RIP Sirius Disorder Radio
Okay, now I'm really good and pissed off. Yesterday I'm driving to the service station and I turn on the car radio to my favorite station, Sirius Disorder -- and what do I see on the screen but "Led Zeppelin Radio." Led Zeppelin Radio?!?!?!? What do we need Led Zeppelin Radio for? Sirius already has Elvis Presley Radio, Bruce Springsteen Radio, AC/DC Radio, Grateful Dead Radio (okay, maybe that one I can understand), and Rolling Stones Radio. How could you possibly derive an entire station's programming from Led Zeppelin? True, I'm sure I could fill 24 hours a day with programming based on the Kinks' music; in fact, I'd love it if somebody gave me that opportunity. But you and I know very well that nobody is going to devote an entire satellite radio station to the music of the Kinks. Led Zeppelin, though, that apparently is another story.
Well, I don't begrudge Zep their slice of the airwaves, honestly I don't. However, the station it displaced -- Sirius Disorder -- was the main reason why I got Sirius installed in our car in the first place. That was MY station. You never knew what was going to come on next -- soul, jazz, classic rock, opera, indie alt, reggae, country, folk, a symphony, it was all open territory. I loved that eclectic approach. Even more important was the fact that Disorder had real DJs, people with personality like Vin Scelsa, Meg Griffn, Rick Allison, Larry Kirwin of the Black 47s, The Kennedys, David Johansen. Whereas several other Sirius stations just play pre-programmed set lists of the same cache of tracks over and over, on Sirius the DJs were individuals with personality, who would come on and tell stories and play the quirkiest stuff imaginable. I dug it so much.
Some afternoons Meg Griffin would hit a run of 12 or 15 songs in a row that I have on my iPod, as if she were borrowing my playlists. I was in heaven. Where else was I gonna hear Nick Lowe and John Hiatt and solo Ray Davies along with Sam Cooke and Dusty Springfield and Bob Marley and Coltrane and Sinatra? Who else ever plays Ron Sexsmith or Robyn Hitchcock or Thea Gilmore or Marshall Crenshaw or Jill Sobule? And sometimes I'd get them all in one show.
I should have known that Disorder was going to be Sirius's stepchild station. They kept moving the number all over the dial, every few months, without warning. Now they say the Sirius concept has been absorbed into a new station called The Loft, on channel 29. The Loft promises all sorts of groovy artist interviews and guest DJs and a whole show every week about roots music, and they're keeping Vin Scelsa and my girl Meg and David Jo (a.k.a. Sri Rama Lama Ding Dong), even though they're moving Johansen to some godawful midnight to 3am shift. They're keeping the Lou Reed Show, too (which, I regret to say, is a bit of a bore). But where is Larry Kirwin going? Because I was really starting to enjoy hanging out with his Celtic Crush show every Saturday. I had a relationship going with that show.
But do the suits care? They do not. It's all about hitting the big demographics; quality, and taste, and deep attachment are nothing if they don't score the numbers. They'd rather please my 13-year-old by playing the same 29 songs over and over on Alt Nation. It's a no-brainer.