radio stations: search and DESTROY

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On the train from Richmond Virginia a plump Londoner had the misfortune to be sitting next to yours truly. Little did she know that her volley of chat-up lines would lead to an earful about how the only station I consistently turn to in NY is Hot97 (I could already see the suspicion in her face) and that the radio in this country suuucks, etc. yawn.

So to save me this tired routine the next time I find myself sitting beside some comopolitan stranger on a train, indulge me kind readers with your wisdom. Get specific w/shows and times.

Search (in NY): WFMU, Hot97 (FunkFlex) Destroy (NY): the "dance music" on 103FM

Tracer Hand, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

(bay area) Search: mix shows on KMEL (especially the ones at night when they'll play E-40 songs over Missy Elliot beats and shit like that) and 94.9, the friday night metal freakouts on 107.7, the barely audible hardcore punk shows on KZSU, Bill King doing A's games on 960 KABL. Destroy: Deejays who talk, all morning shows, college/hippie radio.

Kris, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Extra points for "pop" stations (a vanishing breed?) --

Tracer Hand, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

I second Kris on all his bay-area recs. Z-97 is the bay area pop station, I think. Which is also good when it avoids guitar-drek, and the only place around to get my Backstreet/Britney fix. WILD 94.9 is incredible even in the non-mix portions, because it manages to throw house into the mix in a proper fashion.

Sterling Clover, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Y'all should check out your local college station. WPRB in Princeton (wprb.com) is all indie rock and pop -- last time I was on I played indie pop - even the wonderful "Kissing Things." There are lots of college stations like it I imagine.

josh, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

I think it's because Kris and Sterling have checked out their local college stations that they've steered clear since. ;-) Can't say I entirely blame them, but then again, I've worked in college radio for ten years. As a place to air stuff that doesn't get aired, it's great, but as a potential trap for automatic elitism, it's pretty bad.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

more nyc searches: 101.1 cbs-fm, for the classic pop and rock fan. it's amazing the stretches of music you get from them sometimes. "devil with a blue dress on" followed by "dancing queen" followed by "i only have eyes for you" followed by "tears of a clown." ahhh.

jammin' 105.1, especially on the weekends, even if they do play a little too much k.c. & the sunshine band.

100.3 z1000, have to give it up when i'm looking for modern pop of all shapes and colors on the radio.

and the also the stations that tracer listed, though he's a bit too hard on ktu.

destroy: wplj, 95.5. destroy it NOW. boasting that you play great music "without the rap" is so 1993. k-rock 92.3 could go as well and i'd not shed a tear, i swear they keep playing the same song over and over.

fred solinger, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

KTU is the sound of Queens, yo. Don't be dissing it.

I don't even listen to the radio, unfortunately, because my piece of crap stereo won't even get the radio because its antenna is crap. But when I'm in a car I wanna only listen to stuff like Z100 or KTU (I'm in NYC, obviously) because they tend not to play slow sad sack songs, and quite frankly who needs to hear slow sad sack songs while you're driving? Driving is all about speed.

Ally, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

OK now that you mention it I do remember hearing a fast Latin house version of Sade's "By Your Side" on KTU and thought it was a whole lotta fun. Retracted.

Does anyone remember that weird "reggae" station at the top of the dial? The DJs would talk forever about some event at a school three weeks away, but when it was good it was great...

What about the pirate stations? And where my Brits at?

Tracer Hand, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

the station i think that you're speaking of tracer is 105.9 WCAA, which is now called "latino mix." at one point, it was the legendary whbi, home of the awesome 2 and other classic hip-hop shows. then it was bought up and became reggae during the day, special interests in the afternoon, and hip-hop at night. i used to tape the shows that came on every saturday night.

fred solinger, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

I actually do have my local college station preprogrammed into my radio, for the off moments when it plays some interesting house or 2-step. Which is about once a month, as far as I can tell. Last time, I heard some track off the MJ Cole album, which the DJ described as a "dub, breaks, trip-hop sort of thing". Astounding ignorance. Ignorance you could drive a truck through. Though I could not drive my car through a truck, which was my first impulse when I heard said description.

