Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The geezers are alright

Atrios expresses pleasant surprise that people who are considerably older than his own 38 are not stuck "in an endless nostalgia loop", listening to the same songs by the Doors, Fleetwood Mac, and the Eagles, over and over and over, and instead are getting their groove on over new bands like The Arcade Fire.

Speaking as someone who will be turning 48 next month and who has actually listened to The Arcade Fire on the radio, I'd like to share with my vast global blogging audience how I managed to avoid the nostalgia loop. Our story goes back to those vintage days of the 1970s when AOR stations like Philadelphia's WMMR and WYSP played a steady diet of Kinks, Doors, Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, Steve Miller Band . . . you know what I'm talking about. Going to high school in New Castle, Delaware, those were the stations I listened to, and the music I listened to.

Fast-forward to February 1992. I'm still in New Castle, still listening to AOR stations, and the Doors' "Break On Through" comes on, and it suddenly occurs to me that after fifteen years, including The Great Doors Revival of the early 80s, I'm sick of listening to the Doors. I want to listen to something new, dammit! So I go twirling through the radio dial, and I fetch up against WXPN, a college radio station playing alternative music. Throwing Muses! L7! Matthew Sweet! Now that's more like it! The only problem was that I couldn't always pick up WXPN on the radio, but that ceased to be a problem when WIBF started simulcasting New York's WDRE in November. I even managed to attend a concert in Newark headlined by Belly (opening band: Radiohead).

All was bliss until WDRE Philadelphia was bought out in December 1996, switching over to a hiphop format on February 8, 1997. Three days later, I moved to Newport, Rhode Island, where I now listen to WBRU.

I've never voluntarily listened to the Doors again.

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