for November 13, 2002
by Your Diva, Robin Pastorio-Newman
Recently, Your Darling, Your Diva, Your One True Love spent exhausting ages in a car crossing state lines with an AM/FM radio and a handsome companion for comfort. This is important. Comfort was required. A person can learn a great deal on Route 95, some lessons more hair-raising than others.
An example: a billboard on the Jersey Turnpike informs us Boston has a brand new album. Boston sucked! Even aging potheads canít be clamoring for more. Can they? They canít...can they?
For the sake of argument, letís regard talk and sports radio as beneath mention. They are in fact beneath mention because even pets can form an opinion about football - though itís based on what snacks youíre dropping on the floor. Weíre music aficionados, and weíre en route. What are you going to listen to?
Mostly the rhythm of seek-static-seek-suck-seek-suck-seek-settle. Your Velvet Pillow, less patient than her handsome companion, settled more easily for loser radio stations just to stop hearing flashes of worse. In 2002, we must ask ourselves a significant question: since the moment Thomas Edison scratched noise into wax, hasnít enough great music been recorded that we never have to hear "Saturday In the Park" again? Let alone playing on two stations at the same time in Connecticut?
In every market, we tuned up R&B, pop rock, and oldies; each time we also found a decent Latin music station we could dance to, so far as being seat-belted in stationary positions permitted. We could not find decent college stations. Apparently, interesting people no longer lurk in university studios. The pop stations played Creed, and everything that sounds like Creed. The R&B stations played J-Lo and what sounds like J-Lo. If you like that dreck, good for you. Here, hold this shiny object.
A word of warning for travelers: slap any button -- ANY button -- if you hear the words eighties weekend on Lite FM. Remember thinking there must be more to life than Journey? These slow children havenít found it yet.
To our surprise, the least pathetic stations between New Brunswick and Hyannis were the oldies stations. This is not a compliment. The handsome companionís a Sinatra man. He was plain out of luck. Playlists have reduced long, rich careers to one tune hints. You liked folk music? You get one Simon & Garfunkel song. You liked Motown? You get one Marvin Gaye ditty. About the most positive thing to be said for radio is that over the course of our travels, we heard "Mony Mony" and "Gimme Some Loviní" twice.
To sum up: If youíre within the broadcast range of a radio station failing to suck, donít move. The penalty might be a full weekend of Billy Joel.
©2002 Robin Pastorio-Newman
All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.
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Buddy Guy at Count Basie Center For The Arts (make up for June 18 show)
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