Jamison Trumpets

FM Radio vs Satellite Radio vs My Goddamn iPod

December 4th, 2010 by DanielRGT

Since I’ve been home for so long in Miami, I have had to drive everywhere for the past year or so. Miami isn’t really a convenient place to walk anywhere, and taking the public transportation here is the same as:

A) Asking a stranger on the street to steal your money
B) Asking a stranger on the street to stab you
C) Asking a stranger on the street to stab you and steal your money, not necessarily in that order

Like any normal person, being stabbed and mugged is not in my to-do list for the day (at least not on a Monday) so I generally like to avoid that outcome. So I end up driving everywhere to do the things I want to do. The nice thing about driving is that you don’t have to deal with strangers, but the annoying part is that if you aren’t driving somebody it’s pretty boring. This is where music plays a key factor in an enjoyable driving experience.

It is of my opinion that if I own an iPod, then I shouldn’t have to listen to my stupid radio. Originally, I used to have one of those radio-wave iPod things for my car that would transmit my iPod to a radio station that I could tune into and enjoy immensely, but thanks to the ever prominent scientific law that states, “anything you touch must either erupt into flames or be grinded into dust over time by the universe.” This time the device decided to be grinded into dust, and is no longer with us on this planet (or rather it still is, it’s just in many pieces).

So lately I have been stuck listening to the radio. It’s not necessarily a bad thing really; occasionally the radio plays songs I really enjoy. If I’m very lucky they will play them in succession and by the time I am out of the car my day is already on a high note. Unfortunately, much like the ever fluctuating stock market, radio stations in Miami are constantly changing.

When I was growing up, I only knew of about 5 or 6 main stations that people enjoyed. They were the following:

1) Pop Channel. Your generic piece of shit pop channel that plays generic piece of shit pop
2) Classic Rock Channel. Your generic classic rock channel that plays the same old classics, a lot.
3) Oldies. Your piece of shit disco channel that plays really bad music (i.e. disco)
4) Spanish Channel. Your piece of foreign shit channel that plays songs where you have no clue what the singer is saying, but there sure are a lot of trumpets in these songs.
5) Rap Channel. Your generic piece of shit rap channel that doesn’t play music, because rap isn’t music.
6) Alternative Rock Channel. Your generic piece of shit ROCK CHANNEL that plays rock songs that are ass.
7) Bonus Smooth Jazz channel. Only played to set the mood before trying to bed someone.

While I wasn’t too fond of the radio, at least there was some variety in the things you could listen to. There was essentially a station for everyone; life was simple and people lived happy lives.

Now, however, thanks to the wonderful world that is Miami we have had a hostile takeover in radio stations. We still have the pop channel and the classic rock channel, but basically every other radio station that I grew up with has turned into something completely different.  First of all, the oldies channel one day with no warning whatsoever decided that rap was a much better genre to play instead. This must have surprised many people who tuned in the next morning to suddenly hear songs about “dat ass” rather than songs about souls and trains and shit.

Just recently in fact, the station that used to play rock music just recently underwent a hostile takeover by a gang of mothers and they have  decided that what once was a place for distortion and shitty rock solos is now a place for holiday themed christmas music appropriate for all ages. The idea is that rock music is the devil and that if you listen to rock music your head will explode because of the pure evil that seeps into it. This is, of course, a ridiculous notion since there’s only like a 5% death rate by head explosion due to rock demons these days. Unfortunately, the mothers won the station though and have begun playing music geared towards their market group: mothers who hate loud noises and like shitty Christmas jingles.

Unfortunately, the stations that haven’t changed (such as the Classic Rock Channel, which is my channel of choice) ends up becoming annoying as well. You turn it on and hear a song you like and say to yourself, “Yea, this song is really great!” Then you realize that the song they just played is one of the 20 songs they are willing to play on that radio station. Every 20 or so songs, the same Bon Jovi song will come up and after that the same shitty song declaring how one should pour sugar on me is played. It’s annoying when you loathe these songs with a passion.

Then there’s satellite radio to deal with. Satellite radio is pretty cool for some people because there are so many stations to choose from. They can choose from 80s music to 70s music and they can keep going back decades until the music being played is simply the sounds of rocks being hit together to form a caveman symphony.

This becomes a problem, however, when the choices become too detailed or too hard to decipher. When the title of  the channel is called “Vinyl”, I have a hard time deciphering what the FUCK that means without having to listen for a song or two to see the genre. The words suddenly have no meaning to me anymore, and they could literally put any placeholder word to replace them and I wouldn’t know the difference. In addition, if I am driving I don’t really want to take my eyes off of the road to navigate the hundreds of channels available to me on top of trying to decipher their hieroglyphics. It’s a bit hard to explain to the officer that the reason you rear ended the person in front of you is because you were having trouble understanding what the fuck Vinyl means.

The ultimate end-all of music in the car ends up being your own personal music device. With the iPod, I choose what I want to hear and not some shitty DJ who is always annoying and enthused about shit I don’t care about (example: farts). The only downside to this is that if you are in a car with people all of a sudden, your taste in music is suddenly exposed. If you’re on a date with a girl and you turn on your iPod to shuffle and it pops up “YMCA” which you put as a joke, your date is immediately ruined unless you can come up with a godlike save to explain your interest in gay music (Protip: you can’t).

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