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radio to the power of x…

A while back, I had SIRIUS Satellite Radio. Air America Radio left their lineup, I did as well. I should have done more research instead of blindly jumping in headfirst with SIRIUS. I soon came to the realization that SIRIUS’s playlists on all of their music channels was quite repetitive and overplayed, the very antithesis of what satellite radio should be. A big old yawn is what their music channels are.

I’d listened to their competitor, the #1 satellite radio service in America, xm.

xm satellite radio

TOTALLY, UTTERLY AMAZING!!!

And now, we have 72 channels of xm satellite radio on DIRECTV! It’s really refreshing to hear great music. I love alternative rock, and xm delivers big with three (3), count them three channels:

All of the following channel descriptions are from xm’s website for each respective channel.

Fred is where you’ll find the music long ago banished from regular radio. This massive library of forgotten music has it’s own home on Fred.

Fred likes the Violent Femmes, Simple Minds, Dead Milkmen, U2, New Order, Ministry, XTC, The Buzzcocks, R.E.M., Love & Rockets, The Damned, Bauhaus, The Ramones, Jesus & Mary Chain, Joy Division, X, Social Distortion, Talking Heads, Iggy Pop, The Replacements, Erasure and tons more can be heard on Fred.

The Killers of Alternative

Lucy is all about the most important and well known songs in the history of Alternative Music. While Fred, Ethel, Squizz and other XM Alt channels go deep, Lucy is about the encores…the giants…the defining songs of the generation. Non Stop. Just music. Just the killers. 24/7.

“A.K.” Alternative Gems

On September 24th, 1991 alternative music entered a new era. Nirvana’s Nevermind was released and grunge became a nationwide phenomenon. Taking the hand-off from Fred – XM 44, Ethel is here to satisfy your craving for all the tunes that have been released A.K. (After Kurt), all completely uncensored. If you don’t know the music on Ethel, you may have been unconscious for the last decade…or you may have only been hearing the 3 singles they ever play on FM. On Ethel, expect to hear deep tracks from many HUGE artists…songs that were never played on the radio, but you know ’em cuz you bought the CD. Right?

I’d say it’s a toss-up between ETHEL and LUCY as my favorite xm channels. xm has really outdone themselves: ETHEL is heads and shoulders above SIRIUS’s alt-rock channel, Alt Nation, due to the simple fact that ETHEL, and every other xm music channel, has one thing SIRIUS is afraid of: a much, much deeper playlist. The reason people purchase satellite radio is to not hear the same top ten songs over and over and over, or the same worn-out top ten songs from a decade or so ago. Case in point, xm is currently airing a theme show on ETHEL, Faded Flannel. It’s nothing but great, iconic grunge songs from the early ’90s, from bands that rose to prominence from the Pacific Northwest. THAT’S dedication to a genre and THAT’S only one of the reasons xm’s kicking SIRIUS’s ass in subscribers and marketing. Sure, SIRIUS will amp up their marketing and whatnot when Howard Stern arrives in January, but so what? One shock jock does not a great service make.

There ARE two other channels I also enjoy…

From Grunge to Hip Hop; Techno to Soft Hits. From Old School to R&B; Freestyle Dance to Teen Pop Sensations. The music of the 90s MEANS diversity. And the 90s on 9 brings all the different music styles and the excitement to you 24 hours a day.

Join us for personalities that are fun and upbeat, lots of special guests from the music and entertainment world of the 90s, and all the flavors of music that make the 90s unique!

AND…

The Virus Returns. Spread the Virus.

Beware, this is radio like you’ve never heard it before. Irreverent, uncensored, so good you won’t want to stop listening. Featuring outrageous radio from Opie & Anthony, weekday mornings 7-11AM ET with additional encores around the clock. And, the “Best Of Opie and Anthony” all weekend. Plus, Ron and Fez join the antics on High Voltage. These two comics jump on the air right after Opie & Anthony and deliver non-stop laughter each weekday morning from 11AM – 2PM ET, encores at Midnight ET.

