Thursday, April 28, 2005

Hey man, I can't find nothin' on the radio

(Oh, if Fried Rice Thoughts had a trivia contest, wouldn't that be fun? I'd give away MSG packets or something. What song is that line from?)

If you weren't already depressed about the state of radio in your town, today's New York Times paints a pretty bleak picture (though I think they're a little behind on noting this trend).

Cities that have recently ditched the modern rock (or "alternative") format? WHFS in Washington D.C.-Baltimore, WPLY in Philadelphia, KRQI in Seattle, and WXRK in New York. (Who knows what'll happen to that station once Howard Stern leaves for satellite radio?) Rap, R&B and Spanish-language stations are thriving, however.

I know Evan and Liz have talked about this on their blogs (you'll forgive me for not searching through their archives), so we've slapped this topic around before, but how many people actually listen to the radio and find new music there? My ears used to be glued to the radio, but now it's mostly audio wallpaper with hits from the 80s and 90s. (And NPR.) The University of Iowa's KRUI fortunately provides a shining beacon in a sea of radio mediocrity here in eastern Iowa, though I've heard screaming babies with better wattage.

Mis Hooz recently recommended KEXP's streaming audio out of Seattle. And it's fantastic, but no way I can get that consistently at home, with dial-up access.

Satellite radio, I have my eyes on you. Especially when you shake that portable unit in my face. Oh, baby.