This was the year i gave up on corporate radio. In Canada, most radio stations are owned by either Rogers or Corus. Corporate radio lies. The only Canadian station i listen to any more is Boom (http://www.boom973.com/index.aspx) -- they're independent. Unfortunately, although they play a lot of music i like, they also play a lot of dire disco nonsense from the seventies. I don't listen all that often, even though Maie Pauts, my favourite Estonian deejay,
For the past four years, my favourite radio station has been KSHE -- which is also corporate but the Ennis corporation in Indiana is not exactly a major factor in the game. They were and are acceptable.
But also, life is about change and KSHE has changed. I still listen to them, and the Sunday Klassics program is the highlight of my week. I also try to catch Tommy T's Rock Magazine at 4 a.m. but i'm not always up that early and that's highly variable: sometimes brilliant, sometimes dire. He features a different artist for an hour and he did a two-parter on Aerosmith recently -- a group i happen to hate. I skipped it.
But also, KSHE in general has changed. They seem to play fewer artists -- more songs and different songs, but by fewer performers, and too many of the performers are people i can't stand. I don't want to hear KISS or Ozzy or fucking Boston every single hour.
This year, i discovered Radio Paradise (www.radioparadise.com) and it's a brilliant station -- very eclectic, everything from Yes to Lucinda Williams to Kate Bush to African folk music to jazz. As i only ever listen to the radio in the morning, it's a very smooth way to start my day. But sometimes they're just too obscure. I like to listen to music that i can, in some way, relate to and they often don't play any.
So, the nod for the coveted Radio Station Of The Year goes to KOCI (http://www.kociradio.com/) -- album rock from Newport Beach, California. Classic rock, blues rock, soul, it's a great mix. If i have a problem with them at all, it's that they don't show what they're playing. You hear a song you like but can't identify it, there's no way to find out what it is (except maybe Googling the lyrics, but that doesn't always work). They played something -- a Rory Gallagher rarity -- and i emailed them and asked its provenance, but they didn't reply.
They also "feature" artists. One hour, they'll play three songs (not in succession) by The Beatles, the next hour it'll be three songs by The Moody Blues, etc.
I listen to them now more than to anyone else.
4 hours ago