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Tiki Central Forums Beyond Tiki It's official: New York City radio sucks!
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It's official: New York City radio sucks!
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jan 13, 2003
Posts: 1173
From: The Quiet EAST Village
Posted: 2004-08-26 12:31 am   Permalink

Actually I have been sitting on this for a while, more like it's official that I am finally gonna gripe about this here. Being a white guy originally from the 'burbs I gravitate to the 'Classic Rock'/'Oldies' formats (jeez I hate those labels). My choices for that kind of music in New York is WAXQ-Q104.3 FM ('classic' rock), and WCBS-FM (oldies). Both of these stations suffer from extremely limited playlists. I have not a clue as to how these guys survive other than the fact that they are the only game in town serving both of these formats. If I hear The Turtles 'Happy Together' or Don McClean 'Miss American Pie' one more time on WCBS I'm gonna puke my guts out. By the same token if I hear any Billy Joel song (except for 'Capt. Jack') or any cut off Pink Floyd's 'Dark Side of the Moon' on Q104.3 I'm gonna go down to the station and do what the Dave Matthews band bus driver did in Chicago on their control room console. Why they have to play 'Money' by PinkFloyd for the umpteenth time is beyond me. But here's the thing about New York Radio; they are too afraid to take chances with programming for several reasons. One that I have heard bandied around is the signal reach in this area. Whatever the case may be, it makes for incredibly boring radio. No wonder X M and Sirius are starting to pick up steam and getting an audience. I have been to other towns in the US like L.A., San Fran, and even Miami, and they ironically have better radio than New York. With the exception of a few programs like Little Steven's Underground Garage, which runs on Q-104.3, it all just blows. I know I can change the station, but I like listening to the radio. Just be nice to have some INTERESTING radio to listen to.

WFMU from Jersey City, a prestigious free-form station is great....but the reception, right across the river here in NYC isn't that great, and their programming can be, dare I say, too eclectic. Some shows are great, some are just too damn heady.

The other thing that I find annoying about 'Classic Rock' radioin general is that sometimes the Jocks sound like, well....JOCKS! Don't get offended sports people, but most of the music the classic rock radio stations play was conceived in more or less counter cultural/underground days, so it seems odd to me when a DJ comes out of say, 'The Needle & the Damage Done' by Neil Young and starts talking about how he's gonna golf over the weekend, or about a sports bar somebody from the station is gonna be at where free Coors Light is going to be served until midnight.Neil Young, Stones, or any 'classic rock' band + sports bar culture = weird cross culture hijacked by a group of people that doesn't make any sense, yadda yadda....It just ain't right people. But that's the world we live in.

ah....that feels better. Anybody have this problem with New York Radio or wherever you are in the country?

[ This Message was edited by: donhonyc on 2004-08-26 00:34 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1368
From: 1st website dedicated to Tiki Gardens
Posted: 2004-08-26 01:37 am   Permalink

I feel your pain, or I did when I lived there.

My biggest gripe with WFMU was the dj's who love to hear themselves speak on the tapes they make of their shows. The run on and on and on and fifteen minutes later, you get a song.

I remember more than once my coworker and myself screaming at the radio for them to shut up and play some music.

It really sucked when you waited that long and they played a crap track.

New York corporate radio is no worse than corporate radio anywhere else. It sucks wherever you go.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 13, 2004
Posts: 324
From: Velveteen Lounge, NY
Posted: 2004-08-26 08:51 am   Permalink

Boy, do I feel your pain! I was a serious radio junkie when I lived in southern California and suffered from MAJOR culture shock in NYC. I live a bit north of the city now and get good reception on WFMU, which is great when it's a show I like (I love the Friday evening soul show and the Tuesday evening cylinder show), but it's often a lot of yakking, which doesn't interest me much. I've tried internet radio, but now I'm just out of the radio habit, unfortunately.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 20, 2003
Posts: 111
From: Boise, ID
Posted: 2004-08-26 08:59 am   Permalink

When we lived in Queens. We actually had better reception on WFMU than when we lived in Manhattan or Brooklyn. I still record Mr. Fine Wine's "Downtown Soulville" every Friday night. Sometimes on Sundays Dave the Spazz will have a great garage set but I try to edit out his rants. I use Total Recorder, it works well.