Sterling Clover, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

I've been a fan of Jammin' 105 in NYC -- and all the cracks about NYC station blowing the big one are true, mind you -- KCSB in Santa Barbara, KFRC in San Francisco... uh... KIST in Santa Barbara back when they had real DJ's, but not so much now, except for that Sunday morning guy whose esoteric knowledge is both mezmerizing and terrifying at once. Hey Sterl, remember when KJEE was the be-all and end all of 'Alternative' and you had the group that listened to that and the other that listened to uh... what was it; 97.5? Dude...

Hot 97 is pretty good. I listen to oldies a lot on the ra-di-o.

JM, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

In the UK: search the best bits of all the BBC national stations, destroy Virgin and anything owned by the GWR behemoth.

Robin Carmody, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

How could I forget Radio Disney, which is the only pop station worth talking about? Except when they let the kids talk. AM and nationwide and everything.

Kris, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Destroy : All Montreal commercial radio stations. Some of the french-language stations actually consent to play some hip hop once in a great while, but they also have french-content quotas - 60 or 65 %, I think, and there just isn't enough good music to fill all that air time - and even disregarding that, there are still the annoying moronic jocks to contend with. The english stations are all impossibly bland (no hip hop, and as little black music as humanly possible).

Patrick, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

I am constantly returning to notion that a UK national music culture is possible in a way that eludes us in the US - because of no real national networks in the US anymore, and the relative size of the damn land. I mean you Brits get a cold all at once, and it's the same with hits, as well as new music - when THE national station has got real music fans like John Peel bringing everyone the results of his fanboy travels each week, the whole nation is informed. When BBC1 plays a Pete Tong set at midnite on Saturday, you've got an argument handy for any social situation. Pirates can reach proportionally more listeners. Many US college stations probably have more diverse playlists than BBC1 but practically no one hears it. Is this just grass-is-greener thinking? Lambaste me. Mmmmm...

Tracer Hand, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Most commercial stations are owned by the same three companies, so there really isn't a significant amount of playlist difference between markets, as far as commercial radio. Mtv and the aforementioned Radio Disney are national networks as well. As for college radio, I don't get the feeling indie kids in New York are listening to anything that much different than indie kids in Los Angeles, they both love their Yo La Tengo. So yeah, it's easier to reach consensus in densely populated areas, but that's just because the more homogeneous the population the easier the marketing job. I prefer the idea of trying to sell Project Pat to the kids in Boise than I do the notion of One Nation Under Radiohead, just because some "real music fan" says so. It's all on the internet now, anyway, isn't it?

Kris, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

It's Radio 1, Tracer (BBC1 is the TV station), and Tong isn't on at that time. But I don't think Britain is a musically / culturally homogenous society the way it perhaps was in Radio 1's early days. Commercial radio - pop radio per se, in fact - is a comparatively new thing in this country relative to the US (like pop itself, it's something the British took hold of, and in v. different circumstances have often done something v. interesting with it), and until about 1990 there was a tightly restricted amount of it.

Of course the more stations there are the more homogenous and cross- owned they get, in the UK and the US. I'd agree with the well-worn belief that the UK has an incredibly fast-moving and, at best, very surprising singles chart, and the opening up of the chart to hip-hop and R&B in the last two years has a lot to do with Radio 1 moving such music from the fringes to the centre, but I'd also agree with Kris that it's all on the internet now so we have less and less reason to concern ourselves with radio.

Robin Carmody, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

All my fellow New Yorkers -- why you letting K-Rock (a/k/a "K-Krock") off the hook so easy? The only thing K-Krock has going for it -- the only thing it ever had going for it -- is Howard Stern. Needless to say, if you don't like Howard then it has nothing at all going for it.

