“Dear LA radio stations….”

NOTE: This was written approximately 12 days after I moved to Los Angeles, CA. I was getting ready for work, the sun was shining (as it often does in December), and I had not a care in my immediate world. And then…

Yesterday morn I was getting ready for my day listening to an LA radio station (first mistake, right?). Now I’m hardly naïve or unawares to the ways of the world but Jesus H. Christ, there should be a limit to levels of craptasticness.

The precious seconds of the intro of a fantastic song (drums, baby) was trying to punch its way through my speakers in order to get to me. Sadly, it was met and defeated by a stupid ass DJ running his mouth over that incredible drum solo and I can’t tell you how insulted, annoyed, and pissed the fuck off I was. The walls of my apartment could have told you since they were witness to my loud and uncontrolled “Shut the fuck up!” I even surprised myself when that happened; I don’t yell often, but for those few seconds I was livid. Other than getting murdered on the streets of Los Angeles, the one thing that I truly, TRULY dreaded about moving here was the ass sucking quality of the radio that I would be forced to endure. I’m the customer, the consumer, and I should be who you try to please on a daily basis. KROQ…let’s not go there. Indie 103.1; you truly have your moments while playing the LA-game. 98.7…haven’t fully formed an opinion yet, it’s not looking great but I’ll get back to you. My annoyance (and some of you know that I annoy quite easily) was the provocation for one of my FB and Twitter updates. Twitter automatically updated my Myspace status. Last night someone read that Myspace status and took the time to contact me with their thoughts:

“Hello, We found your comment about radio station DJ’s “running their mouths” over the music. Since the beginning of radio, entertainment came from the music and the personalities playing the music. The science for some formats, to talk during the beginning of the instrumental and finish before the vocals. Is the information being given non-informative or entertaining? Radio is meant to reflect the local community, thoughts, and attitude. If there were no DJ’s, this “flavor” would be lacking and be no different than an iPod playing. Therefore, do you EVER get any chuckles, pertinent information or a local vibe when listening to the DJ speak? As the beginning of the song plays(which let’s be honest, you’ve heard before), is it really that intrusive to hear the DJ give information or say something funny? Another analogy would be the hip-hop DJ’s doing their thing over an instrumental prior to the vocals starting.

Thanks for your time.”

I stared at that communication with my head tilted to one side, as I wondered if this response was for real. So this morn I took the time to respond with my thoughts:

“Are you serious?

Yes it’s intrusive because you’re interrupting the very reason that I’m listening to the radio in the first place…THE MUSIC. Not the DJ’s banal conversation which s/he can rightfully engage in before the song begins and after it ends. If that’s the “science” of radio then it’s painfully faulty and if you’re in the radio industry you should be able to see that. If you even remotely like music you should be able to see that. I was completely livid as the morning DJ from 103.1 ran his mouth over the brilliance of the killer drum intro of Them Crooked Vultures song “New Fang” and that treatment of the music continued until I turned the radio off. Couldn’t believe that he thought his chatter was more important than the reason that he has a job in the first place.

I just moved to LA and the one thing that I was dreading above all (along with the crappy playlists and hearing the same song 6 times in one day) was the insipid radio nonsense of DJs more interested in the sounds of their own voices that the tunes they should be spinning. This I can say because I spent the past 5 years listening to a successful radio station out of San Diego that actually RESPECTS the music enough to NEVER talk over any part of a song. EVER. It was a written law and standard operating procedure. And I found those DJs great, funny, intelligent, and a fountain of information…when the songs weren’t playing. The science is adjustable.

So forgive me if I find your argument lacking because I’m really a music lover.


I didn’t look at the Myspace profile of the sender; at that point I didn’t really care.

PS: that San Diego radio station that I referred to was FM 94.9. According to them, it’s about the music. 


One response to ““Dear LA radio stations….”

  1. Hate to say it , to radio DJ’s, the babble in the begining to the point of vocals kicking in is called a ‘post’. It is a technique taught at broadcasting schools everywhere. Every DJ on the air ecspecialy the pop stations do it. I agree with you even though having to do it myself, irritates listeners

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