Friday, April 18, 2008

Historical Edmonton Radio musings

Doing the dishes.

Not enough sleep.

Surly as all git-out.

What comes on the radio? "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves. The most overrated song in the history of the 80s.

I'm suddenly transported back in time to even before I had the mullet. 630 CHED morning crew.

"Well, we've tallied your votes on 'Make it or Break it' and it doesn't look good for Katrina and her waves. 20 votes to 1 that that song breaks it." I don't remember the DJ, whether it was Rob Christie (before his loudmouth blowhard stage at Magic 99) or someone before him (Bruce Bowie maybe?) but I remember that session of Make it or break it better than I remember probably 90% of University. Very clearly.

Why couldn't we have been right, Edmonton? Now I've got some stupid song stuck in my head and feeling a Rob-Christie rant coming on.

My biggest problem with Magic 99 is not that their DJs are blowhards. It's impossible to find a radio station without a blow-hard. It's their insistence that they're different. Better. Don't spoon-feed me that bullshit. Just because you act better and fill your between-songs time with name-dropping anecdotes that are exactly the same each and every time the same goddamn song comes on does not mean that you're better than the others. You have a wonderful variety of songs that you could play. You barely touch them. Instead of some simpering weenie singing about how I'm beautiful or lamenting my bad day, reach back. Pull more Bobby Darrin or (God forbid) Mel Torme off the shelves. Instead of pretending the only artist back in the day was Frank Sinatra, blow the dust off some Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald or even some modern-ish swing. Yeah, I like Michael Buble and Diana Krall but mix it up. Give me some Big Bad Voodoo Daddy or Big Rude Jake. Throw some themed shows into some time slots. Learn a lesson from CKUA. Pick a prime-time hour and play all old stuff. Pick a weekend hour and do some small-label stuff. They've done wonders for local artists like Sandy Foster and Ann Vriend but it would be really nice to take it to the next level.

My other gripe with Magic is their "we're just folks" attitude. Just because I like listening to old standards and swing music doesn't mean that I give a crap about Mercedes or winging my way down to the sunny Caribbean. I certainly am not for going in for a Botox injection to get rid of the wrinkles on my face. Or liposuction for my gluteus-assimus. Don't try to cozy up to me and talk about how we all want this or how everybody knows that.

I'm out of steam.


El Cliff said...

Preach on, Brother Lum! Aside from K97, no other local station pisses me off more with their completely lacking playlist. They have so much they could choose from, and instead, they choose to limit themselves to the same damn thing ad nauseum. It's pitiful, and it's tiresome, and it's lame.

Liam J. said...

I can understand it at the very beginning when their library of discs was probably pretty small. But they've been around for just about three years, I think. If they haven't used their revenue to increase their library, that's their fault and it's inexcusable.

El Cliff said...

I would have to agree. Makes me wonder what they ARE spending their money on, then? I mean, at least K97 and The Bear can point to their collection of dumbass contests...what exactly is Magic spending their money on? Actual magic? Magic beans?

Liam J. said...

Rob Christie's wardrobe, stupid anecdotes about artists, lunch at Tom Goodchild's. I'm sure all of these things cost money!

S said...

This post has full SOBU support.