Monday, June 06, 2005


I knew something was odd when I turned on the radio to clean the kitchen on Friday evening and "Stacey's Mom" was on. "Cool song," I thought, "how interesting that CBS-FM is playing it." But then when the next song started...I didn't know it. And I knew something was not only odd, but terribly wrong. WCBS-FM, NYC's oldies station, had changed, just like that, to something called "Jack." Jack is a robot station, called "Fred" or "Morty" or lord knows what else on other interchangeable stations in other interchangeable cities. There is no weather, no traffic report, no corny jokes, no DJ--just...Jack. The playlist is somebody else's I-Pod shuffle--Fountains of Wayne to Springsteen to Steely Dan to Green Day to on and on. I've got nothing against the first three artists, and in fact I have nothing against Green Day, but I wouldn't know a Green Day song if it stood up in my soup. And the thing about turning on CBS-FM at any time is that I knew I would know the song. Even if I hated the song, I would know it, and I could sing every single annoying word while I scrubbed the kitchen floor. The D.J.'s were the annoying relatives you avoid at weddings, but I knew them, too. I officially have no demographic. Where else am I going to hear Tony Orlando and Dawn when I'm sick of pretending I'm more a public radio kind of adult?

Change may be good, but Jack is evil.

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