Thursday, December 22, 2005

these are the days

a radio station in town has long been classified as *alternative rock* (whatever the heck that is), which means i pretty much avoid it for the alleged 'metal-ish screaming' that i tend to pooh-pooh. give me a dope beat, a good hook and some clever rhymes -- okay, the clever rhymes are few and far between-- anyday. basically what i'm saying is this station is usually just another one i roll right past on the radio dial without a second thought.

however, in the new age of 'we play anything' formats that have taken over a good chunk of the presets, the old-style stations are scrambling to keep up. this alt-rock station has introduced its own 'shuffle' of sorts and intersperses some good old ditties from the '90s and even a few kicking beats from before then, too. they've added radio personalities who actually cut the talk to semi-interesting snippets, but what got me is an afternoon segment they call 'the last-letter game', which reminds me of a motherland game my mother kicks ass at, wherein you sing part of a song and other team has to come up with a new song that starts with the the last letter of what you sang. so i decided to give this station a whirl; it's now actually a preset in the car. besides, i need a vacay from mainstream radio hiphop. if i have to hear that stupidass 'Laffy Taffy' song ONE MORE TIME...

anyway, this week the 'alternative' radio station is celebrating its history by playing the top 101 songs of every year that it has existed. and some of those years were the formative ones of my youth -- back in the flannely days of Reality Bites when Soundgarden was still together. i actually listened to some of that stuff back then. but i was shocked at how many lyrics i can still recall. songs i didn't even KNOW that i knew.

one of the songs on the list for 1993 was 'These are the days' by 10,000 Maniacs. I haven't heard it in ages, but it made me feel all warm and happy. and it's funny, because at the time i had thought things were pretty lame. over the last few days, i've caught more of the lists and felt compelled to call some of my pals from those days. when James' 'laid' came on, i had to call a kid who simply looked over at me from across the room in spanish class and mouth you think you're so pretty and that high-pitched crooning was stuck in my head for days. or Liz Phair's 'supernova', which reminded me of all those times i forgot to tell my parents i was going to hang out at my best friend's house after school and we'd turn up the music so loud we couldn't hear the phone as we sat out on the roof, (which was cool until i came home to people who were pissed, having convinced themselves i'd been kidnapped and sold into street servitude in the city.)

it's funny how you never appreciate the situation you're in until it is so far gone, the only thing that can bring back a taste of it is a long-forgotten song.


lucasjackson7 said...

i'd give anything for radio stations with some creativity and guts.

is there a jack fm where you're at? i listened to that when i went to los angeles after the storm. it's pretty good, they play songs from almost every decade and there aren't any djs so its just music.

it's kinda scary to look through my shoebox of mix tapes and see stuff by Coolio and BG The Prince of Rap. i actually listened to "my perogative" the other day on my record player just so i could do the dj scratchy thing. okay, i need to stop typing now before i start rambling about michelle pfeifer in that "gangsta's paradise" video.

Modern Viking said...

Wow, I didn't know FM radio still existed. Oh, wait... is that the annoying sound that comes out of my alarm clock every morning? That obnoxious mixture of noise and drivel that even I can't sleep through? You mean, people listen to that? On purpose??

Jon said...

I feel as though a vital piece of information was left out of this post. I absolutely NEED to know what the number 1 song was from whatever years they’ve done so far. Again, it’s not that I want to know, it’s that I NEED to know. Thank you for your help in this matter.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Sometimes it's a song, sometimes it's a whiff of fresh breeze coming through the kitchen window that would bring back memories for me.

Can you believe that in some countries music is banned? I still find that hard to believe.

cadiz12 said...

yeah, lucasj, we have jack. i'm a channel flipper, so it's nice to have variety, but it's also nice to know you're going to get a certain thing when you're in the mood. i miss the oldies station. :(

viking, how do you ever hear any new music?

jon, i'll work on that for you. of course i always end up catching the lists during the 20s or something, so i may not know, but i'll try sleuthing. the only year i'm pretty sure i can guess is probably 'jeremy' by pearl jam for '94.

yep, g.g. that's a travesty. i think i'd want to die if i couldn't enjoy music anymore.