Tuning into radio news: A `Random’ show

Turning on your radio just isn’t exciting anymore. Switching the FM should provide you with a world of opportunity to celebrate, discover and appreciate all kinds of music. Instead of this, we get a number of overrated programmed radio stations that leave us with an awful taste in our mouth. There are about 10 options on your radio, and they aren’t all that appealing. We’ve got the chimney-sweeping music station that plays Smash Mouth and Sublime, and the bed-wetting station with the likes of Sunny Day Real Estate. You can listen to Limp Bizkit and Slipknot on stations that broadcast directly from hell, or you tune directly to that station with new country music. Listening to the radio is like going to a shopping mall and never buying anything.

KDHX, the St. Louis public radio station, takes steps to eliminate this problem, but they really don’t go far enough. They format shows into categories and labels, playing folk during this time, and maybe hip-hop for the late night crowd. Their efforts fall short. We need something that makes radio exciting again.

Luckily, we have a savior in the Poptones’ Random Radio show. A new label, started by Creation mogul Alan McGee, has begun posting Random Radio shows with streaming audio on their website, www.poptones.co.uk. Mcgee and his regular team of DJs broadcast the most invigorating and commanding radio show ever created. Why can’t all types of music co-exist on the same plain? We want to hear Johnny Cash, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, Mozart, and the MC5 in a half-hour time period. Why can’t we play “Hot Pants” by the Donnas and Fred Blassie’s “Pencil Neck Geek” back to back?

The Random Radio show breaks these limitations and creates a healthy atmosphere to become excited about music, something that doesn’t exist in today’s postmodern society.

McGee is famous for discovering such Creation acts as Oasis, Ride, My Bloody Valentine and Primal Scream, so who isn’t to say that he and his boys know what they’re talking about? Named after the brilliant PIL song, the Poptones label boasts a roster of artists including Captain Soul, Outrageous Cherry and Oranger, while reissuing lost classics by Sandy Salisbury and Curt Boettcher. They even have the best new band on the planet, the Cosmic Rough Riders, whose Enjoy the Melodic Sunshine is everything you could ask for in a record.

You’ll find yourself listening to the show with a pencil and paper, scribbling down all of the music they’re playing.