Even good radio sucks

Sometimes, when I'm doing stuff around the house, I turn on the radio.

In fact, I start most days with "Morning Edition" to accompany my breakfast - eating Kashi GoLean Crunch, drinking green tea, listening to NPR...could I be more of a liberal crunchy psuedo-hippie weenie? Anyway, after "Morning Edition" ends at 10:00, on comes "Colorado Matters," which is something like listening to paint dry. While eating chalk. Every now and then, they have an interesting interview, but usually it's something like, "Bill Thompson's family has been selling model railroad supplies in the same location in Ft. Morgan for sixty years now, and today we're going to spend a whole fucking hour talking to him about toy trains."*

A lot of the time, I switch over to the trusty CD player. But sometimes I click over to the FM side of the radio. 97.3 KBCO, a station that was once ecclectic and interesting but now mostly convinced that there's someone out there who still wants to hear the Spin Doctors, Natalie Merchant and Big Head Todd and the Monsters** in the year 2006, does do a fun feature called "10 at 10:00" where the DJ picks a year, anything from the early '70s to the late '90s, and sometimes digs pretty deep into the vaults for 10 cool tunes from the year in question, along with movie and TV clips and old commercials and such. But other than that, KBCO mostly just tells me that one two princes kneel before you, princes, princes who adore you.

Once upon a time, when I was in junior high and high school, there was KTCL, which was a super kick-ass radio station. I heard Nirvana, Pearl Jam, the Violent Femmes (who take ALL their equipment on the bus) and probably a dozen other bands and most of the defining songs of my adolescent years on KTCL. Then they got bought by Clear Channel and became a giant mountain of crap.

The best local radio option is KQMT, 99.5, The Mountain, which has a pretty deep and fairly high-quality playlist, plays some of the more obscure stuff from well-known bands of the Days of Yore, and has pretty low-key DJs. Today, they played Stevie Ray Vaughn, followed up by Led Zep (not my favorite, but always fun in limited doses), and then forty-five solid minutes of The Kinks in honor of Ray Davies' birthday, which was fucking awesome...getting into a nice radio groove, here...

Then it all came crashing down as they announced that it was the top of the hour and therefore time to hear from their Featured Artist of the Day, and without any warning, I was listening to the castrated, whiney-ass soft-rock stylings of James Fucking Taylor, one of the all-time paragons of Total Musical Suckitude, the guy who makes John Denver look like a badass.

When the best radio station in a pretty major market follows the Kinks with James Taylor without batting a proverbial eye, I think that explains all there is to know about why no one (but me, I guess) is listening to FM radio anymore.

* I do not mean to impugn the fine hobby of model railroading. I'm the proud owner of my Dad's vintage Lionel train from the late '40s, and one day when I have enough space for it, I mean to set it up. But listening to people spend an hour talking about it on the radio is no one's idea of a good time. And anyone who engages in their model railroad pursuits while wearing an engineer's cap should be sterilized.

** In their defense, BHT&TM are local boys, so there's some residual affection and it's nice to support the local acts, but why not give some play to any of at least a dozen or so cool and up-and-coming bands in the Denver/Boulder area instead of clinging to Colorado's closest thing to a major nationwide hit from ten years ago?