Music Monday: The Radio

by Scott Lydon

Happy Music Monday! Today Scott's focusing on a subject near and dear to his heart: the radio. Old readers will know that the radio wasn't always fifty-somethings talking about porn stars. Radio DJs used to be where you'd go to learn about music, like an imaginary friend with good taste! What music blogs are, radio once was, and there are plenty of songs to prove it. Like, say, this one:

David Bowie - Starman


This story of a voice from outer space begins with the teenage dream: a radio station that only the cool people can understand. Anyone and everyone knows what it's like to fall in love with a sound the last generation hates. It might as well be from outer space, but it speaks to YOU and those just like you. Something bigger's out there… and you just became a part of it. Pretty freakin' cool.

Be you a K or be you a W, we've got more radio love inside. Set your dial to "after the jump" and keep it locked in!

Remember our Spotify playlist will be featuring a great selection from our previous Music Monday comments. The theme of the mix this time is September Songs and it balances between somber and delightful. Just save your listening for later, because you've gotta check out our current Music Monday first. Don't question it! Just do as we say!

LL Cool J - Can't Live Without My Radio


Hip hop fans, listen to your ancestor. It's all here, the bravado, the posturing, the in-your-face masculinity and the never-ending flow. LL might have matured since he started, but you can hear the energy that would later turn into a culture of pure music. Today it's downloadable mix tapes and Facebook hits, but back then, it was just about the radio.

Dar Williams - Are You Out There?


Radio's not a gender-specific medium, and in fact a great many young women fall in love with it as well. Dar Williams captures the teenage experience really well with the roll of her guitar and the lyrics that grab those teenage moments ("I'm driving home on empty streets/I think I put my shirt on backwards") and gently toss them back to the DJs who might not have known how much they mattered. And let me just say, I linked a very good live performance above, but I prefer the original. I think it's the electric growl in the background.

The Selecter - On My Radio


Can you listen to this without wanting to dance? If so, there might be something wrong with you. This ode to party radio is designed to make you want to move, and it's beyond radio friendly. Even sad emo types might guiltily bob their long and sullen bangs when this comes over a speaker.

The Ramones - Rock And Roll Radio


Simple. Direct. Easy to chant with. Sounds fantastic on a cheap speaker. This ode to the fading past isn't particularly retro in style, but it's a clear love letter to the teenage innocence that The Ramones were pretty much done with. That's the hard part about being a rock star. Eventually, you also grow up, and rebellion generally belongs to the young. Does any sixteen year old today even know Allen Freed or Murray The K?

"Radio Ga Ga" might have a whole different meaning today, but that doesn't mean you won't get a QP for posting the original. Hit our forums with your song about the radio, then enjoy the next best thing in our Turntable.fm room, with the regular Music Monday crowd.