Saturday, November 26, 2016
On the radio
Today, playing while driving home from the Y, I heard a startling burst of bagpipe and rough guitar. AC/DC, of course! "It's A Long Way to the Top (If You Want to Rock n Roll)" muscled its cocky way through the static over 97.9 FM The Loop, "Chicago's Classic Rock" station, but even Bon Scott couldn't keep the song from fading away before I got home. A couple of weeks ago, I received a nice lesson in irony, when on 95.3 FM—The Bull, a Rockford, Illinois country station—Trace Adkins's "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" played (loudly, but the wall-to-wall noiseification of radio is another issue for another time) and then segued into The Band Perry's "Comeback Kid." (Both of these songs I had to look up when I got home.) What caught my attention was the friction between the two when played back to back, Adkins's stupid, clichéd sexism and unimaginative objectification ("There outta be a law / Get the Sheriff on the phone / Lord have mercy, how'd she even get them britches on," and so on) dovetailing brutally with The Band Perry's sincere, brave-woman victory song: "They like to kick you when you're down / They like it better when you're there on the ground / And up 'til now I've never made a sound / I bet they never had a broken heart / But they sure know how to beat the hell out of one / Sometimes I think they do it just for fun." I'm not certain that Guy Smiley behind the studio mic was aware of the irony afterward; he just plowed through to the next commercial announcement. But it was something. A bit of real life caught on the radio dial.