Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Your 80s Station

Here in Las Vegas we actually have a radio station designed and programmed to feed us southern Nevadans a solid, albeit unbalanced diet of 80s music. I say unbalanced because they have an entire decade of tunes to choose from, yet they have a vast library of exactly eight songs that they play in rotation. In fact, in its conceptual stage, I believe they were going to call it "The Madonna and Men at Work Station." Test audiences didn’t like it, so they went with “Star: Your 80s Station.”

Here’s why they are not MY 80s station:

First, I was a teenager in the 80s. With no real responsibilities, any cash I had went directly to purchasing cds. Any odd jobs I did for neighbors I would say “Just make my check out to The Wherehouse.” Essentially, any 80s song I want to hear now, I already own. Some 80s songs that I never want to hear again…I already own. (Debby Gibson, I’m looking in your direction.)

Second, I’m annoyed with the DJs who are introducing these 80s bands as if they had more than one hit, and they are teasing us with which possible song could be coming up next. “Coming up next, it’s Dexy’s Midnight Runners.” Hmm. Gee. What could that song BE? Could it be…'Come On Eileen?' Oh, wait…what was their other big song? Oh, right. There wasn’t one. “Coming up next, Dexy’s Midnight Runners doing a medley of their hit…”

Finally, these program directors are retarded. Just because these songs are from the same decade, doesn’t mean they should be in the same line up. Any teenager from the 80s will tell you about the natural segregation that existed then – you had hard rock, rap, punk, techno pop, top 40, alternative, R&B, reggae, and George Michael. There was no such station that played all of these songs together. But now there is. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Las Vegas’ own Star 102.7.

The DJs will actually give teasers like this: “Coming up next, it’s Duran Duran, The Cure, and The Pointer Sisters!” Huh? “Stay tuned! Coming right up we’ve got Van Halen, Guns n’ Roses, and Richard Marx!” Really? These guys are peers? I mean, could you even fathom the wedgie that Axl Rose would give Richard Marx if they met? Mr. Marx would just now be finding his underwear, in 2005. And then he would write a top 40 hit about his underwear and how he’d been right there waiting for them.

Now, here’s my favorite, and this is an actual, real-life example I heard whilst driving one day. “Right after these commercials we’ve got The Pet Shop Boys, Tiffany, and of course, Pink Floyd. So stay tuned!” OF COURSE, Pink Floyd! “OF COURSE?!” Does that sound like a natural progression? That’s like saying “For dinner we’re having pizza, breadsticks, and of course, orange juice.” “For bedtime kids, we’ll be reading The Little Engine that Could, Goodnight Moon, and of course, Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.” “My professional goals include getting a promotion, becoming top salesman, and of course, getting sued for embezzlement.”

A suggestion might be “Coming up next, Paul Simon, Tom Petty, and OF COURSE, Pink Floyd.” See, you could imagine these guys hanging out, having a conversation. Of course, that conversation would begin and end with:

“Dude, are there anymore special brownies?”
“Any Cheetos left?”

Or another possibility – “Coming up next, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, and of course, White Snake.” And you could imagine what topic would be first on their list to discuss. Right, hair products.

Despite a conversation I once had with my friend Chris Clark regarding 80s music, wherein, at the end of the conversation we concluded, “Oh, WHY did we ever have to have the 80s?” I am actually a fan of the 80s music scene. (In our defense, we had just finished singing the ‘a-buh-ba-ba-ba-buh, buh-buh-buh-buh’ part of Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up.”) Some of the stuff I like strictly for nostalgic purposes, some it’s fun to make fun while simultaneously being ashamed of knowing all the words, and some I genuinely think is outstanding music. (U2, I salute you.) Besides, if it weren’t for the 80s, we wouldn’t have the likes of Run DMC, the Beastie Boys, and of course, Hall & Oats.