My Morning Radio

I drive to work each morning from Annapolis to Baltimore.  The 28 mile ride takes about 40 to 50 minutes depending on traffic in the city.  I generally don’t hit traffic before entering the war-torn roadways of Baltimore.  Well, at least the road conditions seem war-torn.  I used to drive the the North Linthicum Light Rail station, then commute via public transportation.  It would take about 75 minutes to get to work, but the ride on the light rail and subway made for excellent reading time.  I was devouring books.

It turns out that reading books while driving is frowned upon by our boys in blue here in Maryland, so I’ve been reading fewer books lately…though I’m still reading.  I’m currently amidst The Nautical Chart by Arturo Perez-Reverte.  I recently finished One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer by Nathaniel Fick which was really good.

For a while in Fredericksburg, I drove a mid-90s (can’t recall the specific year) Dodge Dakota with no radio (or rear window).  When I came to MD, I bought a 1990 Toyota Camry and basked in the awesomeness of having a radio for a few months.  The Dakota was passed on to a great friend.  I then got a 2000 Honda Civic with no radio.  I sold the Camry and switched to the much, much, much more comfortable and reliable Civic.  I had no radio in that car for several months.  About a month ago, the car was undergoing some unrelated repairs, and my family’s mechanic installed the radio, which had been sitting on my passenger seat for quite some time.

I’ve spent the last month trying to decide what to listen to on the radio on my way to work.  On the way home, I generally listen to my iPod or a CD (Yesterday was August Burns Red cranked way loud…can’t wait to go see them Nov. 17).  On the way to work, I sometimes listen to music, but sometimes it’s nice to get a news report, weather report or traffic report.  For that, the radio is a must.  And yet, I cannot find a station in the Baltimore area that is satisfying.

105.7 The Fan is my usual, but the truth is I’m not really a manly man.  I like poetry and theater, so when they start to discuss the nuances of sports other than Ravens Football, I check out.

95.1 ShineFM is where I go if I need some Positive Hits to start off my day.  In case you didn’t know, “Positive Hits” is a code word for “Christian Music.”  The DJs on this show are semi-entertaining.  A million times more entertaining the WPER morning crew, which was the “Family-Friendly” (another code word) station in Fredericksburg.  The probably with ShineFM is that the playlist is too short.  I hear the same six songs every day on the way to work.  I didn’t even like Jeremy Camp’s “Jesus Saves” the first time, and hearing it every morning is not helping.  “Jesus Saves” makes me think of opening a bank account.

Today, I went in search of a better station to listen to.  I want something that is occasionally funny, informative and relevant.  I don’t want something that’s not local.  I don’t want something vulgar or something that’s biggest asset is it’s ability to make fun of people.  That’s dumb.

My wife, Becky, and my former office-mate, Jess, can attest that I will not settle musically and I’m finding that I won’t settle for just any ole talk radio either.

Maybe I should give up and either start listening to Baltimore Orioles draft reports or just plug back into my iPod.

It makes me think of The Atari’s song “The Radio Still Sucks.” Every now and then, I turn it on again, but it’s plain to see that the radio still sucks.

Maybe I should take advice from Alkaline Trio’s “We’ve Had Enough” and put on “Walk Among Us” and turn it up.

Good bye and good night.


2 thoughts on “My Morning Radio

  1. The commute from Richmond to Fredericksburg is why I ended up getting an iPod. The radio stations were boring, and since I had a gazillions CDs at home, and there were two gazillions songs on the NHS music drive, I dumped everything on there and trusted my iPod to shuffle itself (and me) to Fredericksburg and back. When it hit on an artist I had forgotten about, I would usually listen to a whole album, or at least a few of their songs…before getting bored again and re-shuffling.

    Now that I have a 12 minute commute, I don’t listen to nearly as much music as I did. When I’m not dead tired when I get home, I pour over my CDs wondering what to listen to. Usually, that takes too much effort, and I end up shuffling the iPod again.

    I heart music.

  2. The best station in F-burg is WFLS and yes that is a country station. And no I am not even a true country lover. I do like that Jesus Saves song though.

    I feel 99.5 is an excellent upbeat station. And, I feel like we’ve had this conversation, but DC101 pretty much plays the same stuff they did when we used to live in MD before. And those songs are pretty good.

    The best station still remains 106.7 Lancaster-Harrisburg-York – 90’s rock and hip hop. … thank you, Alan and Jacqui.

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