Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

SiriusXM Stations Without Research

One I don’t think there is a one. I think it’s like teevee.

Two Hits?

Three Soviet number broadcasting station.

Four The forties. Never understood the nostalgia, to be honest.

Five Fifties. That initial burst of rock ‘n roll in ’56 and ’57 still sounds vital, but every other song from the fifties was a novelty record, and they all had the same chord changes.

Six Sixties station. I am starting to see a pattern here.

Seven Seventies. Yes, there is a pattern.

Eight Eighties station. I listen to a disturbing amount of this channel, and sometimes Electric Avenue comes on and I have myself a little dance party in my Ford motor car. Other times, they’ll play Shadows of the Night by Pat Benatar and I will rock out instead of dance partying. Rarely, the Specials or Madness will come on; I respond by skanking easily.

Nine So much Sugar Ray.

Ten This is the station dedicated to the decade from 2000-2009 that we have still not decided what to call. We all kinda settled on “Aughts” but no one likes it; in our defense: fuck that decade.

Eleven, Twelve These are simulcast stations for Z100 and the LA Top 40 station that Ryan Seacrest is on. I will admit to listening to these, as I enjoy knowing what the young people are listening to, and deciding that it’s terrible and that the young people are stupid. (Also: you would not believe the sort of bullshit you’re allowed to play on the radio nowadays. Every song Nicki Minaj has is about eating ass. Sometimes, Nicki Minaj will guest on other artists’ songs, and her verse will be about eating ass. I didn’t even know asses could be eaten until I was around 25; it hadn’t occurred to me as a possibility, and no one had told me. I worry for the kids today.)

Thirteen  This station is haunted, but only in Western culture.

Fourteen through Seventeen  Weiner rock. Sincere Acoustic Covers, polite hoedowns, and hushed plaintiveness. Just a heaping helping of nancyboy bullshit.

Eighteen Rotating Old White Person Channel. Sometimes it’s Billy Joel; other weeks it’s Neil Diamond; I think it was Barbra Streisand once.

Nineteen The greatest goddamned channel to ever salute the Red, White, and Blue. Plus, they play Elvis’ gospel music on Sunday mornings and that is a fine thing.

Twenty E Street Radio. I love Bruce as much as any other Garden Statistician, but 90% of the programming is AUD’s from 2016.

Twenty-one Garage Rock? Underground Something-Or-Other? This is Little Steven’s channel, and he plays exactly what you’d expect him to play. (Probably second on my favorites list.)

Twenty-two and Twenty-three Pearl Jam and Jimmy Buffett; you’ve never seen the NEXT button double-tapped with such rapidity.

Twenty-four Hey, it’s us! The Dead station! Yay! We got our own station, unlike some bands named Phish we could mention. In all honesty, I rarely listen: I don’t want to hear one song at a time. The Dead comes in units of “show.” Also, they don’t give you the date of the tune–even though there’s space to on the little screen–so you drive yourself nuts trying to figure out when it’s from, OR they play a couple of tunes >ing into each other but still don’t give you the date, so now you have to start typing the sequence into your phone to google them and then you look up and you’ve crashed into a bus full of smaller buses and you’re dead. Thanks, GD channel.

I do enjoy the call-in show with David Gans and Gary Lambert. Deadheads make call-in shows awkward; every third question seems to evince a complete lack of social boundaries.

“Hi, David. Hi, Gary. Carl from Delray Beach. On the lot, I went by Macaroni Carl. First show 12/3/82.”

“Hi, Carl.”

“Hi, Macaroni Carl.”

“Great show, guys. Great show. Question. Was Donna banging anyone other than Bobby, or just Bobby?”

“That’s not really appropriate.”

“Did she ride Billy’s baloney pony?”

And so on.

There has never been a female caller to the show.

Twenty-five, six, seven So much Eric Clapton you’ll sit on a cactus.

Twenty-eight No idea. It’s official name is The Spectrum (fine, I looked it up) and I’ve been trying to figure out its niche for years. Lot of U2.

Twenty-nine JamOn, you sad little puppy; you repository for Disco Biscuits interviews; you encourager of Twiddle. Woody Hayes and all his side-bands, and sometimes solo. Then–and you know my feelings on Phosh: I like them well enough–the Phoshes come on and they’re SO MUCH BETTER than all the other bands on that channel who kinda sound like them. Phosh really does need their own station; it’s a slap in the face at this point.

Thirty Wuss-rock

Thirty-one Tom Petty Radio. Gotta give it up to Tom: he has excellent taste in music, plus his own songs may not be topped in terms of drive-alongability. 90% success rate when hitting this button.

Thirty-two to Thirty-Seven Alternative bullshit.

Thirty-eight Ozzy’s Boneyard. All the deejays on this station are metal-bros, or comedians with big followings in the gamer community. They play a lot of Ozzy. Here’s the thing: Ozzy mostly sucks.

