Friday, June 12, 2015

Another One Bites the Dust

So, Saturday I turned on the car radio and found that something had gone wrong with one of my two default stations, 104.5 FM. I didn't recognize any of the songs they played, and in the stead of their usual music were a string of mild, soothing, and vaguely uplifting songs. In short, the rock-and-roll station had been taken over by a Christian Rock station (with emphasis on the Xian and precious little of the rock). But hope springs eternal, and I hoped that perhaps it was just a one-time weekend thing. No such luck: Monday brought the same bland Xian elevator music, so I've had to face the sad fact that one of my favorite stations is no more and begin the search for an acceptable substitute.

This has become a theme lately, since The Mountain (103.5 FM) went off the air about a year and a half ago. The nearest thing I found to a replacement was 104.5, which had a softer rock than The Mountain (e.g. you might occasionally hear The Grass Roots) as well as some Motown. But that's now changed formats in turn. The Mountain had been my favorite station out here, followed by 96.5 JackFM as two reliable rock stations, both with a good mix of older music with some newer stuff.

Of the other stations, there's still Jack FM, which is good most of the time albeit with a somewhat smaller music library than I'd prefer. But alternative to it are thin on the ground. There's 102.5 (a.k.a. 'all Led Zeppelin, all the time'*). There's 101.5, but it had a format shift of its own a while back and now has more contemporary music (women singing through synthesizers) and less rock. And there's 95.7, which is unabashedly an oldies station.

It's not so bad in the silver car, since it has a cd player and I almost always bring cds along as back-up music in case the radio lets me down (as it too often does this past year or two). But the cassette player in the old white car gave out more than a year ago, meaning I'm sometimes left high and dry and Musicless While Driving.


Time to search the dial again and see what might have popped up out there since the last time I looked. Maybe there's a good Seattle station I'm unaware of.

Or maybe I'll just wind up doing a lot more singing in the car (today it was "Stagger Lee"). But only when the windows are rolled up, for my sake and everybody else's.

--John R.

just finished: the Crow book. current reading: the Hadfield biography.

*this is an exaggeration. They sometimes play The Who as well, or even The Rolling Stones once in a while. But you get the idea.

P.S. Just for the record, I have no objection to gospel or spirituals or hymns or classical music written for religious occasions: it's Xian Rock I dislike as a parasitic form, closely modeled on rock and roll (or occasionally mid-road country) but repurposed to an agenda. I'd much prefer it develop its own idiom.

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