And no "destroys" for 102.7 WNEW either? Easily the worst, for no other reason than Opie and Anthony (all of those "WOW" bumper- stickers scream out "Drag a Key All Over Me!" even more so than an SUV with a "Nader/LaDuke 2000" bumpersticker).

Good calls on WFMU -- def. a search. I'd also add WSOU, 89.5 FM, if for no other reason than Monday Night Mayhem (3+ hours of nothing but death/black metal, from 12 am-3 am) and my alma mater's flagship WRSU, 88.7 FM, if you're ever down in Central Jersey

Tadeusz Suchodolski, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Radio One is currently run pretty much like a College Radio station, w/o an anti-charts/anti-pop problem (which I like, tho others won't: but I'm old enough to remember the drought years at the BBC). So Destiny's Child yay, Yo La Tengo nay. And Lamacq and the like at night, when sensible people are all tucked up in bed watching TV.

S'funny tho, Tracer, cuz all you US guys going lyric — it SOUNDS romantic — about the possibility of area radio station suddenly playing what you don't expect, well, you CAN get that in the UK. You just don't, much. Bhangra stations etc a bit round Birmingham/ Wolverhampton (and equiv.presum.near other cities I don't go near), and mad techno-w/o-DJs veering off into electronic tester signal territory, and hilariously incompetent high-street ragga stations ("Respeck goes out to Monty's Hair Palace, which is two doors down from us"), but not THAT much — charming quaint crapness aside — that you don't get on the Big Mother Network. Plus the BBC don't have ads. AND(to contradict myself) it has the Only True UK Chart Top 40 Rundown. And the Dreem Team on Sunday morning, who make me laugh.

mark s, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, if anyone cares just about all of Philadelphia's radio stations bite the big one, too. 'Cept one independent station (can't remember its frequency or call letters), I think it may be affiliated with U. Penn. but not 100% sure. Any Philadelphians in here?

(this may become very important as I may be transferring to Philadelphia in a year or so).

Tadeusz Suchodolski, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

tad -- if i may -- perhaps i was too soft on k-rock, though i DID put them in the destroy column and hoped for their demise. ;) the problem is this: i like howard, and yet i feel that, in rough patches, he's what keeps k-rock on the air. does anyone remember when 92.3 was a classic rock station? k-rock, when they were trying to discover themselves, DID play the odd chemical brothers track so they were good for that, but now? fft.

as for 102.7, does anyone remember when THAT was a classic rock station? i have to say that opie and anthony made my commute easier at one point. sure the fans are loathsome, but can you hate them for that? ("hey, sounds like a thread!" he jests.) more than occasionally they're humorlessly puerile, but usually they bring a laugh.

fred solinger, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

I like Howard too, Fred. Wouldn't have gotten through undergrad or law school without him, in fact -- kept me sane during the first years of both. Still, as you said he's the only thing K-Rock hasn't gone down the toilet long ago. Guess one has to take the sweet with the bitter. And I almost forgot that brief period of time after K- Rock had switched from "classic rock" to "alternative" and hadn't fallen into the "All RATM/Pearl Jam/Creed/Korn/Load-era Metallica All the Time!" rut they've been stuck in -- when you'd hear the Chemical Brothers, Prodigy, White Town, even the Pixies snuck in between the "All RATM/Pearl Jam/Creed/Korn/Load-era Metallica All the Time!" crud.

As fer Opie and Anthony -- never liked them, probably never will. Stern imitators, and not even very good ones at that -- they do all Stern's "dirty" stuff and have none of his wit or intelligence. That's just my opinion. WNEW wasn't very good as a "classic rock" station -- "All Buttrock, All the Time" or Scott Muni's endless spieling about the f**king Beatles -- though they did have Vin Scelsa and Idiot's Delight.

