the Bucky Four-Eyes Cotillion

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Zoo crew massacre

Inanimate objects I would marry (you know, the kind I can mention on this here family-friendly site):

  • Microwave
  • Mac PowerBook
  • DVD player
  • CD player
  • iPod
All these things are modern conveniences, and one thing they all have in common is that they allow me a certain freedom to eat or entertain myself on my own schedule. The CD player and the iPod in particular are wonders of science to me. They entertain me, they keep music in my ears, and they have many times kept me from committing acts of violence and murder.

Perhaps I should elaborate.

I don't know when this trend started, but somewhere along the way, program directors at rock stations decided that the listening audience wasn't content to just hear rock music. They decided that we needed on-air "Personalities" to keep our attention. Does this happen with other genres? Do country DJs do this? Hip-hop DJs? Calypso DJs? Polka DJs? I've listened to Opera Gal's show, and she doesn't feel the need to mix broadcast hijinks with her very informative commentary on the classical and opera selections she plays. So why is it that rock stations think I can't listen to music without scripted non-hilarity?

It seems like the worst of this plague happens during morning radio. In the early '90s (yes kids - in the last millenium), I used to listen to a Flint rock station that would actually just play music in the morning while I got ready for work, and I loved that. The gal who was the morning DJ was informative about the music and upcoming concerts, and any humor she threw out there was totally off the cuff and was - take a deep breath - actually funny! Of course, that little party didn't last for long, and soon enough, alas, too soon, the station bowed to the formula of two male DJs with a morning show that was as spontaneous as a princess wedding and as funny as grandma's varicose veins.

This irritates me on a number of levels. First of all, I tune in to a music station on the radio because I want to hear music. I'd tune in to talk radio if I wanted to hear someone yammer, but I don't. I have a need to get my groove on while I get ready for my day. What I do not need is formulaic, sophomoric humor of the lamest sort - and this from the woman who always laughs at a well-told fart joke - recited by two men who then bray like donkeys at every single one of their own utterances, and then throw a song or two out there once in a while as an afterthought.

I would imagine the skeleton for the morning crew "script" is something like this:

  • Joke about fat people. HAW HAW HAW!
  • Clinton joke (because they fail to realize he's not in office anymore). HAW HAW HAW!
  • Male caller complains about foreigners. HAW HAW HAW!
  • Homo joke, should be about a straight male, and should end with some variation of "That's pretty gay." HAW HAW HAW!
  • Repeat for four hours. HAW HAW HAW!
Christ on a Japanese serving spoon, somebody give the fucking jackasses some straw so they will have to cease talking while they chew. What's even worse is when a station is too lazy to hire their own hacks to recycle this material, and instead feels the need to broadcast a syndicated show along the lines of Bob and Tom. All I can figure is, rock stations must think 12-year-old boys are their target demographic, because I can't imagine anyone with a more sophisticated sense of humor, say, a 14-year-old, would find this shit to be knee-slappingly funny. All I get out of it is an intense desire to drill through my eardrums with a rusty screw and then set fire to the empty shells.

Don't get me wrong - I'm a huge proponent and purveyor of immature humor. I mostly object to the complete lack of originality. Plus, I just wanted to hear some music, you lame-ass motherfuckers. This is why I can't watch MTV anymore, either - somewhere along the line, they went from a station that showed music videos to a dungheap of "original" programming and bad fashion examples.

Luckily, I have an iPod whose capacity for songs is even larger than Paris Hilton's capacity for genital warts. (Oh, god - does this now mean that Paris and I will never be bestest friends?) The iPod saved me from trying to jump radio stations as I drove from Michigan to Illinois, and kept me from having to pull over to change a CD every 80 minutes*.

Sometimes, though, when I dash out to the store or some other quick errand, I forget to throw the iPod in my purse. When that happens, I try to find a local station that doesn't make me gag too much, because I must have music when I drive. It's the law. Of course, it's a whole new market for me over here, and finding a station is a matter of trial and error. When I finally happened upon a local hard rock station, I just left my radio there. I realized my error the next time I turned it on and the music stopped.

