Listening to the Radio

Yesterday I went to pick up Neptune from pre-school at 5:00PM: driving during drive time. “Drive time?” you may question. Yes: radio stations have premium content during rush hours: buying a commercial is more expensive, and getting your song added during “drive time” is every label’s wet dream. Because we are captive, in a car, trying to get home from work (presumably), and stuck in traffic. For this very reason I usually try to not be in my car during drive time. I live against the grain like that.

So yesterday was a treat(-ish), to be stuck in my car, driving across TMR, scanning through the FM radio waves for something to listen to. I stopped on what I initially thought was CHOM (our classic rock station) because there was this song that sounded new-wave but who’s production sounded too, uh, today. I listened on and got into the chorus, thinking: “Oh my god this HAS to be Canadian,” like a Burton Cummings/Neverending White Lights collaboration: an anthemic chant “I love this city tonight!” in a 12-part harmony including one voice singing an ultra-high impossible-falsetto. Methinks: “This is a song about Winnipeg.” As the song broke down for the ending, my reaction was: “Oh no they didn’t!” as the rock radio break down of just the vocals for a round, then just the lead vocal for a round with tons of delay. Cue lasers and station ID. I was listening to CISM, one of our college radio stations.

Still driving, I had to know what that was. The clock hit 5:00 exactly, so I had to sit through ten commercials for indie rock shows the station was promoting – another mind-boggling exercise, hearing snippets of all these bands that are “on the scene.” Barf. I hit the scan button a few times. I wanted to find Richard Tefry’s show on CBC Radio 2 but they were breaking for the news, too. I kept scanning. On the next station I heard synths: lots of layered synths – like Daft Punk or Depeche Mode – and I was kind of into it, but thought the song would be really, insanely heavy if there were real drums (instead of the 808, techno kick). I imagined a band that wrote orchestral, synth rock as I made a turn into some really dense Decarie traffic and learned I was listening to The Killers new single, “Human.” Not sure about that lyric: “Are we human, or are we dancer?” But it’s a little sci-fi, so I’ll let it pass.

This morning I woke up determined to find out who wrote the former eye-opener. I tapped the lyric: “I love this city tonight” into Google and there it was: Snow Patrol. “Really? Not Canadian at all.” A lot of unconventional, unexpected songs get “chosen” to play on the radio…its an exclusive club…although CISM and college radio stations play us a lot so I can’t complain. Last night, as I was making dinner, we did a really long interview with a radio station in Hawaii. Listening to the radio is like an experiment…maybe I’ll hear something interesting, revealing, terrible, laughable, unbelieveable or amazing.

One Reply to “Listening to the Radio”

  1. Well I really get educated in a wide variety of subjects on your site.A new band to seek out.
    P.S.Distractions while driving can be hazardous to your health.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s