Before I go into this mini-rant, I qualify what I’m about to write with this basic fact: even when I’m bashing Sirius, it’s still much better than XM. I first tried XM more than two years ago but cancelled it because the music channels began playing more commercials, quickly approaching the level of terrestrial radio. If I wanted terrestrial radio, I’d turn it on. I didn’t, which is why I subscribed to satellite radio. Also, the diversity of music became, shall we say, eclectic. More and more songs crept into the playlists that I didn’t know. I don’t mind hearing new songs; I’ve found some of my favorite artists and songs through accidental wandering across the (satellite) radio dial and browsing through music stores. But I don’t want a plethora of songs that are closer to cats copulating than actual music. I want to want to listen again. XM didn’t stopped providing that, so I stopped provided my credit card number.
Last year, I subscribed to Sirius, which was inevitable because I’ve been a shareholder for more than 18 months. I immediately loved it. There are songs I actually know on the mainstream channels and songs I enjoy discovering on the non-mainstream channels. Plus, I get to listen to Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood, and Alan Hunter. I needed nothing else and completely abandoned terrestrial radio, except for Don and Mike and Howard Stern. I enjoy the change.
A few months ago, though, I decided I needed to give XM another try. I did this knowing that my subscription to Sirius would remain. I wanted XM for the baseball coverage. The additional music choices would be a bonus. Except they turned out to be junk. The problem of having a terrible playlist has gotten worse. After the first few weeks, I stopped scanning other music stations on XM. Now, when if I’m not listening to the baseball coverage on XM, I’m not listening to XM.
But baseball was enough to break the barrier to my wallet. Except it’s not any more. XM can’t even get the baseball coverage correct. It hooked me from the beginning because wall-to-wall baseball is excellent. Yet, my urgency to listen to anything other than the Phillies broadcasts and “The Show with Rob Dibble and Kevin Kennedy” died. I do not enjoy the morning baseball show, not because of content but because of the deejays. It’s baseball, not music, so I didn’t expect deejays. I don’t want deejays. Mark Patrick is a deejay from beginning to end. His “act” wore thin within days. His vocal inflection is pure large-market, focus-group-tested deejay babble. I hate it. Yet, he sounds like heaven when compared to Buck Martinez. I don’t know where Martinez learned to do radio but he needs to ask for his money back. He has the worst up-and-down, wobbly, half-drunk, half-stroke inflected voice ever broadcast on radio. I can’t listen. So I don’t. When I’m paying
$9.95 $12.95 for the service, I have to question why I’m paying.
The decisive factor, though, is much simpler. It’s very simple to broadcast a baseball game that another radio station is covering. The only requirement for XM is to flip the switch. They can’t even do that right. I know there are technical issues, blah, blah, blah, but that’s not an excuse. The marketing
literature lies promised me every game. Showing up near the end of the first inning is not every game. If you’re not giving me every pitch, they’re lying to me. And by lying to me, they’re stealing from me.
Sirius hasn’t lied to me. I get what they promise. At work, I used to listen to my mp3 player, but now I just listen to Sirius all day. (An actual benefit from having my desk in an atrium, to go along with the sunburn, is that I get excellent satellite radio reception.) That I haven’t tired of it even though I listen almost eight hours every work day is proof of concept. I abandoned terrestrial radio for something new. More often than not, Sirius satisfies that. Even when it fails, it fails less often and on a smaller scale than XM. So I stick with Sirius.
When it fails, though, it annoys me. Which is the point of my mini-rant, which seemed to have started a few paragraphs ago but is really just beginning now. Mark Goodman, Nina Blackwood, and Alan Hunter are the only deejays on Sirius who I enjoy. I enjoy them because of nostalgia (they’re on the Big ’80s) and because they don’t act like the normal moron deejays. They don’t give ridiculous inflections. I normally hate deejay stories, but when those three offer them, they’re usually relevant to something. There’s a theme. It’s acceptable.
Some of the other stations, though, pester lilsteners with deejays who think they work at the local Lite-FM station. Ugh. I don’t want dull stories about their dogs or their friends or their neighbors. Unless it’s me, I don’t care. Their mothers are the only ones who care and I’m not convinced about that. If they want to tell personal stories, they should get a blog and type with weird spelling and no punctuation like every pre-teen who might be interested. Otherwise, shut up and
drop the needle onto the record push play on the computer. It’s not complicated. Sometimes, it’s so over the top that it makes me mad.
Listening to Jim Kerr this morning, the deejay on Sirius 31 New Country, provided me with a specific example of why I hate deejays with a passion. I will offer it to you now.
Because he can’t just shut up, he must “talk up” the record, giving an introduction until the moment before singing starts. The witty Mr. Kerr offered this wonderful transition.
That was “There Goes My Life” by Kenny Chesney. I’m looking forward to seeing the second episode of “Revelations” on NBC tonight. Here’s SHeDAISY with “Little Good-byes”.
Not only is that the most ADD scatter-brained transition ever, it’s also flat-out wrong. Revelations is on at 9pm on NBC. Everyone knows that the only show on television tonight worth looking forward to is Alias. That it’s on at 9pm only makes the argument for Revelations more useless. Duh.
You want a revelation, Mr. Kerr, I’ll give you one. Just wait for the amazing way Jack Bristow evades his latest hurdle, a nuclear radiation-induced genetic mutation.