Friday, June 5, 2009


I might not have been flooded with nostalgia during my stroll around my college campus, but I'll tell you, the First Wave XM Satellite radio station I listened to in my Pontiac Vibe on the road trip: now that was some serious nostalgia.

I was an "early adopter" of new wave music, back in my sullen junior high years, thanks to "92.7, WLIR: Long Island Radio!", and my musical choices pretty much determined my group of friends in my experimental-hairstyle high school years. It was all about music for us, and our triumverate of musical gods was, at least for a time, Joe Strummer, Ian McCulloch, and Paul Weller (clearly, we had a thing for the Brits).

So XM Satellite radio: Why didn't anyone tell me? It's so perfect for road trips - every single song was familiar, I knew all the lyrics, and I sang along very loudly for basically seven hours, altogether. Sadly, I did find that (perhaps not surprisingly to some of you), a lot of that music just doesn't hold up. Some of it was just so tinny, and then I couldn't get behind "Shock the Monkey," for example, or "Synchronicity II" - just too odd. (Then again, I was completely into "Girlfriend in a Coma," despite its absurdity - Morrissey with a girlfriend??)

Also, as I remember from my college DJ days, I just do not like when a song fades out instead of coming to an end. I mean, really: are there other works of art that just trail off? Novels that finish up with dot-dot-dot in the middle of a chapter, or paintings that just kind of peter out on the edges?

Then there were songs that I scorned back in my super-scornful teen years, but that now I find completely irresistible, such as "Don't You Want Me" and "Hungry Like the Wolf" - I nearly had a panic attack when the satellite signal faded out during this one.

And then there are the ones that I loved back then, and that I love now: "Should I Stay or Should I Go Now," "Boy Meets Girl," "Since You're Gone," "Tempted," "Major Tom," "Tainted Love," "You Drive Me Crazy," "Love Will Tear Us Apart" (OMG, I love this song soooo much) - I was in flashback music heaven. And anything by The Cure or Siouxsie took me right back to The Café, where we went dancing when I was in high school, and where our fellow high school student Moby was often the DJ.

When First Wave cued up something I just couldn't get behind, some song that's nothing but spikey hair and a drum machine, I'd switch over to Classic Vinyl and provide solid harmonic accompaniment to such gems as "Rocket Man," "Aqualung," "Riders on the Storm," "Crosstown Traffic," "19th Nervous Breakdown," "Baba O'Riley," and "Oh You Pretty Things."

I am now thinking of buying a car, mainly so I can drive around listening to satellite radio.

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