[ This Message was edited by: SallyandJay on 2004-08-26 09:16 ]

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Johnny Dollar
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Oct 01, 2003
Posts: 3032
From: Baltimore, Maryland, PNG
Posted: 2004-08-26 09:03 am   Permalink

this is a shot in the dark (whether ny has them), but seriously, have you looked around on AM stations? AM that plays music typically goes for an older demographic, and if you don't mind the nursing home and dr. scholl's ads, you can get some pretty decent, if static-y, music...


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 30, 2004
Posts: 1012
From: Somewhere on Planet Tiki
Posted: 2004-08-26 09:07 am   Permalink

I feel your pain even here in Wisconsin, where I live it is VERY limited selection, you have country and more country. The one good station that is new is out of Green Bay I can get if I drive in a certain area but once I cross the invisible line I lose clear reception, Milwaukee has a number of decent stations along with Madison but too far away, I need to move. And the one good local station that used to have a decent morning show dumped the morning guys so they can pump in the feed of two yakking shitheads from Milw. that do nothing but talk and tell stupid jokes that they think are hilarious. I no longer listen to this station at all, even worse, I have a friend that is a DJ at this station, and he sucks ass on the radio, he is 21 and always sounds like he is forcing it, trying to sounds a certain way, it is painful to listen too. Imagine how it feels to if you live some areas where it is down right impossible to get any signal for any station. Yeah people complain about satellite radio and other forms of radio and I can nt imagine paying for radio no matter how many stations you get. They all suck more than they shine.

May the aloha spirit be with you in all that you do.


[ This Message was edited by: Tiki-Toa on 2004-08-26 09:08 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Feb 16, 2004
Posts: 1366
From: San Diego, CA
Posted: 2004-08-26 10:10 am   Permalink

Feelin' your pain in San Diego. F'n "Clear Channel" owns 90% of the market, so they tell us what we want to hear... Which is apparently the same 5 songs every hour (Sheryl Crow, Maroon 5, Matchbox Twenty, Dixie Chicks, Creed... Repeat).

Besides that, we have the Classic Rock stations - oh, yeah... they play the same 5 bands every hour (Beatles, Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Pink Floyd, Hendrix... Repeat)


[ This Message was edited by: MachTiki on 2004-08-26 16:30 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1800
From: Ocean Beach, San Francisco
Posted: 2004-08-26 10:35 am   Permalink

Yeah, I think commercial radio sucks no matter where you live. These days I mostly listen to the local college stations, NPR, and A's games.


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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 1345
Posted: 2004-08-26 1:09 pm   Permalink

Grandpa-mode on:

Commercial radio has sucked for the last 20 years, period. I actually remember when commercial radio DJs talked only about the music, didn't talk over songs, and sometimes even played entire album sides. Who remembers the Mighty Met?

Three solutions:

1. Satellite radio. There has been a discussion of the competing services here on TC. Sounds like they both have their good and bad points, but for my money their playlists are still too limited. But that FM transmitter method blows.

2. iPod with car radio input. I just did this (new car stereo with aux input and mp3 disk capability) and it's glorius. Use the iPod or burn an entire artist's catalog onto one cd. Download books on take and rip 'em. This is the most versatile setup and is not only great for the car, but for the home, work and portable systems, too. The Kloss portable, rechargeable speaker (iPal) rules.

3. Stop listening to commercially available sounds altogether and listen only to sounds you produce yourself. Wait, that didn't sound right....

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 24, 2002
Posts: 1800
From: Ocean Beach, San Francisco
Posted: 2004-08-26 2:02 pm   Permalink


On 2004-08-26 13:09, Tiki-bot wrote:
Who remembers the Mighty Met?

Are you referring to KMET in Los Angeles? I loved those upside-down billboards when I was a kid, but preferred the ROQ of the 80's.


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The Ragin' Rarotongan
Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 26, 2004
Posts: 282
From: Now, Ocala Florida
Posted: 2004-08-26 3:05 pm   Permalink

Dude, it is the same here in Ft lauderdale/Miami area. We also have 1 classic rock station Big 105.9 and Oldies 102.7 Magic 102. Both of them play the same playlist day in and day out. Same 3 Led zep songs, and they play Money more times than you can shake a stick at. I don't know why the dj's can't experiment a little and play other songs from classic artists. That's why I just usually burn CD's and listen to my own favorites at work and in the car.
"Want a beer?'"...."It's 7:00 in the morning!"...."Scotch?"...."Not during working hours."

