Sunday, February 10, 2008

New York Has A Major New Rock Station

This is an unexpected development. After 20 years of playing mostly terrible "smooth" Jazz, CD101.9 called it quits on February 5th. In its place is WRXP, and it's billing itself in a unique way. The station says it is independent-minded, in that the DJ's have control. It's not free-format like the immortal WFMU, and it's not a pure Indie rock station, but it says it has an independent spirit, at least in terms of operation. And one thing that sounds really appealing is the "intellectual" branding, as in the DJ's will not be shock jocks, but real rock music lovers. No shtick or gimmicks or dumb names.

But - as to be expected - it's far from perfect. As the dependency on radio has vanished (due to the horror of corporate playlists and the awesome power of the mp3 and the Ipod), there's no real need for this kind of station. Any time something sour comes on (and it seems to come on frequently), it just proves the lack of necessity for such a station. The station isn't working too well because they aren't as bold as they claim they are. In the 20 minutes I sampled, they played rather popular Van Halen (I fucking hate Van Halen) and Led Zeppelin tracks. Q104 is good for that. They also played some tepid modern rock that fails at contemporary pop stations. Counting Crows? Come on dudes. If I had caught the station's first three songs, I'd have flipped out in ecastasy: "Rock n' Roll" by VU, some R.E.M., and Costello's "Pump It Up" and later followed by, among others, the Flaming Lips...but it becomes very easy to pick apart the playlist after that, as is natural for a snob or for anyone really, in this consumer-in-control technological era.

If there is one real silver lining to this, it's that all those "smooth" Jazz listeners who were too scared to hear the good stuff, the real Jazz, on WBGO can now head that way and see what the JAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZ is alllllllllllllll ABOUT, YA SEE!

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At February 10, 2008 at 3:09:00 PM EST, Anonymous artifact said...

Radio...Can't get it right. Like your post as always!!


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