Until recently, I hadn't listened to the radio in years, other than a little college radio here and there when somebody I knew was on. Commercial radio, though? Forget it. Not worth the electricity. Modern rock all sounds the same. Mick Jagger has more mojo at 74 (or however old he is) than all four Fall Out Boys. So much of it is just Disneyfied boy (or girl -- Hanny Montana, with whom I accidentally had my picture taken... oops) band crap. Drunken nobodies blowing the roof off some dive are a lot more fun.
Who needs new stuff? That's sort of what I used to think. Just put on some Floyd or Hendrix or Buddy Holly or Hank Williams because nothing will ever top that old stuff anyway. (And I still believe that. You can get close, but you'll never top it.)
My perspective changed when I picked a perfectly good stereo system out of the trash a couple weeks ago. It has more oomph than what I had, and I needed a cassette deck to listen to scratch recordings from rehearsal. So I set it up and turned on the radio just to test the sound quality. 101.9 RXP. What a great station! They play a mix of old stuff (but not the same 100 classic schlock songs you hear on classic rock radio) and new stuff, most of it pretty rockin'. (Right now they're playing a Zeppelin song that I can't identify, which is weird because, like every other rocker kid, I went through a Zeppelin phase where I bought and listened to every one of their albums until it bordered on pathological.)
Maybe it's nostalgia because I'm old enough to remember the pre-MTV days when you got all the latest stuff off FM radio, but it's been fun listening to the radio and discovering or re-discovering music. So far, RXP has turned me on to two bands that were only barely on my radar screen: The Raconteurs ("dude from the White Stripes" was all I really knew about this band) and Translator (I had only a vague recollection of them from back in the day). These are two rockin' outfits, man, and I don't think I would have bothered with them if I hadn't heard them in full audio on FM.
The other cool thing is that there are so many stations and formats. When I get tired of rock, I can put it on alternative or classical or jazz or salsa or whatever. It's a relief to have somebody else choosing the playlist, too.
Sweet -- they're playing Raconteur's, "Consoler of the Lonely" right now! Gotta go and rock out!
Rock on, dudes!