative format in favor of Yet Another Classic Rock Station (YACRS). Just what the Triangle needs. Fuckers.

If I want good music I guess I’ll soon be tuning up Sirius now that the radio dial has been relegated to the museum.