I decided pretty quickly that in my state of mind, I really couldn't stomach WERS's reggae show. WMFO was doing what can only be described as a "Chick with a Guitar" hour, which also wasn't playing really well with me at that moment. It's not that I'm against either style of music, I just wasn't grooving to songs calling for social justice and peaceful revolution on the one hand, or lamenting the schoolyard plight of an underpriviledged kid named Judas on the other.2
I settled at last on WZBC. ZBC has a special place in my heart since a number of folks I knew in college were at least peripherally attached to the station.3 It was also the station that we had on in the ceramic studio whenever there wasn't a model posing for us. Under normal circumstances, at that time of night I would expect to tune into some NCP show or another, mostly of the "my mellotron is underwater... isn't that weird??" variety. This also would not have gotten the thumbs up.
Instead of weird burbly electro-mechanical wankery, I tuned in to Bela Lugosi Is Dead by Bauhaus - not only about my speed, but reminiscent of what they had played when I was a regular listener. If I recall correctly, there were pieces from Curve, Joy Division, Lorelei, and Cranes in the mix, too. I won't go so far as to say that the universe was looking out for me, but it was very cool to be, in that moment, listening to the artists I cleaved to rather than be swept up in the Seattle Grunge4 craze.5 The dj even had stories to share, including how Cranes came to ZBC through a listener who had visited Britain just as their EP was released. When she returned to Boston, she brought a copy to the station and insisted the staff listen.
1Isn't that what all the cool kids are doing these days? Or is radio too passé now that we have podcasts?
2Ok, so I admit that reggae is a harder sell.
3I was not, sadly... they were generally much cooler than me.
4Like how I come full circle here? It wasn't even planned.
5I did fall hard for Seattle coffee culture, though. It was the caffeine, I swear.