Friday, June 13, 2008

Real radio returns to NYC.

Commercial radio has been dead in NYC for years. WNYU, NYU's radio station, has some decent shows, and Vin Scelsa's Saturday night show on WFUV (from Fordham's University) has been a standby for years, but commercial radio has just been sad ever since WLIR went Spanish back in 2004. (And it had been pretty meh in the years leading up to that.)

That's been the sad state of affairs until now.

At The Kooks show this past Tuesday night at Terminal 5, their set was introduced by MTV's old 120 Minutes host, Matt Pinfield. It turns out that he's the new weekday morning DJ at 101.9 XRP. And despite belonging to the massive Emmis radio network, they're actually playing some decent music. Most "modern rock" stations will play The Clash, but I caught "The Magnificent Seven" and "Train in Vain", not "Rock the Casbah" or "Should I Stay or Should I Go". And while they're spinning Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Aerosmith, and other classic rock mainstays, I also caught tracks by The Kooks, Social Distortion, The Raconteurs, Foxboro Hot Tubs, Frank Zappa, New York Dolls, and Supergrass. Other than Matt Pinfield, the DJs are of the "just out of a BJ undergrad degree at Newhouse" variety, but they're relatively banter-free and ignorable.

I typically listen to Virgin Radio out of London, UK, via iTunes, but their playlist is limited and tends to get old quickly. (And I really miss Afternoon Tea with Suggs.) It's nice to have a US station - broadcast over the airwaves, no less - that I want to listen to.

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