Thursday, July 22, 2004

Adult Album Alternative?

Well, Z93 (see here, and here) is gone. They are now something called "Dave FM".

The format of this station is probably best described by this blog post which appears to have now been deleted, so you have to get it from Google's cache:
Wanna hear a scoop? It's so cool to actually have a scoop for the first time here at OK, better get to it because everyone will be calling me soon for details.

And it's not good news for me or you.

Z93 is gonna fire everyone and change format in the next few weeks. The format is called DAVE FM, AAA format. To you non-radio jargon folks that is Adult Album Alternative. Whatever the DJs and people over 40 who wear black and dye their hair black think is cool. Sort of Little Five Points Meets Chastain. And the DAVE part? The result of some fucked up focus group abstraction that radio executives are dumb enough to believe is good branding.

So fuck. Doesn't look promising for me. My style of talkradio--I call it Larry FM--does not fit in with DAVE and morose-sounding older Cure Fan DJs

When I first heard their total lack of local on-air talent (no morning show, no DJs to even tell you what songs they just played), my assumption was that it must be one of those radio stations that is programmed from the home office of the company that owns it, and that there is nothing atcually here in Atlanta but the transmitter equipment and some guys to keep that running. But apparently, according to this story, they do in fact have a program director. Maybe the refreshing lack of a goofy morning show is only temporary. Apparently there is also now a trend of naming radio stations things like "Dave FM", "Jack FM", etc. I wonder if there's a Jeff FM anywhere.

They describe themselves as "rock without rules", "cool rock", and "rock for your generation". They don't bother to say which generation that is.

Songs I've heard them play include (in no particular order):

"One Way or Another" - Blondie
"Learn to Fly" - Foo Fighters (twice in a twelve hour period)
"Train in Vain" - The Clash
"Watchin' the Detectives" - Elvis Costello
"Roam" - The B52s
"Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" - U2
"Let's Dance" - David Bowie
"And She Was" - Talking Heads
"I Wanna Be Sedated" - Ramones
"Because the Night" - by someone who was not Patti Smith

And a shitload lot of 90's and newer songs of which I can't remember the names, including some ska-like stuff and some Dave Matthews.

With a couple of exceptions, it's obvious that their formula is to take bands that are (or were at some point in the 80's or 90's) considered to have a lot of hip punk/new-wave/alternative credibility, but then play only the most mainstream possible songs by those bands, songs that your grandma has heard dozens of times. So it ends up pleasing both you, the aging wanna-be-hipster, and grandma.

So far it seems to be working on me. It's familiar enough to not be too distracting listen to while doing things like driving and painting my kitchen cabinets, yet not gag-worthy like the "lite" radio stations.