Monday, July 14, 2008

Rocking With My Radio #2

So I mentioned yesterday at work we changed radio stations. This was quite a dramatic step forward for us as a workplace, because we actually had to, you know, talk, and, like, discuss things and all that, rather than just trying to ignore each other like we usually do. The reason for this was because our incumbent, Sea FM, was basically playing the same 6 songs all day every day - there's only so many times you can hear No Air without going slightly insane. You might be able to mount a case that that song is teaching the kids science, since it's fair question, how do you breathe with no air? Is it possible? How would you get around the issue? Who in the blue hell is Chris Brown anyway? You know - scientific questions like that. Although Sea Fm really lost me pimping out their DJ and basically getting him sex. Like I said, this wasn't due to ethics, more to the fact that when I worked in a radio station, all I got was a secret fridge of Egg Flip Big Ms. Not that I was complaining, but still.

So we switched to Hobarts other commercial radio station - HOFM. Now, let me back up a bit here. If you are thinking of making a joke along the lines of "HOFM? Where them hos at?" or some kind of joke about Hos, as in a loose woman, it's been done, in fact, it's been done by at least three comedians getting through their first 5 minutes on stage with some local references (Wil Anderson, Adam Rozenbachs, and whoever the really crap guy supporting Peter Helliar at the casino was). So we KNOW there's a joke about Hos, it's been done. Chris Brown, does he like Hos? Anyway, not a lot of thought went into this workplace conflab, it was just the next radio station down on the dial. I don't know anything about the alternative choices apart from Triple J, which has seen better days. I think there's a Heart FM (the beat of our city, allegedly), but that might just been HOFM rebranded (and featured a really creepy ad in which a young girl appeared to grope the nipples of a fat old bloke under the guise of radio station spirit), there's an ULTRA FM, which is funded by religious groups and always hits me up for donations - and there might be a gay radio station somewhere, which would be good if they were pimping out one of their DJs. Brian Harradine would be narked.

Something really interesting is that in Hobart, they haven't done a radio ratings survey for about 5 or 6 years, so no one has any idea if a show is working or any accountability. I like to think ratings are pretty much based on one thing, and that is, the amount of free stuff the DJs get and the number of in store promotions they get. I can only speak for my few listens to Sea FM but their flagship DJs, the breakfast crew Kim and Dave, they always seem to be getting free stuff or doing something at K&D Hardware or Myer. By this standard, they'd be doing better in the ratings. I'm not sure that crank phone calls or Battle Of The Sexes is revolutionary radio, but it gets you a free drill when you want it. So I have no idea if making the switch to HOFM has seen us join Hobarts more popular radio station or become hipster bennies and outcasts. We really have no idea.

Radio stations really are like mix tapes your friends give you or one of those hot hits compilations Matt King used to talk about that back Nick Cave onto Girlfriend. The good thing about HOFM for what it's worth is, yes, they do play more different songs, although playing Brian McFadden twice in one day was really stretching friendships a lot. Just like the mix tapes of old, they really throw everything at the wall in weird sequencing (the Veronices into Robert Palmer for instance). However, what I really noted was it was not just an 80s throwback in the music, but an 80s throwback in the incredibly awkward stilted banter. Brilliantly, they had a phone in asking what TV show you'd like to see brought back to the screens - reasonably funny premise, in a sort of Sub Hamich and Andy way. But they couldn't run with it - someone would ring up and say "I'd love to bring back Sea Patrol" and the DJ would go "WOW! Yeah! Let's bring that back! That rocked!" and there'd be 20 seconds of silence, until the next caller rang in and said "Bring back It's a Knockout!" and the other woman DJ would go "YEAH! WOW! I loved that show!" get the idea. It was pretty perfect for me as a new listener, because it was like an awkward first date with my new radio station. And I've been on those awkward first dates, and I think the conversation quality has been about the same. I probably even brought up It's a Knockout.

I just need to know their policy regarding pimping their DJs, and we might have a second date...

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