Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Radio Station That's Really Trying

I rarely use this space to write about non-digital matters. But every once in a while I stumble upon a profound offline experience. In this case, analog (gasp!).

Let me make one thing clear: I don't listen to radio much any more. Why? Non-stop commercials, bubble-gum-crap, constant-loop-soundtracks are all that can be found on New York radio stations. And classic rock stations keep the same old songs on rotation all day. Even the so-called "rock stations" are often irrelevant. For these reasons, I haven't gone out of my way to stream any New York FM stations or tune into much more than NPR during my once-a-week drive in my car.

Then I found 101.9 RXP. Recently re-branded into "The New York Rock Experience," it's hard to imagine that this station formerly broadcast only smooth jazz. RXP plays very few commercials, which is either because they don't have advertisers yet, or they're incredibly considerate to their listeners. I'd like to think it's the latter. They found non-chatty DJ's (get out!), with veterans such as Matt Pinfield, whose familiar, raspy voice is still welcome.

After listening for hours today on this snowed-in, freezing cold Sunday, RXP managed to not repeat one song, delivering unique music from upcoming bands, current alt rock chart-toppers, and established classics. These aren't the hit songs that get regular radio play - they're B-sides from the likes of: Elvis Costello, AC/DC, Led Zep, Tom Petty, The Police, Kaiser Chiefs, Death Cab, Interpol, Killers and Kings Of Leon.

It's nice to see a radio station that's really trying.

1 comment:

Matthew said...

Hey Brandon-
This is Matt Pinfield...Thank you so much for the kind words and support of WRXP! We are trying to do something different with FM radio and I really appreciate that you picked up on it! Our focus on local music is also extremely important to us. hope I run into you sometime.

all the best

MP