In the early-mid 90s, there was one and only one radio show I adored…I would purchase Maxell blank cassette tapes in the summer and tape show after show after show. I would get up at 6AM almost every weekday morning, turn on WZAT-FM (Z102 – Savannah’s Rock & Roll Radio; it’s now a crappy Top 40/Hot Adult Contemporary hybrid owned by Cumulus Broadcasting), and bask in the aural glory that was The Ron & Ron Show. Hosted by Ron Diaz, Ron Bennington, and the larger-than-life Fez Marie Whatley, it was comedic gold. They had various characters (“Andre The Giant”, “Iris”, a crotchety old woman, many others) and Paul-O, their resident movie reviewer who was also their go-to guy whenever they’d want to do a stunt (when Tupac Shakur got a tattoo of the words “Thug Life” on his stomach, they made Paul-O get one too; on New Year’s Eve 1996, he was sent, in an adult diaper, to area fast food restaurants and convenience stores to relieve himself). The guys would also devote shows to certain topics – overrated bands, cartoons; one show was Ron Bennington telling the guys how he’d knock out various animals. I simply cannot do the show justice.

St. Patrick’s Day 1996, Fez and Paul-O came to Savannah. I actually went with my mother at 9:30 at night and met Fez at the airport. There were only a handful of us but Fez was gracious and happy to see us. The next day he and Paul-O were at the Saturn of Savannah car dealership where I got a Ron&Ron black license plate, ate a few hot dogs, drank some Coke, and chatted with the guys.

After Ron Diaz left the show, various other Rons were tried and then Clear Channel bought the company that owned the show’s syndication rights and didn’t pick up the show. I was crestfallen. I’d heard of Ron & Fez having their own show on various stations throughout the years: the now-defunct-as-a-rock-station WKRO in Orlando, WNEW in New York, WJFK in D.C., always wishing I could hear them again.

NOW I CAN! It’s been a breath of fresh air hearing them again, although Fez had a mild heart attack last week. He’s fine – he had an angioplasty and will be back in two weeks (The show’s going on a break next week for Thanksgiving). Fez also found out he has diabetes. He’s called in a few times (the latest being during today’s show). So get well Fez!

Sorry if this was long-winded but I’m happy to have my favorite radio show back.

I’m also really loving xm and am seriously considering picking up their portable receiver for only $99, since they’ve got some really good discount deals for DIRECTV customers. They also have a car unit available for only $49!

I will be seeing Good Night, And Good Luck this weekend, and maybe Walk The Line.

Masters of Horror is on tonight. Steven Weber scripted and stars in this Dario Argento (Suspiria)-directed episode, “Jenifer” about a cop who becomes obssessed with a very unique young woman.

The first two discs of the first season of Veronica Mars are winging their way to me via Netflix. I’ve already converted my mother into a Desperate Housewives fan. Now to make her love the best show on television!

Also on the ‘TO WATCH’ pile from work are Kingdom of Heaven and Layer Cake. I’ll update you with any progress I make, TiVo or film-wise.

And South Park really skewered the false heterosexuality of Tom Cruise and the false religion of Scientology in their recent episode, “Trapped In The Closet”. It replays all weekend; check it out, it’s hilarious.

The Comedians of Comedy airs at 8PM on Showtime tonight. It’s a feature-length documentary about the comedy tour of some of the best comedians around today: Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Zach Galifianakis, and Maria Bamford. It’s also a series on Comedy Central, but they’re both different. By that I mean it’s different footage – the series is more about their journey on the road, while I’d imagine the movie features more of each comic’s respective stand-up routine.

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About blackmarketwit

A blog written by a progressive individual (read: liberal…see, the word’s not evil) living in Anchorage, Alaska.This blog will be the thoughts and impressions I have about the political zeitgeist of our country, indie film, indie rock, books, coffee, television programming, how much I love Netflix, and any and everything in between.

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