Tales Of Terror From Mainstream FM Radio
If there’s one artist I do not want to listen to at 4:30 in the morning whilst at the beginning of my twice weekly commute it is Billy “The Atlantic F*&KIN’” Ocean! Nor, for that matter, the next 3 “artists” that pop up as I scan the dial: James Taylor, Cat Goddamn Stevens and for the love of GOD IT’S REO Speedwagon (“Heard it from a friend, whooooo, heard it from a friend, whoooo….heard it from a friend you’ve been messing ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!”).
To recap: my duties at work have expanded from managing the sales staff at 3 newspapers to managing the sales staff(s) of 6, which in addition to the added responsibility means I must commute at least 2 days each week. This also means I have 3 hours twice a week in which I can listen to music, uninterrupted, and with whatever album suits my fancy.
Except I can’t. The CD player is broken in the company vehicle and there’s no port for my iPod. Therefore I am forced to scan the dreaded FM Dial in search for music, because I’ll be goddamned if I’m going to listen to some tag team of doofuses (if that’s not a word it should be!) named Bob and Tom, in addition to their token female “straight gal”, talk about the latest Van Deisel project, or whatever it is they yammer on about for 3 hours every morning. I cannot stand the majority of mainstream radio, I haven’t been able to since the early ‘80’s. The only radio I willingly listen to is my alarm clock, and I set it to the crappiest, most homogenized modern country station. After I hear 2 seconds of that crap I’m leaping out of bed and turning that sucker OFF! The great CFNY Toronto (“102.1, The Spirit Of Radio!”) was the last station I religiously listened to. But now, suffice it to say I am not a fan.
I looked in the CD slot of this vehicle (a van, actually) yesterday to find that there is a CD stuck in there, and upon deeper inspection I find the real issue: someone, apparently trying to remove the stuck disk, jammed a pencil in there where it broke in half. I can see the eraser and the frayed end of the pencil where it snapped. So…what the hell. Adapt. No choice but to. Click goes the radio. Some days are better than others, granted, but today was absolutely God Awful. In the 3 hour drive today I can honestly say there were only 2 decent songs: Get Lucky, by Daft Punk (amazing song, but in serious danger of being overplayed to the point of nausea) and an extended mix of Super Freak. The rest was a combination of Rick Astley, Don Henley, Starship and other crapola from the ‘70’s and ‘80’s.
Call me a music snob if you like, but after this morning I am even more convinced there is a very real difference between crappy music and good music. There is a line, and today I crossed it, and it was not pretty.