Thursday, May 5, 2011


Months ago, I bought a new Lexus, and by new of course I mean used. Did I say used? I meant to say Certified Pre-Owned, that was an Orwellian slip.

As part of their CPO service, every Lexus that leaves the lot is entitled to a 3-month trial program of XM/Sirius radio. Cool, I thought, as I would never spend the money for all those radio stations even if they were exponentially better than standard FM. Needless to say, the sounds coming from my neighbor's garage are better than today's FM radio.

So I took XM/Sirius up on their free offer and activated the system. And for a man who is not often pleasantly surprised, I was pleasantly surprised.

There were so many choices. Good choices. I had 18 pre-sets to choose and they went fast. There's Classic Vinyl, that seemed to be a must. There's BB King Bluesville, where I can listen to to the rocking sounds of Pinetop Perkins, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson and Big Maceo Merriweather. Truth be told, I like the nicknames as much or more than the music. There's even a channel dedicated entirely to Big East Sports, you know so I can follow the pathetic demise of the once-proud Syracuse Football program.

One of my favorite stations is/was E Street Radio. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year of nothing but Bruce Springsteen. I say was because for the first few weeks it was great to be able to hear cuts from his vast albumography or his numerous live concerts.

But too much of a good thing can be too much of a good thing.

There's only so many times I want listen to Badlands or Human Touch or Johnny 99 (which mentions my beloved Mahwah, NJ where I spent so much of my drunken youth.) Furthermore, while I love his music, Bruce's concert banter leaves much to be desired. He stumbles and stutters. And has this annoying way of laughing at his own not-too-funny jokes.

My heart goes out to the DJ's who drew the short straw and have to host E Street Radio for a living. That has to be the radio version of purgatory. Making New Jersey seem glamorous is difficult enough. But imagine having to listen, praise, idolize and hype the exploits of one man -- one very talented man -- every waking minute of every waking day.

I suspect it's like being Catholic.

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