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Jun 24, 2002
Posts: 1345
Posted: 2004-08-26 4:35 pm   Permalink


On 2004-08-26 14:02, cynfulcynner wrote:

Are you referring to KMET in Los Angeles? I loved those upside-down billboards when I was a kid, but preferred the ROQ of the 80's.

Yeah, but KROQ didn't really "happen" til the early 80s. I was referring to the golden age of 70s FM rawk stations. You know, the songs that are now "classic" rock (which I can't bear to hear any more of).

Actually I preferred the punk/new wave stylings of KNAC in Long Beach. Then they went all speed-metal or whatever and lost me. KROQ also had a lot of what made top 40 radio so annoying: Lame call-ins, talking over songs, etc.

I'm not sure if this is true or not, but the jocks on KMET always called Bruce Springsteen "The Boss" because he owned part of the station (or perhaps Metromedia, which owned KMET). So that's where his nickname came from, for what it's worth.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Aug 22, 2002
Posts: 3668
From: San Francisco
Posted: 2004-08-26 4:48 pm   Permalink


A good radio station. There's a live internet feed. I miss KEXP a ton.

Our newish station here in LA, Indie 103.1 (http://indie1031.fm/), is a small step (a very small step) above the other corporate stations (Indie is not independent--it's partially owned by Clear Channel). There seems to be a touch more variety in their playlists, especially during Jonesy's Jukebox. It's hosted every day by Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols, who is the worst and yet most endearing and tolerable DJ I've ever heard (well, Jon in the Morning on KEXP beats him out on the endearing and tolerable counts, but Jon is an outstanding DJ). Jonesy gets the songs mixed up, answers his cell phone on the air, forgets which buttons he's supposed to push, and is constantly meandering through long, pointless tales that last for minutes before remembering where he is and that he's actually supposed to play some music every once in a while. I love him.

During commercial breaks on Indie, I bounce over to KLOS, a 70s rock station. The DJs there are, for some reason, always laughing. They're never saying anything remotely funny, but boy do they crack themselves up. Blech.

Thank god for mix CDs.

Critiki - Hundreds of tiki bars, Polynesian restaurants, and other sites of interest to the tiki traveller, collector or urban archaeologist

[ This Message was edited by: Humuhumu on 2004-08-26 16:51 ]

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: May 11, 2003
Posts: 736
From: glendale, ca
Posted: 2004-08-26 4:51 pm   Permalink

I'm wondering if this is a big city thing. I'm in L.A. The oldies station must repeat itself once an hour. The happy morning talk people are awful. The other stations are all imitations of one another and has anyone noticed the proliferation of Bail bondsmen advertising on the "urban"stations?

Got off the point... When I drive between L.A. and San Francisco I hear more and better music on whatever stations I can pick up. The oldies stations play EVERYTHING! There are conspiracy theorist shows at night and all sorts of other eclectic, oddball shows. Did you ever actually listen to the religious programming? It's hysterical! Who'd think the sticks would have the hip radio.

Living near a college station in a city is your best bet as it's the only creative programming around.

Clear Channel is the devil.

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Tiki Socialite

Joined: Mar 31, 2002
Posts: 1525
From: MD
Posted: 2004-08-26 5:15 pm   Permalink

Radio still exists? I thought they stopped broadcasting years ago! I haven't listening to the radio since I got a CD player in my car 5 years ago and I don't even have any stations programmed on the presets. Baltimore radio almost sucks as bad as the Orioles! The only decent music stations, which I'm exposed to when in the wife's car, are either college or the free-form WRNR broadcasting out of Annapolis.

The oldies station here WQSR is the lamest piece of shit you'll ever hear...how many times does someone need to hear "Tears of a Clown?" Baltimore's "classic rock" station switched formats recently and now its a putrid "smooth jazz" station! Commercial radio sucks!

It's odd to think that when I listen to the radio it's usually NPR - when did I get old?


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