Radio Daze

Ick’s Radio Daze: Puttin’ on the Hitz – 101.5 JamZ

Every week I pick a radio station and listen in for an hour, documenting the experience – for better or worse – just for you.
It’s Ick’s Radio Daze. Click here to see all of the Radio Daze posts together.

Station: 101.5 (KZON)
Format: Top Hits
Type: Terrestrial (Phoenix, AZ)
Slogan: 101.5 JamZ
Date / Time: Jan. 25th, 2010 / 9-10pm MST
Commercials: 7 mins
Hot Chick on Home Page of Web Site? Yes. Beyonce. Britney. Mariah.
DJ: Sugabear
Favorite Song: I don’t even really care for the song, but “Empire State of Mind” beat out the hour of trash I just put myself through.
Least Favorite Song: “Whatcha Say” – Jason Derulo

Song List:

Young Money feat. Lloyd – “Bedrock”
Lady Gaga – “Bad Romance”
Jason Derulo – Whatcha Say
Orianthi – “According to You”
Lil Wayne – “Lollipop”
Britney Spears – “3”
Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce – “Telephone”
Jay-Z feat. Alicia Keys – “Empire State of Mind”
Ke$ha – “Tik Tok”
New Boys feat. Ray J. – “Tie Me Down”
Drake – “Best I Ever Had”
David Guetta feat. Akon – “Sexy Chick”
Jay Sean feat. Lil Jon & Sean Paul – “Do You Remember”
T.I. – “Whatever You Like”


I’m getting old.

Good Lord thank God that’s over. To think this station used to mean something to me. I mentioned a few weeks back that KZON used to be AAA, and it helped introduce me to Steve Earle and Bruce Cockburn, among many others. Well that format went kaput in the mid to late 90’s, and I’m not even sure how many format changes it’s gone through since. But in 2010, it’s a station owned by CBS Radio, locked (down) and loaded to bombard you with the hitz of day. Its demographic is the tween & teen market, something I haven’t been a part of for 20 years now.

When the very first lyrics I heard were: “You can call me Mr. Flintstone, I can make your bedrock”, I knew I was in for a long hour. Thanks Young Money.

One lasting impression from this hour: A-u-t-o-t-u-n-e. Holy modulation batman, does anyone in pop music not use autotune?? It was everywhere! For complete and utter Autotune Hell, listen to “Whatcha Say” by Jason Derulo. Really sad that autotune has turned into the rule instead of the exception. Blechh.

This was a very long hour for me, folks. Yeah, I’m showing my age. I’ll turn 40 this year. I’m the “old guy” now to the kids who listen to this station. But I cannot imagine coming of age listening to this stuff – formulaic to the extreme, lacking emotion, and any semblance of soul. The subject matter is unimaginative, simplistic, and completely vapid – and this is the music that kids will look back to 20 years from now with the same nostalgia I have looking back to Prince, Run-DMC, hell, even Samantha Fox and the like?

Granted, it could be a generational thing, but I honestly feel like something really bad – something irreversible – is happening in popular music. Painful. Just painful. I weep for pop music today.

Sunday’s Grammys should be a hoot. Yeahhh, I’ll be watching. *shakes head*


  • KathyB

    I’m even older. I’ve heard of none of these songs, and only about half of the artists. And although I’ve heard of Autotune, I have no idea what it actually sounds like. (It wouldn’t take much for me to find out, but I really have very little desire to do that.)

  • Michael

    I cannot believe I am about to do this, but in fairness, the hook of Jason Derulo’s track “Whatcha’ Say” is actually sampled from the 2005 track “Hide and Seek” by Imogen Heap. At the time of it’s release, this track stood out as an example of what a single person with some studio tools could create with auto-tune.

    That said, the track you reference is just plain dreck.

  • Bill C

    Like Kathy, I did not know any of these songs and had only heard of half the artists, generally when they have done something wrong and gotten in the news. I agree that the state of popular music is dismal. My kids tend to listen to what I listen to, so I doubt they know these songs either. Dreadful.

    • Pete

      Exactly my thought process with my kids, Bill. Flood ’em with the good stuff, and when they develop their own tastes, hopefully they’ll realize too what absolute crap this is.

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