05 August 2009

Radio is a sound salvation

Later this month my hometown's latest and only attempt at a decent alternative/indie radio station, Radio X 96.1, will go the way of the dodo. It will become one of two sports-dedicated stations on Grand Rapids' musically bankrupt FM dial.

But rather than wallow in that town's musical depravity, I'd prefer to praise my temporary residence, Columbus, for its excellent alternative radio station. Offering a diverse selection of current and nostalgic indie/alternatively inclined songs and artists, CD 101 is a bastion of difference in a modern world of radio monotony.

I realize FM radio - like most media forms we grew up with - is probably a dying breed, but it is stations like this that remind me why we should love FM radio. Sure you can find almost any song you want on-demand on iTunes or YouTube or Deezer, or listen to an individualized radio statio via Pandora, but nothing beats the excitement and the haphazardness of live radio. It's exciting not knowing what will be played next and seeing how songs are juxtaposed. Plus, FM radio represents a shared, class-cutting experience that can't be beat by modern alternatives.

So, thank you CD 101 for renewing my faith in the power of good ole FM radio.

Sample songs from CD 101's playlist:
"Walking on a Dream" Empire of the Sun
"Bittersweet Symphony" The Verve
"No You Girls" Franz Ferdinand
"Bohemian Like You" Dandy Warhols
"L.E.S. Artistes" Santigold
"One Armed Scissor" The Mars Volta
"The Black Keys" Strange Times

But don't take my word for it, listen live here.

1 comment:

Pellican said...

I'm a current Grand Rapids resident, and as of yesterday afternoon, the official switch was made.

But you could sort of tell something was amiss. They began to play mostly alternative rock rather than a good healthy mix of many different genres. Maybe this was to turn off regular listeners so they'd be less pissed when the switch was made.

Alas, the only decent station worth listening to in this town is gone. Couple that with the fact that 98.7 switched from Oldies to classic rock, and it's truly a sad day for radio.