New York radio station 101.9 (RXP) announced this week that they will be changing formats beginning next week, switching from it's current format of "alternative" rock music to 24 hours of news aimed at 40 year old women (?). With that, there are (once again) no modern rock stations in New York, the biggest market in the country. What are we left with?
- Z-100 and KTU- the dominant radio stations in New York, that basically play whatever 14 year old girls listen to.
- Hot 97 and Power 105- that mostly plays southern rap that talks about cocaine.
- Q104- that plays the same Pink Floyd and Creedence Clearwater songs on a loop for the past 40 years.
- Lite FM-the soundtrack at any dentist's office.
- Mega and La Calle- Spanish stations that are usually played in bodegas.
- QXR- The classical music station that is played at certain Asian tailors and dry cleaners.
- Conservative talk radio- the majority of AM stations are further to the right than Joseph McCarthy.
- ESPN and WFAN- Sports radio that your dad listens to in the car.
- Kiss FM- Station that older black folk listen to who don't like cocaine (at least don't like people rapping about selling it).
What's missing from that vast, sad musical landscape? Rock n roll, of course (or at least modern rock, unless your idea of "modern" is whenever Slippery When Wet was released). Since Howard Stern decided he didn't want to have his naughty words bleeped out, thereby taking down KROCK with him, there's been a rocking void in our city. KROCK wasn't all that great but at least you could turn it on at some point and maybe hear a Nirvana song or the occasional Tool song that you don't mind that much, but RXP was more like a cool ipod. It's without a doubt the only station around here that played Arcade Fire and Pixies records on a regular basis, as well as being a legitimate station for underground and unsigned bands to get some shine. They recently played my cousin's very good up and coming band (shameless plug) Last Stand for Lucy's singles, and I'm pretty sure that won't happen on Elvis Durant's show any time soon. Besides the more hip stuff that you could find on one of those college radio indie shows, though, RXP also wasn't afraid to have unhip bands on their playlists. I attended a Weezer show in December sponsored by the station and hosted by bald music geek Matt Pinfield, and that's the type of band that you won't see at Jingle Ball but are also past their hipness expiration date for those other cool stations. On any given hour, you could hear Pearl Jam followed by The Cars, and then some Gogol Bordello right after that. I guess anyone could get that on Pandora or through their I pod jack, but there's something about turning on a radio in your car or at home that's unlike just listening to your own self-tailored digital playlist. Unfortunately, the kids don't want to rock anymore, so New York is robbed of rock radio yet again. Turn up that Michael Savage.