It wasn't just the DJs who were obnoxious, though they were. It was the ads that made me crazy. It was as though every second of air time was aimed toward frat boys who had imbibed so much alcohol that their brain cells had dwindled into the single-digit range. One promo campaign revolved around using the word "rock" to replace the word "fuck" - a cardinal sin, in my opinion - and consisted of spots that offered clever sayings like "Go rock yourself" and "Yeah, we'd rock Britney Spears."

I could almost forgive that, but then they came on with a promo that made my head explode. It proclaimed, "You won't hear any Backdoor Boys or N'Suck here!"

Mmmmmmmm'kay. Not only are those particular slurs on the boy bands done to fucking death long ago, but...but...but...when is the last time Backstreet Boys or N'Sync even made a record? Couldn't they slander any current bands that suck? I mean, it's not like there's ever a shortage of new bubblegum rot, is there? Did they not ridicule H.I.M because they're secretly jacking off to the posters?

That's it. On short trips, I'm just going to whistle quietly to myself. It's safer for everyone.

* I should clarify here - my car doesn't have a CD player installed, so I have a walkman-type CD player that I plug into the cassette deck. Just a little too much for me to do safely while I drive.

21 of you felt the overwhelming need to say somethin':

Blogger Ghost of Goldwater said...

First!
If it's any consolation, things are at least as bad over here in "Old Europe". In addition, we have to cope with EUROPEAN popular music, which is generally several notches below the US level. If you ever come to Europe, bring your iPod, or prepare to poke your eardrums out.

Having said that, I will be taking along a bag of CDs when I commence my tour of the east coast next Sunday... (you've all been given fair warning!)

5:14 PM, June 17, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The country stations out here (in NE Oregon) don't do much of a morning show. There's a couple of guys here and there and a couple of contests here and there, but it's all "local" and not nationally syndicated. .....Another reason why I still prefer country music stations.... but our Sirius is growing on me in the car. No commercials, nobody yakking (unless you pick "that" station). It's pretty good and totally perfect for in the car. Ours even has a remote! ;)

6:52 PM, June 17, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention how much I **love** your blog... it always makes me laugh.

And, I vote with Dooce... a bucky sounds better than a monkey.... ;)

Monkey = Bananas = Reminds me of a dick (not much of a family friendly word

6:54 PM, June 17, 2006  
Blogger Madame D said...

You pull over to change CDs?
I always have a proper selection of MY music on hand, so I don't have to listen to AC/DC for the 900th time that day. Shudder.

7:25 PM, June 17, 2006  
Blogger SoozieQ said...

Oh how I hear ya....I would DIE without my XM radio. Seriously, I would keel over and crash the car, thereby killing myself and the Dog if I didn't have XM radio. There are NO commercials and I can tune in to ONLY the kind of music that I like.

Did I mention there's virtually NO talking? Yah I did huh? Ok, and I don't have to listen to "pop" or "country" music.

Heaven, pure heaven!

9:02 PM, June 17, 2006  
Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

The idiot banter of three fools—two males and the required female stooge—is why I no longer listen to rock on the radio in the morning.

10:14 PM, June 17, 2006  
Blogger Pissy Britches said...

2 words.
JACK FM.
No DJ's..just music.
Fabulous fucking music.
It has to be the next best thing to an IPOD or Satellite Radio.
Not quite as fabulous though.

10:16 PM, June 17, 2006  
Blogger Closet Metro said...

Pissy - fabulous fucking music? No, no, no, Bucky is looking for music for when she's driving, not when she's fucking. I'm sure she has plenty of Johnny Mathis on vinyl in the bedroom for when it's time for romance.

11:24 PM, June 17, 2006  
Blogger Momentarily_Distracted said...

That's why I have my CDs and Sirius Radio in my car.

FM sucks.

11:35 PM, June 17, 2006  
Blogger Meggan said...

