By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
“It sort of hit me — or more exactly, I hit it,” says Joe. “I had the car accident because of the way my Sirius was set up. I had to look down to see the display, and I had to constantly change the radio station that the FM modulator was using because the signal would be overrun by a local station. It dawned on me right there that I needed a professional installation. I wanted the display nice and high and the signal to be hard-wired into my car.”
After that moment of clarity, the dominoes quickly fell. “What I really wanted,” Joe says, “was XM. I was listening to hockey a lot, so when baseball season opened I knew I wanted that. I would still get lots of commercial-free music — although I do miss Radio Margaritaville.”
In exchange for Jimmy Buffett, though, he’s gotten a ton of stations he loves: “Tom Petty’s Buried Treasure has been really cool. Bob Dylan’s Theme Time Radio Hourhas also stood out. He picks a subject like baseball or summer and just has a lot of fun with the idea. I love David Gans’ Grateful Dead Radio Hourearly Sunday mornings on the way to tennis. What’s so good about the music selection on XM is how deep they get into catalogs. Did you know Lynyrd Skynyrd has more than three songs? When was the last time you heard Wishbone Ash or Uriah Heep or old Deep Purple? Good stuff. But, as expected, I still listen to baseball or hockey (season permitting) every chance I get. Let’s go Mets.”
So that’s how we became a two-subscription family. I inherited his Sirius unit, somewhat reluctantly. And now that I have satellite radio, I love it.
Though it loses its connection sometimes for a couple of seconds in the canyons, all stations come in crystal clear. And I am forever spoiled by the display of what song is playing — I have been turned on to so many obscure bands. Plus, classic rock has become classic again. Instead of the same Led Zeppelin songs KLOS plays over and over, the Sirius ’70s station digs way deeper.
But, most surprisingly, after several months, I have found that that special terrestrial connection between DJ and listener has made the satellite seem more like a rusty old antenna. The playlists get insanely eclectic on Disorder, Handsome Dick Manitoba and Joan Jett and Kim Fowley on Underground Garage speak to me as kindred music fans down the block. Mr. Manitoba sounds thrilled to be sharing stories of his Dictators days on the road opening for Cheap Trick while spinning forgotten punk songs and weird old stuff I’ve missed. Ms. Jett gives off this totally bored vibe, but plays some ripping tracks. And of course, even born-again sewer mouth Howard Stern — Sirius’ most famous poster boy — acknowledges that he’s reaching an audience that’s many millions less than his old terrestrial gig.
PS: Yeah, I miss Jonesy. But I hate L.A. less thanks to satellite radio.
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