January 12, 2005

Local Radio

I have to love the local radio here in southeastern MA.

The AM radio station has a weekly show with a chiropractor who talks about how dangerous modern medicine is (his hook is something offensively ridiculous like “properly prescribed medical treatments are the leading cause of death”)

Then this morning I heard an ad for a local… I don’t know what you would call it.

“Learn about your aura with our on-site aura photography. And it’s not only for you; we will also take your pet’s aura.”

Calgon, take me away.


Oh yeah, then the right-wingnut host comes on at quarter-past 10 and trashes the New Bedford Standard Times for doing a front page story on heroin use in New Bedford calling it “not news” and “an ad for those left loonies who are pushing methadone clinics.”

Granted, it could be a lousy story, I haven’t had the chance to read it myself. (here it is) but all I learned from his rant was that he hates liberals and he wasn’t happy that there was a picture of a needle on the front page, sticking out of someone’s arm.

This is why I usually listen to books on tape in the car.

Posted by James at January 12, 2005 10:30 AM
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Commercial radio in the U.S. is crap. Thank goodness for streaming and satellite alternatives which allow curious listeners to locate and download intelligently programmed alternatives from smaller U.S. markets and other points around the globe.

Posted by: Mike at January 12, 2005 12:10 PM

Well, most of it anyway. I have a few local favorites around the dial.

Posted by: Mike at January 12, 2005 12:27 PM

If I could see my pet cat Fang's aura, it would probably be giving me the finger.

I'm a public radio junkie, but sometimes I get the urge to listen to commercial radio, much in the same way once a year or so, I want a cake doughnut. I'm always shocked by the litany of commercials and blather I have to listen to while I await what I hope will be good music.

When I get that urge, I'm always in the car, and I just put the radio on "scan" or, as I call it, "radio bingo." That way, I stop only when I hear a snatch of a song I want to listen to, and that pretty much absolves me of having to listen to the commercial crap...unless I forget to change the station after the song, and then the blather machine gets me. D'oh!

Posted by: Patti M. at January 12, 2005 1:10 PM

By the way, Calgon is still made, and the website is www.takemeaway.com. No lie. Now that's a marketing message that has staying power!

Posted by: Patti M. at January 12, 2005 1:12 PM

At the risk of hogging the blog (what a phrase!), I must plug my favorite station, WMBR (MIT). I can see their transmitter from my office (we're both in Kendall Sq.).

They are fabulous. I especially like "French Toast" and "Breakfast of Champions." Their programming has saved me from losing my mind on more than one occasion (sometimes the tedium of a particular project is quite severe).

Dig it: http://wmbr.mit.edu

Posted by: Patti M. at January 12, 2005 1:16 PM

Here in the Boston area I oscillate between Emerson's (WERS) and the commercial station The River (WXRV). That is, when I'm not spinning a MP3 disc or listening to NPR/PRI in my car.

Posted by: Mike at January 12, 2005 1:38 PM

I'll be switching to XM soon (got the receiver and car kit but still need to install it in my car. For now I generally play a cd, listen to air america or scan for a song I like. Weekends I tend to do NPR.

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at January 12, 2005 1:41 PM

I don't listen to the radio at all. I never punched the buttons when I first got this car. I just listen to CDs. Most stations don't play enough of the music I want to hear, and I have no patience for the interminable ad breaks. I also have no patience for DJ's talking (especially the morning shows).

Whif I ever get a budgetary surplus I will sign up for XM or possibly Sirius. Until then I will stick with my CD changer and when I need quiet, I can always just listen to the sound of the road under my wheels.

Posted by: Julie at January 12, 2005 2:12 PM

Satellite radio looks promising and I'm grateful for the alternatives but I'm a radio geek and I usually favor live programming from actual stations over channels devoted to one genre. Groove Salad is one exception. So I'll probably end up going the Replay Radio/iPod route when I want to listen to a week or two's worth of program or radio recordings in my car. PRI's Selected Shorts is a great choice for those long evening car rides.

Posted by: Mike at January 12, 2005 2:20 PM

Satellite radio scares the fuck out of me. If satellite radio manages to drive local stations out of business, it means one or two corporations will control what you get to hear, even less than now!

I'm bummed that ERS doesn't come in well down here in South Providence. I used to listen to "Rockers" a lot (their raggae show) and my friend Jeff does a punk show for them. I listen to the hip-hop shows on WRIU a lot, they have a differnet DJ every weekday from 3-6. Some are good (Sage Francis used to do it) and some are really bad. I listen to the sports-talk station a lot and NPR, though both of those get repetitive. Now that we have Air America in Providence I listen to it sometimes, but I think that mostly they are neither entertaining nor informative and I don't get the impression they care about anything actually important - just disagreeing with whatever some nationally prominent Republican said.

I'm getting bored with all the CDs I have (which isn't many). I made an attempt to get some new music using Kazaa but its too much fucking work, especially with more obscure bands. Unfortunately, a lot of the bands I like don't have MP3s for sale on iTunes or Napster or whatever. I did just manage to download "Una Volta", the newish CD from DeVotchKa, and I'm pretty happy with it.

Posted by: David Grenier at January 13, 2005 11:51 AM

I turn to stations like WMVY or Radio Paradise on the internet (I used to listen to KPIG) for new music. Also, I jsut rely on the people i spend time with to tell me about new stuff. Now that Ryan is not in the office every day, I don't know where I will get info on new music.

Currently I'm listening to the soundtrack to a game - Katamari Fortissimo Damacy.

Posted by: James at January 13, 2005 12:21 PM

I was just reading somewhere that satellite scares the big radio giants too (clear channel, etc.) I got it mainly becasue I loose AM in my car and home after dark in the summer and I don't have cable so I loose the Red Sox games after a few innings. I will now be able to listen to 16 games a night if I choose! Some of the other programming looks interesting too. And varied. BBC america, PRI, air america, 4 jazz stations, many rock stations, many sports/news/weather stations.

I like the morning guys (morning sedition and Stephanie Cramer(sp?)) on air america more for the humor and the right wing bashing than anything else. Not so fond of the programming from noon on. Haven't caught the majority report yet. It doesn't come on 'till 10, I think, in Boston and I am not usually awake never mind listening to the radio.

I too get tired of the cds in my car. I have a travel case filled with cds but I can never remember to bring it into the house to change them so I end up listening to the same cds for months.

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at January 13, 2005 12:24 PM

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