Thirty-nine Hair fucking Nation, baby. Ahhh, yeah. Aqua-net, leather pants tucked into cowboy boots, the Sunset Strip, and light-to-moderate tattooing. (A young TotD thought that Axl’s relatively neat arms were the very height of rebellious decadence. Little could I imagine the dawn of the neck tattoo. None of the hair guys had a ton of ink.)

If you weren’t paying attention to Hair Metal, you missed nothing. The big bands–Poison and the Crüe–were the objective cream of the crop, and they weren’t very good at all. (Especially Poison.) There are no unsung artists or undiscovered geniuses among the Hair Metal backbench. Such shit. Trixter, Firehouse, Whites Snake and Lion, and Bang Tango and Danger Danger, and Valley of the Kings, and Britny Fox, and LA Guns, and Ratt (Channel 39 plays SO MUCH FUCKING RATT), and Warrant, and Dokken. Dokken was the worst of all.

Full disclosure: TotD has a soft spot for Philadelphia’s own Cinderella. Look at this bullshit:

Did you see that bullshit? How about that bullshit? Special bullshit, that was.

This is the rock and roll equivalent of schlock: it is Silly Rock at its boldest, both musically and visually. There are cameos from random celebrities, and there is a breakdown in which the lead singer improvises soulfully; there is a screaming guitar solo, and the guitar upon which it is played is hurled from offstage very dramatically; there are black-up singers, and there is a sax solo played by a man with his hair pulled back in a very tight and slick ponytail.

But not the band members: their hair is free and their hair needs so much freedom because their hair is so very large. There are layers to their hair. The flip it while rocking, and they shake it from their faces; their hair increases the radii of their headbanging by 140% and frames their girlish faces in streams and rivulets.

All of them wear tight leather pants and women’s blouses. As they filmed this video, Smells Like Teen Spirit was climbing the charts, and bands would no longer behave in this fashion.

Forty This is the metal-metal station. Metal metal. They play that devil’s music that makes teenagers steal. I do not like this aggressive music, and the names of the groups scare me. Tell those drummers to slow down.

Forty-one Christmas music all-year round. On average, one deejay commits suicide a month.

Forty-two Is this the reggae station? I think so. It’s called The Joint, right? Like: “The Joint,” man. Because reggae and Jamaica. Hur hur hur. I can take about 45 seconds of reggae on a good day.

Forty-three Microphone left on next to an icemaker in Baton Rouge.

Forty-four Spanish simulcast of channel 43.

Forty-five I know this one: Backspin or something, maybe. This is the old-school hippity-hop station, and they play the hippity-hop I know that doesn’t contain all the swearing of today’s rap. (Until you get to the deejays: Ed Lover–whom I watched religiously on Yo, MTV Raps after school–says “fuck” far too much, and I’m just too damn old to not be shocked every single time I hear “fuck” coming out of my car radio.)

Forty-six through Fifty-three Pop bullshit and dance bullshit

Fifty-four Is this Willie’s station?

How long you gonna keep this up?

I’m just typing by muscle memory at this point.

It’s noticeable. Don’t you have a story to write?

I’m getting to it.

Now, mister!



  1. I’ll have to disagree with your statement, There has never been a female caller to the show. (Tales From the Golden Road).
    There are, not many, but one a show for sure.

  2. SmokingLeather

    March 12, 2017 at 5:53 am

    I saw 2 guys from Cinderella at my local mall back on the 80s. I was taller than either of the guys and they had 6″ heels.

  3. Bummer that you cut it off. I was thoroughly enjoying it. I’m not so much of an Elvis-Pooter-Kim-Dong-Un kinda guy, but this stuff I love! Every rose has its thorns I guess.

  4. The existence of Station 40 is the first thing to even vaguely cause a spark on of interest to flicker in my “Goddammit, I want to pick the songs myself” selfish soul . . .

    Also, I am having to resist urge to suggest that the inscrutability of a station called “The Spectrum” has something to do with autism.

    (Did I type that out loud?)

    • Oops, I didn’t finish that first thought . . . Interest in satellite radio I meant. I do have other interests, so Station 40 hasn’t turned on a switch of sentience in me just by its very existence.

      Was thinking too hard about not typing that Spectrum comment . . . .


  5. Luther Von Baconson

    March 12, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    drivin’ around in your Ford Snappner

    • Mean, Green, Devil Eating Machine

      March 12, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      What the H-E-dubbel-hockey-sticks is a “Snappner”

      • Luther Von Baconson

        March 13, 2017 at 11:40 am

        289 3-in-the-tree, fuzzy door jambs classic. $2200 o.b.o Florida sweetheart. numbers match. semi-complete paperwork. Writer Guy-driven.

  6. Typo: it is 23, not 24.

    I like the callers to Golden road and the euphemisms for “I was tripping my brains out”

    Personal favorite “Fungally enhanced”

    There are a few good ones for folks who want to hint that they have been in jail, or part of the underground economy. Heartbreaking to recall that our people get put in jail.

  7. I like being lazy and letting the Dead channel play in the kitchen as a constant background but it is a little jarring when (like just now) they follow up a live set with the studio version of Money Money.

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