One of these days I'm going to break down and get satellite radio, although that wouldn't solve my problem with what some could consider to be the "on-air talent" found on most radio stations, terrestrial and otherwise.
I'm talking about the radio disc jockey, the "jock", the... whatever the hell other word you can come up with the typically boorish and "shocking" personality that drones on endlessly between "80 minutes of 80s" rock-blocks, or whatever your local radio station provides for your listening enjoyment.
Radio jocks fall into four basic categories, which I've taken the pleasure of breaking down for you:
The Jockette: Typically does the mid-day stuff. She tries to come off as part of the scene, but her trying too hard comes across flakey. Also, these females of radio will have some-what hot voices, but in all reality, they're 400 lbs of slob.
The Shock-Jock: You can find these assholes on most mornings or afternoons. They typically work the commute listenership. They coincide with the "Morning Zoo (see below)" and when not sucking up all the air time between Foreigner B-Sides and Clash classics, they're pulling off "ridiculous" on-air pranks and gags, or getting listeners to promote the station whilsts engaged in some sort of gelastic contest for concert "tix."
The Morning Zoo: Usually a compilation of shock jocks who sit around between the hours of 5am and 10am and bitch and moan about whatever. There's usually a ring leader, someone who typically takes the moral high ground, a neaderthal-like mysogynist, a token minority and a news/weather/traffic guy. In the course of 5 hours of air-time, the Morning Zoo will take approximately 400 intelligable phone calls from listeners on cell phones in tunnels, and play about four songs.
The Couple: The most unholy of all radio jock pairings is the "typical" husband-like on air personality and the "typical" wife-like on air personality. Though not married to each other, they present a show that would be similar to getting coffee with an actual married couple every morning. In other words, an annoying pairing that would make you take a nail gun to the temple of your own head and not stop pressing the trigger until the clip was empty. The male will act in such a way to be toeing line of offensive behavior, and the female will abide good naturedly with "oh yous" and "hey nows."
Again, nail gun to the temple.
So this is primarily what I find myself having to deal with when I'm traveling around on the Cape. I want an iPod with a car adaptor really bad, because I don't see myself shelling out for a Sirus subscription any time soon, only to be faced with basically the same options, only commercial free.
I didn't know what to do, honestly, until I came across Boston Radio 92.9, which is basically someone's plugged in iPod and "robojocks" doing station IDs every half hour. A pleasent sounding male or female voice simply comes on and says "hey, you're listening to Boston Radio 92.9, here's six more songs." And you get six more songs. It's that simple.
Commercial breaks are only about 65 seconds long, approx. Granted, it's the same three commercials and it gets very repetitive, but the fact that I don't have to deal with some fat prick with a microphone talking through the first twenty seconds of a Neil Pert drum solo is a fair trade.
Why aren't there more stations like this; completely automated to just play music? It's almost the exact opposite of talk radio: music radio.
As for 92.9, their playlist is mostly songs from ten to fifteen years ago (remember Bush?! How about Eve 6?), but for someone like me, who was first creating his own musical identity in middle school, I was able to sing along from Saugus through to about the other side of New Hampshire.
If this trend continues, could contests like "carry this hotdog clenched between your ass cheeks for an Xbox" be near extinction? Will comely coeds no longer bare their "Tits for Tix?" Will the unfunny Opie and Anthony have to take jobs at Subway?
I can only hope.