It’s a sad day for rock fans in the New York/New Jersey area. 101.9RXP, the only rock station in the area, is going off-air as of tonight. They’ll still exist in website form, but that doesn’t do much good for those of us who relied on RXP to control road rage during rush hour.
I’m bitterly disappointed. Honestly, I am not a huge music person, and mainly listen when I’m in the car driving to and from work. However, I really, really, really hate pop music. The only genre I generally enjoy is rock and left to my own devices I’d probably spend all day listening to early and mid-90’s punk and riotgrrl bands exclusively. Effectively, my musical leanings froze at age 18.
However, I’ve long recognized I need some variety in my life, hence listening to RXP instead of the same 30 albums over and over again – or worse yet the dozen same-sounding pop songs in rotation on the dozen Clear Channel radio stations in NYC! After K-Rock went off the air a few years ago, RXP was it for rock radio in this area. And they were generally good. Did I love everything they played? No, but they generally made good background noise, and, hey, FM radio was free. Can’t complain about free.
Of course, now that FM radio is being slowly replaced with streaming music, there goes my easy solution to morning commute entertainment. I said before that my musical tastes are fairly specific, and I mean it. I’ll use Pandora or Slacker on occasion, but I see no reason to pay for these services. Spotify briefly caught my eye, but at $10/month for mobile access, they lost me. That’s $120/year. I don’t spend that much on albums in a given year; I’m not going to spend it on streaming music.
So this is disappointing for me. I recognize that anything offbeat or non-pop has a hard time on the radio, and I never listened to RXP expecting any personal favorites to play, but RXP did a lot to showcase local bands, they sponsored great rock shows, and they provided a place where you could enjoy rock. Not synthesized pop, not a diva wandering around in an outfit made of meat, but a guitar, drums, maybe a bass, and a bunch of friends having a good time. Deep social and political commentary optional.
And with this rant, I will leave you with my one of my favorite songs, by my favorite band of all time. You’ll never hear them on the radio (and not just because they broke up a few years ago), but this song perfectly encapsulates the music industry, and by extension radio!
Note: If you’re in the tri-state area and angry at the cancellation of RXP, be sure to use the “contact us” links on their parent company’s website.