I am totally with you on this. I hate morning DJs. I listen to the radio because I want to hear music, not because I want to hear two idiots making bad jokes. Ugh.

We use the radio to wake up in the morning, and I can attest to the obnoxious factor of morning radio DJs. I would much rather wake up to rock music than two people screaming (it always seems like they talk SO LOUD all the time) at each other about stupid nonsense.

I forgot how much this bothered me until you brought it up. :P I mostly listen to what I have on iTunes and/or my iPod (don't have a car = no car stereo to bother with).

(Hoping that was coherent. I've had a problem with coherence lately.)

11:52 PM, June 17, 2006  
Blogger Jim said...

"Christ on a Japanese serving spoon?" Just one of the many reasons I totally am in love with you, Bucky.

You can use your iPod in your car too, y'know....that way you don't have to change CDs.

12:22 AM, June 18, 2006  
Anonymous Betti said...

Short version: yes, RADIO BITES! What happened?

(Thank you for inspiring me, I had a -long version- comment, but decided to turn it into a blog post.) uiiiiiiiiiiii vbbj

-apparently kitty wanted to comment too!

9:48 AM, June 18, 2006  
Blogger Schmootzie said...

Penn Jilette's show on Free FM is worth a listen. Other than that radio sucks. I can't find a radio show in the morning that plays music. All have the morning zoo, none appropriate for my work.

They did get rid of "Drunk Bitch Friday"

3:25 PM, June 18, 2006  
Blogger Mike said...

I spend a lot of drive time between Columbus Ohio and Detroit. If ever there were two more lame ass markets (not to mention all the religious stations in between) I would be totally shocked.

I'm switching to satellite as soon as I can.

4:37 PM, June 18, 2006  
Blogger Squirl said...

Since I listen to news in the morning I don't have to listen to the rock station idiots. Like Soozie, I'd probably have to crash my car, too, if that were the case.

6:44 PM, June 18, 2006  
Blogger whfropera said...

geez, i go to dinner w/my folks and all hell explodes!
1- thanks for the props. no REALLY, thanks. :)
2- Now you know why I host on PUBLIC NON-COMMERCIAL radio.
3- the worst part? Classical does this now too - you get Pachebel's Canon and Debussy's Clair De Lune or Beethoven's 5th over and over, but god help you if you want to promote a new composer.
4- I have actually started my own 24-hour Internet station because even public radio makes me crazy sometimes.
But you pretty much nailed it - most of the stations, even if they aren't "Jack" or "Bob" or "Doug" FM, are owned by either Clear Channel or Infinity Broadcasting, so what you get are corporate suits making all the programming decisions, and half of that morning show crap? Not even local, people. I could babble on endlessly about this, but I probably should just save it for a damn post.

8:11 PM, June 18, 2006  
Blogger Susie said...

I got stuck on the "family-friendly." What, the Manson family?

8:30 PM, June 18, 2006  
Blogger Southern Fried Girl said...

Just so you know, country stations totally have the same shit. It blows. Hence the iPod dock deal in my car-o.

You crack my shit up.

8:51 PM, June 18, 2006  
Blogger Circus Kelli said...

I'm not a big fan of pointless DJ's either.

Jack, 104.3 FM. Do you get that out by you? It's not bad. They play a variety of music, no DJ's, AT ALL. (www.iknowjack.com)

Now, if I could just get rid of the commercials...

1:08 PM, June 19, 2006  
Blogger Balulah said...

A.) I completely agree with you about the rocking radio personalities. They are rocking morons, who obviously have no talent, and must be ugly, otherwise they would be on tv.

B.) As I recall, you have a pretty nice cd player available for your vehicle! Damn it!

C.) I will repossess said cd player if not used within five years of gifting. It's a new law. Why? Because I'm the boss.....applesauce!

2:36 PM, June 19, 2006  
Blogger whfropera said...

Here you go folks: the complete list of "Jack" stations:
http://www.varietyhits.com/variety/
markets/index.shtml

you will need to paste the entire URL in, both pieces, kay?

8:19 PM, June 19, 2006  

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