Radio Killed The Radio Star
March 02, 2010


You walk into your car, you start the engine, you switch on the radio, and you hear, thumping incessantly into your ears,

"I've got a feelin' pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa... that tonight's gonna be a good night pa-pa-pa-pa..."

You turn off the radio, you stop the engine, you get out of your car, and in undivided angst, you run to the nearest lamp post to give it a heartfelt, Chuck Norris signature roundhouse kick.

Or at least that was what you had in mind.

But how could you not, though? That's the sixth time now that, at the start of the engine, the speakers blare out the same track. As if the car would automatically play it when the spark plug ignites. A feature you would've preferred knowing from the salesman before you signed the papers.

You've lost hope in tuning to the other FM stations anyway. Hitz couldn't stop playing music for high school proms, Mix couldn't stop airing home loan ads, Fly couldn't stop talking, Traxx couldn't stop pitching 1Malaysia, and Lite, well, they're the least guilty one I'd say -- playing Michael Bolton after every other song isn't too bad in my book. The man has got a fine, fine voice. And hair... back then. Also, there is of course BFM who plays decent stuff from time to time albeit their exhausting discussions.

Cruising in the car to good music is just not as straightforward these days. While we can always argue that popping a CD into the player would solve the whole enigma, I'd still very much like the option of tuning into a station and listening to some good music as I curse at drivers on the road. You know, get comfortable on the seat, put my belts on, get my shades out of the dashboard, mend my hair at the mirror, rev the engine, switch on the radio, and nod my head while singing "Sweet home Alabama, where the skies are so blue..."

And not, "I kissed a girl, and I liked it pa-pa-pa-pa..."

Maybe I know too little to understand why this is happening to the radio broadcasting industry. Maybe I'm not seeing how it all boils down to dollars and cents. Maybe I can't quite decipher the logic behind the market supply-demand of the airwaves. Maybe I'm not appreciating music as I should, now that we're in 2010.

Then again, maybe I don't have to. For I am a listener and all I need is some good music on the radio. Perhaps it's just a part of aging and I'm still stuck in the time when Billie Joe's hair was green, the Gallagher Brothers were brawling on stage, and Britney Spears could fit into her red, 'Oops I Did It Again' suit.

All in all, it is an entirely subjective matter. Music to my ears may be noise to yours. And there can never be a time when every single song on the radio could satisfy all listeners. But all I'm asking, in general, is for the stations to not play, for example, Taylor Swift after every other song. Listening to her singing about being 15 every half an hour is not as easy as it sounds.

Okay maybe except for that one time when it was pouring outside. Oh how my 26 year old guy heart beckoned.



Photography by Azalia Suhaimi

About
  • Asrif, b. 1983
  • Subang Jaya, Malaysia
  • asrifomar[@]gmail[.]com
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