The thing about gadgets it that sometimes just to test a feature, it drives you to discover stuff that you didn’t do earlier. Take me for example, who didn’t bother to check FM radio stations earlier until I got my new phone, the LG KG300. Now I was a bit bored listening to the music tracks I’d loaded on phone, so I just switched on the FM player. It met my expectations – a quick auto scan presented me the usual Bollywood crap. I might as well tell that I don’t listen to / like Hindi music, except for a few bands like Euphoria. I was about to give up when *surprise surprise* I run into a station playing Deep Purple!
So I took up, as a challenge, enduring loads of Bollywood crap (no arguments in the comments section on this please, I simply don’t want to listen to more crap suggestions), and finding out more about *good* music choices. Should also tell you beforehand – I simply HATE the RJs. Nothing personal against the kind, but I hate the useless banter, I prefer JUST the music. Internet radio was my fave haunting ground thus, but a few things happened: Yahoo! LAUNCHcast started blocking Firefox (but it’s a bloody good service – and can predict your music tastes real well, apart from having one of the world’s largest online music libraries); Last.fm‘s Audioscrobbler needs too time to get things right; music companies started screwing Internet stations and they didn’t play popular music that much, for example, Pandora is no longer accessible for most non-US territories like India; ShoutCast has some good streams, but they’re difficult to find – ditto for Live365. Basically, Internet radio is still getting screwed by the companies. Coming back to Delhi FM radio stations, here’s what I found out.
- Most stations are crap – they play only Bollywood. I don’t understand the fucking reason, because there’s enough of a market for English stuff.
- Specifically, I was disappointed about Radio Mirchi 98.3 FM, because being a Times Group venture I expected it to be more sensible.
- The other sensible FM station at one time was Hits 95 FM, but now they play more Hindi shit, and ‘English songs’ for them has suddenly turned into rap / hip-hop (boy do I hate that genre).
- HT Media’s Fever 104 FM (Rating – 0.6 / 10): Happens to play English songs, but very infrequently, and that too it always happens to be a few selected songs of Akon, Linkin Park and Avril Lavigne. That’s it – that’s where English stuff ends for them.
- AIR 102.6 Rainbow FM (Rating – 8.3 / 10): Surprisingly, the best station is a government offering. Sure, the audio is mono channel, unlike the others which generally have stereo, and also has poor reception at times, but as far as music goes it rocks. The time slot is 8-9 pm daily – and they focus on one genre everyday. So for example you’ve movie soundtracks on one day, classical music on one, rock music on another, rap on one another, old time stuff on some other – you get the drift I guess. And you won’t believe, but this station is the ONLY station which actually has any variety – their music playlists aren’t stagnant, and they aren’t scared to experiment with bands. Also, being AIR, nobody puts ads so less interruptions; but it also means you’ve to listen to irritating government jingles on some new free crop fertilizer scheme. Having said that, their RJs are pathetic. They keep on speaking (when they have to) without reducing the song volume – as a result you get gibberish which you can’t make out anything of. There’s one RJ I especially hate for his fake accent (which he can’t get right). One day I was listening to a Bob Dylan song, and (some other RJ) comes on after the song is over and says the song was by Bob Dhillon. And then there was this gem from the fake accent guy:
And now we have a song by the Irish band Ronan Keating…
There’s more, after the song was over:
After Ronan’s wife died due to HIS breast cancer problem, he set up an organization to combat breast cancer.
You’ll get stuff like these pretty frequently, so that makes it a comedy show too. The saving grace is the fact that you get MUSIC on AIR, even though they ask for recommendations using a Gmail account and get excited when an Orkut community they start gets TEN members.
- Radio City 91.1 FM (Rating – 6.8 / 10): They’ve got this pathetically named called slot every weekday called City City Bang Bang from 9-11 pm, complete with sound effects ripped off from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. Another fake accent keeps on announcing the cheesy show’s name all the time, and telling that it’s for ‘mature’ listeners. Nothing would even make a grandma blush. There’s a really irritating RJ (keeps on saying how good Amity University is all the time) to boot, who wants to chatter all the time. Thanfully, the music’s OK – they only play old time stuff, and that too they don’t experiment. I mean, fine, play the Beatles but at least change the bloody songs! They seem to have this collection of about 100 songs and they keep on playing that five times a week for three hours. You might stumble across good ones from Deep Purple, U2, Verve, Van Halen, Pink Floyd – but the song list is stagnant and within a few days you’d have memorised the whole list. It’s disappointing why they don’t add new songs. Then again, on Saturday at 9 pm they’ve the World Chart Show, not produced by them (and thus better) and bought from an overseas company. At last, you can listen to some good, sensible, and fresh music. What pisses me off is that every five minutes the RJ butts in to tell her name THROUGHOUT the show. Maybe she gets a kick out of it, but for someone who hates useless chatter on radio shows like me, it’s irritating.
If I’ve missed out anything, please do share it here – and maybe if you have a different take on FM / Internet radio. And in case you’re an FM station exec, I’d like to know why the hell there isn’t any RATM, LP, Marilyn Manson etc on air…