Average Jane

Dead Air: DC101

The Decemberists had sung their last whiny note, and the night (oh, the night!) deserved more. Driving down 495 at speeds only known at that time of night, I was unable to change the CD. My only resort was radio.

I started flipping*:

<judge jane>

1. DC101 – Pretender, Foo Fighters

2. 98 Rock – Stupid night guys.

3. The Globe – Commercial

4. Hot 99.5 – Ashlee Simpson’s new whatever

5. Mix 107.3 – Commercial

</judge jane>

Nothing was appealing. So I circled back through.

9:51 pm. DC101. Dead air.

The silence filled my car. Instead of flipping through, I sat there, waiting. 15 seconds later, I actually turned up the volume — did my radio break?

And then… and then… I listened.

I listened to the forced, projected silence. The silence that was as prescribed by commercial radio as all the bad music and advertising that I had flipped through before.

1 minute. I thought – Could this be the end of DC101? Could this station have met the same fate as HFS? I looked at the time again – 9:52. Not significant. The song before – Pretender. Not significant. They’d have gone out with a bigger bang than that.

2 minutes. Hmm… I wonder if the DJ will get fired. Don’t they daisy chain the songs? Isn’t prophet pretty fool-proof?

3 minutes. Still silent. Dead air. Anticipation mounting. Then…

9:54: Power chord. AC/DC. Back in Black. And it was over…

I flipped the station but continued to think about the fact that I had just listened to a silent radio station on purpose for 3 minutes. I didn’t just sit in silence, no. I actively listened to the silence. It was loud. It was full. It was a non-relaxing, thought-provoking silence.

And then I got back to listening to crappy radio on my crappy broken car-stereo in my crappy suburban town.

*Whatever. Are you brave enough to share your pre-set radio stations?


Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. * BigSpoon says:

    Oddly enough, I have a couple of country stations on my presets. I know, weird right? But 99.9 WFRE isn’t too bad – they play mostly the “pop” country stuff. Other than that, my presets are very similar to yours. I also have 102.7, JackFM. They have great 80’s weekends too!

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 3 months ago
  2. * College Grad says:

    All my presets are obviously New York and Philly radio stations, but for fun… they are – 94.5 WPST – All top 40, all the time (although they claim they have “variety”), 96.5 WRD (which is a Philly station that you can get through most of Delaware and Maryland that plays hip-hop, rap and r&b), STAR 99.1 (a New York station that plays Christian pop) and Q102.1 (another Philly station that falls somewhere between top 40 and hip-hop on the spectrum). Yeah, I don’t listen to anything remotely verging on “musically cultured”.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 3 months ago
  3. * College Grad says:

    Oh yeah… Looking at your stuff from above I would have stopped at the Ashlee Simpson song, but I think you did much better for yourself by listening to the silence.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 3 months ago
  4. * Jo says:

    I’ll share:

    WTOP, Hot99.5, Big100.3, DC101, WJFK, and 94.7 The globe.

    And yeah, dead air is weird.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 3 months ago
  5. * Ibid says:

    WAMU (NPR) and Wolf FM via internet stream. All else is iPod and then usually an audio book on my iPod.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 3 months ago
  6. * Maxie says:

    Lets see, 96.7, 98.3, 99.5, 93.9, and 95.5

    And there’s still never anything on.

    | Reply Posted 10 years, 2 months ago

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