Thursday, July 12, 2007

Same As It Ever Was, Same As It Ever Was.

Someone who hasn't been to New York a while might come back and think that not much has changed on some stations. 92.3 and 101.1 are two frequencies, which, as hard as I try, I cannot stay away from. I turned to them both in the wake of WLIR's sale to the ass-end of Long Island, and then, little by little, I lost both of these lifelines to the music I like to call MINE, ALL MINE.

92.3, perhaps famously, used to be the station Howard Stern broadcast from. Then the dark times came, Janet Jackson got naked by the end of Justin Timberlake's song, and suddenly if was unfashionable to be shocking. Whatever, I have no idea, the only times I was ever awake during any radio morning show I was usually in for bad things, so I only knew the end of Stern as being the end of K-Rock. The music was being taken away in favor of something called Free-FM. Free as is you can say whatever you want as long as it doesn't involve anything that can make that lady in the old Polaner fruit spread commercial faint.

It didn't work. I don't know what happened, but after Jake & Jackie weren't on anymore, I stopped listening to 92.3. There's also a pirate station that bleeds into the frequency so it made any chooglin' I did very difficult.

CBS-FM, the home of the oldies, land of Cousin Brucie, also flipped formats. The entire staff was unceremoniously dumped without any send-off, and that pissed off a lot of people. The Jack format didn't offend me as much as it did the regulars of every radio forum on the Internet, because at least Jack played some obscure '80s new wave every once in a while and that's all you really need to string me along. I'm a whore for that Flock of Seagulls stuff, man.

A few weeks back I saw a message in a WLIR Yahoo group that K-Rock was back. I had long ago reprogrammed my 4 button to Q104.3, and had no reason to venture higher than 90.7 or lower then 95.5, so I didn't just find this out on my own until days after the fact. All the White Zombie and Stone Temple Pilots music was back, just like that. Poof, like nothing changed. Except, of course, that the current morning show used to be the competition for the past morning show and most of the DJs had gone on to better things. (Jackie Clarke's on Radio With A Twist now, BTW. Yay!)

So yesterday I'm outside melting and dropping my pencil and hacking away at the hedges and saving the cats from the noisy fence installation next door, and what do I hear in my head? (Where the radio plugs in, you know.)

Well, I don't remember word for word what it was, but Jack-FM has swapped spots with the "oldies" format that's been on HD radio since The Great Dark Flip. These oldies will now include '80s music. I bloody well hope so, because I can't get my Depeche Mode anywhere else. From what I've heard, there's not much '80s so far, and even then it's not much more edgy than Little Red Corvette.

So that's it. There is no Howard Stern or Cousin Brucie on FM radio anymore--they've both gone to Sirius (along with Jake Fogelnest)--but the formats that went with them have gone off to find themselves and they've come back and realized they're falling right back into their old patterns and, like a bunch of hangers-on, we'll start going out with them again, as long as they're buying.

Now if only Whiffs Fresh-FM on 102.7 would go away. The liners say they play different soft rock than other stations, and it's true to the extent that they don't play the songs at the exact same time, but that station could play Beijing Opera and interest me more. No, really, I loves me some Beijing Opera.

(This has been a veiled plug for 90.7 WFUV, the station that only stabbed the polka fans in the back, but has otherwise remained a great station as long as I've been listening.)

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