A remarkable thing happened at precisely 7:47 p.m. yesterday, as I was driving home from work and "tuning in the shine on the light night dial."
A local radio station played Elvis Costello‘s indictment of the sterile radio industry, "Radio Radio." You may have noted previously that I have a certain affinity for this song, as I do for the work of Declan MacManus in general.
Anyway, it was a bit of a milestone. The new WXRY, 99.3 — first recommended to me by one of my children — is doing a very creditable job of living up to its stated mission as an "independent alternative station," to "make radio special again." The management says it believes that the following principles "are essential for a great radio station:"
- Intelligent presentation, passion and respect for the music
- No limits on the number of songs we play
- Support local music
- Treat listeners with respect
- Intense community involvement
- The courage to be different
- Avoid the trap of playing the same songs 7 or 8 times a day
That’s from the Web site. On the air, it also promotes itself as a station that doesn’t run "adult entertainment" ads that send you lunging for the dial when you have your kids in the car with you.
I like that. I don’t like the fact that sometimes it’s a little hard to get the station without static, and I can’t say I like everything they play, but it’s worth checking out — you know, for when you’re driving in the car and it’s not safe to be reading the newspaper.