8.02.2011

Chicago's Music Stations

Recently, we (Chicagoans) were all struck by shock and disbelief when we learned that our beloved 101.1 (Q101) and 105.9 (Fresh) radio stations were going to be disintegrated within a matter of a few weeks.

As soon as I heard the bad news via Facebook, from disgruntled friends' wall posts, I was left pondering what to do with my radio-listening time during commutes. You could tell people wanted to revolt, but how do you revolt to a monopoly (Clear Channel Media) squashing radio stations?

So many of my high school friends had grown up with Q101 that I had even gotten used to tuning in every so often. I listened intently to them last year when they were on a Muse kick in honor of the band's March concert. Good times.

So what's left for a gal to do in a music desert?

I unsubscribed from XM radio back in April. It ticked me off how much they charged after 1 year of service, even though the service itself was quite lovely. I fondly remember pleasantly listening to the Swing and BBC channels almost continuously as soon as I found out they existed! Would I have kept my XM day robbery subscription had I known? Probably not.

My trusty tunes standbys now are: 95.9 (The River), 90.9 (College of DuPage Jazz), and 96.7 (Star). I apply a little contemporary dash with 101.9 (The Mix), 103.5 (Kiss FM), and 96.3 (B96) but I switch elsewhere if they have hip hop. I will never understand why grown men need to sing about women's body parts and what they're going to hit with what. Seriously?

But I do miss Fresh, a station that focused on 90s and early 00s. It sure brought back tons of memories from high school and college. Alas, it's now been converted into an experiment, broadcasting Chicago's WBBM AM news radio in the FM band.  I had just gotten so happy knowing I could switch to Fresh any time and listen to some great 90s and early 00s songs. Well, no more. :o(

I've also been able to rely on my Pandora. I recently created a Wilco/Dathcab for Cutie/Killers radio station, which I hope to keep grooming to sound a little indie, a little folksy, and a lot alternative. However, hooking up the phone and pulling up Pandora seems like it takes an eternity in comparison to just pushing the radio memory button to a favorite station.

Oh well, time will get me used to this change to my commuting life's soundtrack. I hope.