Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

Can I complain?


I like listening to talk radio as much as the next person. But when I’m writing or doing something else at my desk, I often want to hear music instead. A teacher told me years ago that classical music helps improve the IQ temporarily and, while I don’t know if it’s true or not, I’ve found almost any good music to be conducive to good writing. Classical, jazz, whatever.

I did not have my iPod with me this afternoon, so I was left to listen to music online. WISN-AM has a link on their website that allows you to listen to over 750 different radio stations. (I assume they are all Clear Channel stations.) Unfortunately, there is not one classical station available.

They do have four stations with a Jazz format – supposedly. One describes itself as a Classic Country station, one describes itself as Dayton’s greatest hits (Woody Hayes?), and one station is a “smooth jazz” station (putting the z’s in jazz, I suspect).

That leaves KYOT in Phoenix. I don’t know what is your definition of jazz. I’m not sure jazz can ever truly be defined. I do know that Whitney Houston howling at the top of her lungs a bad song from a bad movie is not what I was looking for. The song, “I Will Always Love You,” has probably permanently ruined the mood for so many lovers that Planned Parenthood should hand out copies of it with the condoms to the school children.

Unfortunately, I “tuned in” just at the part where Houston is trying to drown out the noise from a jumbo jet. At times like that one can sympathize with Pete Seeger his reaction to hearing an amplified Dylan for the first time. I’d rather listen to Carol Burnett’s Tarzan yell for six minutes straight as that would at least have a comic purpose, even if the sound is eerily similar to what Houston was doing.

My advice to any radio station considering playing Houston’s awful high-decibel warbling is to play John Cage’s infamous 4’33” instead.

So to whoever is programming KYOT in Phoenix, please don’t advertise yourself as a “jazz” station. You’re not. Any more than Whitney Houston was singing.

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