Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Moment in Commercial Radio Hell

Please: stab me in the eardrums and make the noise stop

Since my lovely wife bought me an iPod last year, I spend little time listening to the limited selection of commercial radio stations that can be picked up in Northwest Ohio. However, the other day I left my iPod at home and I had to spend an hour in the car with nothing but local commercial radio.

I found commercials on the oldies and hard rock station, and I was in no mood to listen to Lady Gaga on the Top-40 station. The other stations were either blasting a relentless wave of Christmas music or bland modern country music, neither of which fit my listening interests.

I ended up at our local classic rock station, which was torturing listeners with the moldy and tepid "Radar Love" by Golden Earring. I gritted my teeth and decided to wait out the last three minutes of what must be one of the most overplayed album rock songs from the 1970s.

Then the song faded out, the DJ came on, and I breathed a sigh of relief, until in his silky-smooth voice he announced that this was a "Double-Play" or "TwoFer" or "Two-for-One" weekend or some such mindless programming rot. This, of course, meant yet another forgettable Golden Earring song, this time the even more useless "Twilight Zone" ("when the bullet hits the bone....AHHHHHHH....when the bullet hits the bone...").

I staved off waves of nausea and listened for a minute, trying to understand why this horrid song could ever be released, let alone why this song - one that rightly deserves to be flushed down an American Standard toilet -
could rise to the number one position on Billboard's Top Tracks chart. Giving up, I scanned the lame and limited Toledo-area radio stations one more time before simply turning off the radio.

To my assaulted ears and weary mind, listening to nothing was better than being subjected to crappy music and idiotic commercials. I decided to amuse myself by singing an old REM song at the top of my lungs, and life was infinitely better.


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