Oct 042013

My Pandora stations need a retool, and the MP3 CD in the Technical Writing Express needs a refresh. So I turned on WTAK, the local “classic rock” station, yesterday. I’ve listened for a total of perhaps two and a half hours. Here are some of the things I’ve encountered:

  • “Come Together” on both my drive home last night and my drive in this morning.
  • “T.N.T.” and “Hells Bells” 15 minutes apart.
  • “Rock ‘n’ Roll” and “Over the Hills and Far Away” an hour apart.
  • “Foreplay/Long Time,” further cementing the tragic overexposure of one of the greatest records ever.

It’s comical, really. This is the same station I turned off five years ago. (Oh, except for the occasional questionable addition like “Nothing But a Good Time.” What? You didn’t know Poison was classic rock?) It feels like there are 40 or 50 different songs, and they’re all ones you’ve heard, and heard, and heard.

Is this all because of megacorp ownership? Are terrestrial “classic rock” stations so ploddingly homogeneous everywhere now? Is there even any respite in a big city? You can keep it classic rock and be a lot more interesting than this.

Are there really people who listen to stations like this every day?

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 Posted by at 3:14 pm

  8 Responses to ““Classic rock” radio”

  1. Bo – that station has become really lame. I still listen to JB&B Big Show in the mornings, but all in all, after that it is pretty lame.
    Listening to them, one would think that Boston, Journey, Pink Floyd, and Skynyrd only had a couple of hit songs in their career.
    I think they are too cheap to purchase a program format, and they have no competition. The signal is so weak you can’t get them (unless you like the sound of 50 lbs of bacon frying in the background) on most of Redstone Arsenal.
    I think TAK is a relic of the monopoly on radio stations in this area for the past 50 years or so. Don’t worry – you don’t have to get out the foil hat, but most medium size markets don’t suck as bad as here in the Huntsville market. I moved here from Nashville, and have been sorely disappointed in the radio stations and their (lack of) selections.
    My children had dismissed my bemoaning the radio stations here as I frequently ranted aimlessly about this, then when they left this area for college the light bulb came on – then I had to listen to them complain about the (lack of) play on the radio stations when they were home on break – particularly not hearing “new” songs that other stations had been playing for weeks.

  2. I would love for Huntsville radio stations to discover that Jimmy Buffett has 20+ albums of songs other than “Margaritaville” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise”.

    I am very grateful that Star 99 finally got rid of Bob and Sherry in the morning. I *loathed* their show.

  3. It ain’t just Huntsville. Our “classic rock” station has what seems like a 20-song playlist. And they have the nerve to call some of them “deep cuts.”

  4. Beri, good to “see” you sir! Welcome. I’m glad to hear it’s not quite this bad everywhere.

    Miria, if I want talk in the morning I just go straight to NPR. I’ve not heard a local or regional morning show I can stand in 20 years.

    Kelly, the real offense of that is that it’s so cool to hear a genuine deep cut on the radio. When “Over the Hills and Far Away” started, I rolled my eyes. But then I thought “how cool would it be if this were ‘In the Evening’ starting?”

  5. I am completely addicted to satellite radio for this very reason. There are several deep tracks types of stations. And no talky, and no ads on a lot of them. Just music.

  6. ‘seester, can you listen to them long-term? I love Pandora, but my memory is too good for it. I put together a station and I’ve heard every track Pandora can “think” of in less than a week. If I listened to a satellite radio station two hours a day for a week, would I hear a repeat?

    • See, here’s the thing. If you listened to the same station all the time, yes, you would hear repeats. But there are so many specialty stations that I happily switch when it’s time.

      Here’s my short list of classic stations that I rotate through any given week (I’m not including the pop mixture in here because I don’t think you listen to that much)

      The 80s – duh
      Classic Rewind (70s & 80s classic Rock)
      Classic Vinyl (60s & 70s classic Rock)
      Deep Tracks (Deep Classic Rock)
      Ozzy’s Boneyard (Classic Hard Rock)
      Hair Nation (80s hair bands)
      Liquid Metal
      The Spectrum (Adult Album Rock, whatever adult means)

      That list doesn’t include any of the alt/indie rock stations that are pretty good too. Mostly the hair and metal is on with larry in the car. Gives me a headache when I’m driving.

      At first I balked at “paying” for radio, but when I discovered that all the football is on, and I can listen to any Saints game if they aren’t on the teevee, then I was all in.


      • I started looking into it, but if you say that, then nah. That’s not much different from me having to reconfigure Pandora stations weekly, and Pandora is free. Satellite radio is $50-100 out of pocket on the front end and then what? $20/month?

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