Friday, August 03, 2007

Music for your drive

What radio station are you listening to over the noise of the air conditioner while you’re driving to work, play, or band camp?

In high school my station of choice was Y-102 from Montgomery. They played great music. They also had Mark Thompson as a DJ. He liked to make prank phone calls to the White House. When I was in 10th grade, everyone at my school was thrilled that he was the DJ for our prom--which I didn’t attend because I was at a statewide student government retreat at the beach.

Then Mark moved to I-95 from Birmingham, which played even better music. That became my station of choice. He was joined by someone named Brian Phelps, and they continued to make phone calls to the White House. They got so popular that they were offered jobs at a radio station in Los Angeles, and they left us.

A few years later we heard they’d landed a TV show, which turned out to be short-lived. I never saw it. This was during my no-TV/English major/high culture/literary snob phase. But a few weeks ago I finally watched The Princess Diaries, and there are Mark and Brian as Themselves, as if they’re still popular DJs in Los Angeles. Weird! (I was also fascinated by how such a wonderful book could be turned into such an awful movie, but that’s a subject for another blog entry.)

When I was at Auburn University, my station of choice was the übercool student alternative station WEGL, which you could only receive for about five blocks around Haley Center.

Here in Birmingham, until recently my fave was 100 The X, which played all the latest rock--Incubus, Relient K, Audioslave, Nickelback. Then, without warning or explanation, they suddenly became a Auburn and Alabama football talk show. All football all the time, as if you can’t get this at any break room, gas station, or family reunion around here! LIKE WE NEED MORE DISCUSSION OF AUBURN AND ALABAMA FOOTBALL. I am a football fan but please, the CD player in my car is broken, I need Incubus.

Luckily 105.5 The Vulcan has popped up to fill the void, but it’s not the same. They do play some new rock, but for the most part they’re stuck in the 1990s--Alice in Chains, older Red Hot Chili Peppers, and enough with the Nirvana already. Kurt Cobain is dead, yo. (*shielding head from rotten vegetables*)


Carla Swafford said...

You are so right. I wonder if they're playing someone's collection of CDs? And THEY wonder why so many peoople are getting Sirius Radio?

Too sad for a decent size city not to have an all-round decent radio station. :::sigh:::

Aimee Friedman said...

Ha ha!! I LOVE 90s music (and shunning Nirvana--blasphemy!!) :) It effortlessly takes me back to my early teen years, when everything was SO SERIOUS. I would sit in my bedroom with my walkman (REMEMBER THOSE?!) on, listening to Pearl Jam and writing down lyrics I liked in my tattered notebook (while wearing plaid shirts and Doc Martens, of course!!).
It's so funny -- in this age of the iPod, I rarely listen to the radio any more...though I agree that there is something so satisfying about getting on a good station that just has song after song that you LO-OVE... I do get so sick of my iTunes playlist that I should switch it up to the radio whenever I write...

Kelly McClymer said...

I am addicted to talk radio of late (don't know why). If I'm not on AM 920 listening to Dr. Joy or Dr. Laura (how different are they?), I'm on the NPR station listening to Fresh Air or Garrison Keiler.

I do wake up every morning to Bob & Sheri on FM 98.6...or something like that :-) They play a few songs during their show, which is how I know what I want to buy from iTunes and put on my iPod.

For a long time I'd only listen to country. When I was a teenager it was rock and Mike the Eskimo late night DJ.


For music, I'm into my iPod.

Jennifer Echols said...

See, Kelly, that's exactly what I do. I have an iPod and a car hook-up for it, but I discover new songs for it by listening to the radio. And I need new songs so I can put together a "soundtrack" for the book I'm writing to drown out the Frank Sinatra at Starbucks.