I don’t listen to local radio a whole lot.
Sure, I’ll tune in for a ballgame here or there, but when it comes to listening to music while driving, I generally like to make my own picks.
Because my wife and I share vehicles, however, and our musical tastes very often clash, I can usually count on hearing the radio at least a little bit every day when I start up the car to head for work.
The dial will be locked into whatever station she was listening to last, and my CD ejected and lying there on the passenger seat.
Through that routine, I guess I’m familiar enough with the choices that are out there on the FM airwaves around these parts.
And it would seem to me that between those monotone voices at the bottom of the dial and the distorted guitars near the top lies mostly hit country and what now is termed as classic rock. Sometimes hip-hop finds its way through the static.
While I might fix the dial on any of those choices for a little while, chances are I won’t stay there for very long. And overall, there’s just not a lot of variety.
That’s where Mix 106.7 won me over, at least a little bit. I can think of no other station ever picked up on my receiver in Hanover that had nearly as bizarre a playlist.
And I once waited-out a power outage while “Unskinny Bop” played in the background on a battery-powered radio.
While Stone Temple Pilots and Pearl Jam are pretty frequent FM finds — and even are branded as classic rock nowadays — on Mix, you might hear Marky Mark sandwiched in between them. And that whole music block might be bookended by Eddie Money and Montell Jordan.
It was unpredictable, and fun just because of that. And it all went away in the middle of the day about a week ago, when the station I grew up knowing as Z-107 returned to a country format.
Truth be told, I can’t get too worked up about the change. I typically was an accidental listener anyway. What’s a guy to do when he turns the key and the speakers buzz to life with, say, “Whoomp! There it is”?
But I definitely can do without that occasional brush with the previously familiar. My wife, on the other hand, looks at the format change with sadness. She’s a radio-head to begin with, and returned from work early in the morning on the day of the transition, turning off the ignition to the tune of Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Poison.” When she next started the car — perhaps after ejecting one of my CDs — the station was playing a country song she couldn’t identify because she hates just about all country music equally.
The overhaul seemingly was accompanied by little fanfare. The station’s own website, the URL of which remains www.mix1067fm.com, appears to make no mention of its recent transformation to Z Country 106.7.
Maybe they’re talking about it on the radio, and I’m just not listening. And maybe somebody somewhere blogged about the change. But the only news I could turn up on a Google search was part of a wikipedia post about the station, which says Z Country dropped its “GenX format” at 1:06 p.m. on Jan. 20, and the country format puts the station in competition with WRBT-FM 94.9.
In any case it would seem the change is here to stay, and the local airwaves have added yet another hit country station.
And who knows how long it will be before any of us again gets such musical advice as “Never trust a big butt and a smile.”