Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dear God, Why?

As we rattled up the Garden State Parkway from the beach Sunday evening, something distracting occurred (and it wasn't our attempt to validate stereotypes regarding the owners of white pickup trucks and priuses by checking out the traffic beside us). I hit one of my radio presets, 101.9 and was greeted by a playlist consisting of No Doubt, TLC, and John Mellencamp, as well as informative listener call-ins describing how much women love chocolate. This was unusual as I rely on 101.9 for a steady diet of STP and Soundgarden, making me feel oh-so-high-schooly. Since there is literally no other radio station in the tri-state area that plays Soundgarden (dear 104.3, the very words "Get the Led Out" and "Out of the Led and into the Pink" give me palpitations requiring immediate mental health intervention), this was quite distressing. Still, I held out hope that this was a special Sunday Night Suckathon of Top-40 hits from a 1997 BC sorority house.

Then I listened more closely, specifically to the station identification. The numbers were right, but the call sign wasn't. I was no longer listening to 101.9WRXP. I was listening to 101.9WEMP which played, please don't be scared, adult contemporary. [Insert stream of expletives]

Because what the radio landscape needs, second to more Top 40, is more adult contemporary.

Sure, the old-timer in me did have to occasionally change the channel when some young whippersnapper hard rock band came on the station (or when they played Nirvana), but on the whole, I was mightily satisfied with my Temple of the Dog and Jane's Addiction fixes. In fact, if pressed, I would have said 101.9WRXP was my favorite radio station.

Now it's gone. Gone gone gone. And I have no defensible reason to shell out money for satellite radio as I just don't spend hours a day in the car. Devoted partner makes fun of the fact that I can listen to 1010WINS's 22 minute coverage for more than an hour, but now there seems to be no other choice. Much like when MTV stopped playing videos and VH1 only played adult contemporary ones, and I just stopped watching videos altogether, I fear that this marks the end of my brief FM radio experiment.

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