The radio gets an awful rap these days. Granted, I’ve been victim to turning on a station and just hearing “Thank u, Next” play every 30 minutes, but that’s just one side. Airwaves have been around for 80 years and are one of the most underutilized ways to find music. Although we are lucky to have Spotify, iTunes, and SoundCloud, good old-fashioned FM/AM still deserves your respect. Here are a few reasons why you need to start turning on the radio.
1. Light Hearted Talk-Shows
Something almost nobody takes into consideration on their morning commute: the absolute joy you can get from listening to two people talking about random stuff. Like daytime television, it’s incredibly hit or miss, but sometimes hearing prank phone calls, making fun of the news, or rating the top ten rappers of this generation can put you in the right mood for your morning.
2. You Can Actually Find New Music
An unpopular opinion, but if you look hard enough you’re able to find a diverse collection of genres, artists, and songs that are brand new to you. My personal tip is to find your favorite station from your childhood (hello RadioDisney) and start flipping around until you find something you like. Stick to one station for at least 20 minutes, and you’ll end up finding at least one song you haven’t heard before.
3. It’s an Easy Way to Consume Information
The counterpart to the morning talk show hosts, channels like NPR, CNN, Fox News, and others have news on the radio to get your world perspective before nine am. Rather than sitting on your couch to watch the ten o’clock news (totally joking) or frantically scrolling through your favorite politician’s twitter, you can just listen to today’s events. It makes multitasking a breeze and might save you when you’re writing that current events paper you were procrastinating on.
4, Streaming Services Can Filter Your Music
The magic of streaming: there are a million ways to find stuff you like. If you find one song that you’re super into, or one artist or genre you dig, all you have to do on any streaming service is to click the “Radio” option. The application will use an algorithm to find music similar to your specifications based on lyrics, general beat, and what other listeners like. Especially if an underground artist is on your radar, the Radio feature becomes very helpful in finding music that fits the general vibe while still branching out.
5. Listening to Live Events
Depending on the channel, festivals and concerts will be replayed or streamed live for listeners. During Jazz Fest, WWOZ 90.7 FM streams Jazz Fest for listeners all around the world. This isn’t unique to New Orleans, as my local Seattle KEXP will stream concerts and live shows from a multitude of artists. If you can’t make it to the show and don’t have access to a computer or video streaming, turn the dial on the radio.
Last but not least, sometimes you need to get back to your roots. If you weren’t the type of kid to listen to “1989” by Bowling for Soup or “Pon de Replay” in the car on your way to elementary school, you are 13 or younger. Sure, listening to the Throwback playlist on Spotify works, but nothing really beats the Y2K channels on Music Choice or hitting up your old stations. It’s also a really cool way to recognize how much music has changed since your childhood. Although the way we consume music continues to change, your old favorites can keep up with your taste.
COVER PHOTO: YouTube