Friday, December 10, 2010

AVP, IPT, ELM, DSV, ROC

A long largely rural drive in bad weather can be pretty unpleasant. But I scan the radio dial coming and going looking for good news as I so often do. There were some winners losers and some surprises as always.  the terrain of upstate New York leaves for erratic reception atop all the hills and at the bottom of every valley. the challenge is catching an ID before it vanishes into the static.

88.1 WDIY was playing classical, doing nothing interesting on the northbound trip, but on the southbound side I caught a show called "Good Clean Fun" which was excellent. I heard a tune by a band called Broken Records that really grabbed me. WDIY-FM is also available on 93.7 W229AO Fogelsville and 93.9 W230AG Easton which help the little 100 watt station stretch it's legs a bit.

Moving north I ended up being a Muzak van which was ironic and somewhat comical.  I continue to be amazed at that corporations continued existence. 91.7 WMUH was rolling out the indie rock as I passed by with some band called the Headless Horseman who was excellent and turns out to be local to the region. The DJ did both a frontsell and a backsell so they're either a fan or they're in the band. WXLV was spinning Jeff Becks's Broken Guitar Blues, a sold proggy tune in the middle of a really good set of other rock I didn't even recognize. The show was probably Pet Sounds though I didn't catch the name.  90.3 WXLV, WMUH, WLVR and WDIY were all gone by the Lehigh tunnel or at least gone on the other side. When I saw daylight I discovered that 99.5 WUSR had dropped their regular programming for automated Christmas music, one of my personal pet peeves.  Within a mile of the bridge I heard a signal on 91.9 clearly but briefly... the only station I can attribute that to would be WNTI. If you live in that neighborhood -kudos, enjoy the splatter.
As I turned West I'll admit that I scanned right over 88.9 WQSU twice because they were spinning random pop of the 1980s like some crap Jack station. I hope that's not indicative of their normal playlist.In Bloomsburg I stopped in town and drove right past the WHLM studios.
In town I tried out 91.1 WBUQ which was playing commercial active rock on both trips confirming my worst fears. The is literally nothing new between Bloomsburg and Williamsport so I worked my way through a CD by Q65 I brought. In Williamsport   88.1 WPTC was playing uninteresting pop.The DJ on 91.7 WRLCwas yapping but at least it was their own local sport talk. Just outside Williamsport I stopped at Allenwood Americana Antiques and bought a stack of acetates on a chance. It was freezing cold, but it was a quality joint worth stopping at.
By now I was far enough out into the woods that I could hear both New York and Philadelphia area AM stations. 1060 KYW-AM informed me that I had bad weather behind me, and 680 WINR-AM informed me that it was bad ahead of me too. On 89.5 "The Giant" WNTE-FM I caught part of the Super Jocko Taco Show, the name kind of says it all. Further north I heard mostly NPR on the non-com band WSQA, WETD, even WRUR. As I approaches Rochester the first original voices I heard were WGSU and WBER of course. On the southbound trip I caught one last good program. Out in the boonies late at night I listened to Rick Jackson's Country Hall of Fame on 105.1 WILQ. Admittedly not my normal listening, especially since it's a satellite fed dialglobal show. But this was the Turkey and Leftovers episode, an all country comedy show.  It reminded me of Dr. Demento in a world that still really needs one.