Tadeusz Suchodolski, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

it's so cute how people always feel the need to separate certain eras of metallica as if they weren't always the worst band in the world or something. aww.

ethan, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Yes SOU !! They have a country / bluegrass show on Sunday mornings (or used to?) AND metal. White Jersey kids make good. And all of NYC can hear them so I've got no argument really. It would be nice tho to have some viable example of a musically diverse station/program schedule that had a *national* reach. Do I want a return to the days of the national networks and few independent stations? "And now listeners... on Luxe Radio Theater.... Tracer's Hidden Fascist Longings..." ?? Am sick with little blips of shit strung along the dial like ... what you say? WINNETS -- DESTROY CD101

Tracer Hand, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

I've also gotta give a thumb's-up to whoever recommended Princeton University's WPRB (103.3 FM) upthread. WPRB was my first exposure to punk/alternative/indie/whatever-the-hell-you-wanna-call-it. I grew up around Princeton, I was 14 and it was 1984 or so, the cool punk- rock-loving brother of my best friend in 8th grade recommended I listen to it, and it changed my world forever.

Still remember one tape I made, must have been the spring of 1985 or 1986 can't remember when, of a typical WPRB broadcast back in those days. The tape had "Warrior in Woolworth's" by X-Ray Spex, a live version of Zappa's "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow," "White Light/White Heat" by the Velvet Underground, "I Wanna Fuck Your Brains Out" by G.G. Allin, "Look Back and Laugh" by Minor Threat, "Bitchin' Camaro" by the Dead Milkmen, "Hamburger Martyr" (can't remember who did that one, it'll come to me), some long-forgotten gem of a punk song called "Go to a Party and Act Like an Asshole" by some long-forgotten band, and various other gems ... I think I wore that tape out that summer from playing it so much. Wish I still had it, in fact, one of the best "sampler" tapes I've ever had.

God, I gotta stop this ... I'm getting misty-eyed just thinking about it.

Tadeusz Suchodolski, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

the college station here is abhorrent. all of the emo kids in colorado crammed into a basement fighting over which get-up kids song to play, each has a different favourite cause their girlfriends in makeoutclub.com can't agree on which is the best, it is just so hard to choose! once in a blue moon they will throw something interesting on but will mess up when they are reading the press release trying to pretend they are down with it.

i remember hearing wfmu when we used to drive up to pier platters and princeton record exchange. it was musicologist stuff, very dry, but their playlists are interesting.

keith, Monday, 21 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

"Drought years"; hell yeah, Mark. Am I right in thinking that, when you were about 14 or 15 (and I was about minus 5), Radio 1 was cut back to have no output of its own after about 5.15 pm on weekdays and shared the entire evening / night period with Radio 2? A lot of arcane stuff about funding and financial crises and "needletime", it seems (1975 seems so austere to someone my age that it might as well be 1947).

I like current Radio 1 for much the same reasons Mark does, though arguably there's nothing quite as great in mid-late-evening as the old Mark Radcliffe show.

Anyone interested in the non-corporate side of UK radio should read Simon Reynolds's chapter on London pirate radio in _Energy Flash_ / _Generation Ecstacy_, obviously.

Robin Carmody, Tuesday, 22 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

My college radio station isn't perfect but it's the best station in its listening area. It's the only one with signs of life.

Josh, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

I'm more interested in this plump Londoner who goes round chatting up music fans on trains, frankly. Is she moving back to England soon?

Tom, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

She's a posh gell named Sarah. That ought to narrow it down. If this board were about romance, my next question would be - "what IS it about being on a train?"

Tracer Hand, Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

Nice to hear WPRB nostalgia. You can check it out on the web via a high quality RealAudio stream if you're curious - http://www.wprb.com. I reccommend Saturday nights from 8PM Eastern Standard onwards - great punk show done by crazy highschoolers followed by assorted extreme weirdness, or Friday nights from 10PM on with Dr. Cosmo, also weird-good. Yes, I work for them too.

Dave M., Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

damnit, that didn't look like such a blatant plug when I typed it out.

Dave M., Wednesday, 23 May 2001 00:00 (eighteen years ago) Permalink

eighteen years pass...

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