Prior to this installment of Entertaining the Thought, I would like to warn readers that this is a full-on rant.
Kingston radio is terrible, an audio abomination, poison to my very soul. There exists no actual choice that will not lead you to either the Backstreet Boys, Creed, or some other form of pre-teen Top 40 crap, or late-80s Whitney Houston, Elton John, or other form of grandpa easy listening.
This animosity has been broiling in my guts for a long time, basically since I moved here three years ago, but it has finally exploded like so much bubbling goo because of The Point. Upon my return to Kingston post-Christmas, I was attempting to tune my car radio. I was dismayed to hear “Come On Over” by Christina Aguilera playing on 103.7FM. This station used to be the The River, a so-called ‘rock’ station that played a variety of ‘new rock’ like Our Lady Peace, ‘old rock’ (a lot of it) like Rush, and the occasional Radiohead or Smashing Pumpkins. It was no Edge 102.1FM in Toronto, but it offered a nice distraction from the diseased mewlings of teenagers and ‘rock’ bands who either are in love, wish they were in love, or want to make sweet love. The River had a place on my car stereo, during the days when I had to resort to the radio before my tape deck was fixed (a thank you to my older brother is in order here). The River was not the greatest by far, but it was better than The Border 102.7FM or The Fly 98.3FM.
Which leads me to the next portion of my rant, the craptastical merits of The Border (The Fly doesn’t even qualify for further ranting, it’s that bad), which, I admit, is set on the radio in my room. I listen in the morning for the weather (don’t get me started on Johnny and Erika the “Breakfast Flakes”) and if I cannot decide what else to listen to. This I admit wholeheartedly and without hypocrisy because, as I see it, there is no other choice. Of course, there can never be a radio station that pleases everyone, and I understand that the kids like The Border. So why did The River switch stream, so to speak? Isn’t one pop station enough? In a university town, one would think there existed a market for a different, non-pop-oriented kind of radio station. Admittedly, Queen’s has its own station (101.9 FM), but I don’t know that many people who listen to it, unfortunately. Marketing might help, as I couldn’t even remember the frequency when writing this article. Perhaps if we as fed up listeners (I assume I am not alone in my feelings) paid more attention to 101.9 FM, they would receive more funding, and therefore be able to fill the radio void in our lives. Until then, I will have to simply avoid the radio unless necessary, and depend on my CD collection for listening enjoyment.
Alicia Cox grew up on AM 640 The Hog and Magic 102.5FM.
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