Yesterday I wrote a post about how I don’t know what radio to listen to any more.
My experiments tuning into other radio stations have been pretty hit-and-miss. In the comments Simstim suggested Radio 4. Once you’ve taken Five Live out of the equation, Radio 4 is one of the most likely options for me to take. The Today programme is okay, but as soon as it’s finished I’ve got to turn to another channel. For a start, I don’t even understand what programmes like Midweek are supposed to even be about?
And some of Radio 4’s comedy programmes are okay, but others are insufferably smug. They are like some evil combination of QI and Have I Got News For You. Smug, smug, smug. Egotistical contestants with smartarse answers. Of the panel quizzes, Just A Minute is the one I can handle — but only just.
The thing about Radio 4, though, is that it isn’t the sort of thing you can just turn on and be 50% sure you’ll hear something good. There are some interesting documentaries in the evening, but also lots of boring programmes, Melanie Phillips and goodness knows what else lurking under there. To sum up, Radio 4 is good, but only if you already know what programme you’ll hear when you switch it on. The same applies to Radio Scotland. The newsy programmes are pretty good, but apart from that there’s not much reason to tune in.
None of the music stations meet with my approval. Virgin Radio is the worst of the bunch. It’s a nightmarish mixture of Jeremy Clarkson, Dave Nicey and general dad rock fustiness. You will never hear the sound a letter T makes because they’re all replaced by Ds. 6Music is similar but young folk haven’t wised up to its crapness yet. It’s a bit quieter but it’s more smug. Anything involving Steve Lamacq must be avoided at all costs. Meanwhile Radio 2 is responsible for every boring MOR pop star in the country.
Radio 1 isn’t too bad, but if you’re averse to shouting you might have to avoid it. Zane Lowe is terrible. He yelps all over the music. He’s all excited, even though the song he’s just played sounded exactly the same as the one before, and that sounded the same as the one before as well. The Breezeblock is pretty good, but Mary Anne Hobbs really gets on my tits. The Blue Room was good — whenever I could be bothered to get / stay up at 5am to listen to it.
Now I’ll only tune in to specific music programmes, and I can’t be bothered with tuning in at the right time. I’m the sort of person who’s got to listen to the radio while doing something else, or at least when I’m lying in bed (which is probably not a healthy thing to do in the middle of the day). The only decent music programmes are on at funny times so I never end up listening to them, and if I do it’s using the BBC’s listen again service.
Podcasting may save me. I think I’m finally getting into podcasting. I hope the BBC extend their podcast trial soon. The BBC podcasts I listen to at the moment are The Chequered Flag (F1 geekery) and Broadcasting House (because it’s quite a good programme, but broadcast at 9am on a Sunday which as far as I’m concerned doesn’t even exist).
I would love for there to be a Mixing It podcast. I’ve not properly listened to Mixing It since Christmas because I simply can’t be bothered listening to it. But if I could download it and listen to it, say, on my way to university, I would never miss it.
While we’re at it, does anybody know of any good podcasts? Something I’d be interested in?
Browsing around the Radio 1 site I came across this Musicubes thing. Kind of basic (you have to choose the genres you’re interested in rather than any smart Last.fm / Pandora style wizardry), but I guess it’s pretty neat.