Sunday, February 27, 2011

Parallel Universe

For radio buffs internet radio really revolutionized the way one could discover and listen to different stations. Any station that is online is now within reach. Thus I've been able to listen to and keep up with Albuquerque radio, Los Angeles radio and beyond. (Dublin's Phantom 105.2 is fun) I've also become quite fond of stations from Australia although, they do tend to sound like  the down-under version of 94 Rock. Then I discovered KCAL in San Bernadino, Ca., it's a classic rock station with the routine morning show that is the lowest common denominator for all stations regardless of format or geographic location.
All morning shows basically follow a similar format; crank calls, old guy, sexy lady with sexy voice, bickering duos,  parody songs and of course LOUDER! always means we're having fun.  After listening to KCAL for a few minutes it suddenly struck me, Holy Shit!  KCAL is the bizarro world version of KZRR-94 Rock. T.J. Trout and Stu were separated at birth, Stu was raised by weed smokin' hippies in SoCal, while T.J. was raised by ham fisted alcoholics in Ohio. Stu is T.J. Trout as a burned out ex-hippie with a smoker's hack. Unlike T.J. who golfs, goes fishing and stays fit, Stu smokes, drinks, plays in a garage band, and is married to a flight attendant (who he rarely sees) T.J. rides a mountain bike while wearing spandex biker shorts, Stu wears the same shorts but never rides his bike. T.J. can lift some heavy objects, while Stu shakes violently whenever he has to exert himself.  Stu is a Steelers fan, T.J. is a Browns Backer. On air their role is the same, the still hip but cranky old guy.
Stu's female foil is Tiffany, she's pushing forty, she's married to a younger guy but she still flaunts what she has left. Erica is pushing forty, dates a younger guy and can still sidestep the haggard look that Tiffany can't seem to avoid.  She is a responsible driver who uses her turn signals and slows down in school zones. Tiffany is a terrible driver who has reported from the scene of her own accidents, and once almost took out an entire gas station when she hooked a gas pump with the bumper of her truck. Where Erica Viking would demand to be taken seriously and treated with respect, Tiffany demands tequila and is a shameless attention whore. Erica's "Bitch Please" feature was usually the highlight of the KZRR morning routine, Tiff sings a parody of that old warhorse "Fever" retitled "Beaver" and her favorite catch phrase is "Why must it always be about fish?" Erica Viking didn't just sit there and yuk it up and that may have been what led to her being forced out. The only way Tiffany could  get fired is if she wiped out a carload of nuns or school kids on her way to work. 
Jimbo is like Swami Rob, but with hair, a sense of humor and a personality.  Jimbo is the wild haired maniac, who usually gets humiliated during remote broadcasts at gun shops and tattoo parlors throughout the greater San Berdoo area.  Jimmy is married and just became the father of twins, the trials and tribulations of his fledgling fatherhood, are fodder for jokes and "Ah!, ain't that cute" moments.  Swami Rob on the other hand has a voice that sounds like a rock grinder, probably prefers hookers and may live beneath a freeway bridge. Jimbo loves Stu but won't kiss up to him, while Rob hates T.J. yet kisses his ass every day. Bruno is the gay traffic guy at KCAL, that was Donnie's role at KZRR before he left to join the morning show at "The Peak." KCAL doesn't take the news seriously, (Tiffany does a feature called "The Hole News") while KZRR had Erika Viking (who was good) and now has Carmelina Hart (who is adequate)  TJ interviews political candidates and puts them on the hot seat, KCAL sponsors parking lot keggers and an annual Boob Camp, a contest where the winning girl gets a free boob job.  KZRR rarely strays beyond the morning show cast, while KCAL has a cast of hanger-ons that take part in the festivities; 4orty (the KCAL whipping boy) Intern Creepy (who Tiffany showers with abuse) and Sayda (she dates Lakers)
Both stations essentially play the same music, KCAL is openly "Classic Rock" while KZRR tries to get by as "Modern Rock."  Since the mid-1990's when Classic 104 was kickin' their asses, KZRR has edged closer to that format. They play just enough new music to avoid the "classic" tag, you can blame Jaxon (who?) for that, ex-program director Frank Jaxon (who?) was always one step behind, look how long it took him to catch on to Nirvana and that whole Grunge thing. He wouldn't play any U2, because "Most new wave music just wasn't very good"  Jaxon (who?) was an idiot, because of him Albuquerque missed out on Depeche Mode, The Cure, The Replacements, Bad Religion etc. (remember this was before the internet and music downloads, we were at the mercy of the play list!) However, cheer up campers! we did get the latest Van Halen, ZZ Top and The Scorpions. I've heard enough Styx, Rush, Kansas, Boston and Journey to last a lifetime and this was long after any of those bands were relevant. So, Fuck You! Jaxon (stop!) I recommend to everyone; get online and listen but you better hurry, Stu or T.J. are not getting any younger, one will probably drop dead soon, I would bet my money on Stu, maybe even while he's that sick?...yes it is!