Radio Silence

I used to listen to the radio. A lot. Once upon a time I thought I’d be a radio DJ. It seemed like it could be quite a nice gig.

When I moved to NYC in 2005, I stopped listening to the radio by default, as I could never get a signal on my stereo in any of the multitude of apartments I inhabited.

Zoe Radio

A shirt I could only get away with in my twenties. But I did love listening to my tunes, as evidenced by my hip CDs on display.

As someone who likes to keep on the up and up with the newest hit songs, it was depressing to go into a void. I never learned what the radio stations in New York were. In fact, I still only remember the ones from St. Louis, where I grew up. Fortunately, around that time, music was more and more shifting to streaming and/or being available on things like Napster and iTunes.

I could check the iTunes Store to see what I liked and order a CD or download an album, as I became wont to do. The shift from CD to downloaded music was a subtle one but I haven’t purchased a hard disc of music in quite a few years now.

One of my favorite things in life is getting that instant gratification from sampling and downloading songs I love, new or old. Instead of hitting Record on the tape deck, I can type in any artist, song title, or album, and either take a trip through the Forest of Nostalgia or see what the kids are listening to these days and figure out if anything is worthwhile. (Unfortunately, as I get older, I am more and more baffled by the “hits” topping the charts, and I recognize fewer and fewer artist names.)

Living in New York, everything I ever needed was on my iPod, which is an absolute necessity if you are going to live in any major metropolis and commute on public transportation. My commute is pretty short and sweet these days, so if I do listen to anything on the way to work, it’s on a CD or my iPod. Add in to the fact that listening to radio commercials sets my teeth on edge and I have no patience for them anymore (thanks to the advent of the DVR), the radio has slipped into nonexistence, as far as I’m concerned.

It only occurred to me the other day that, essentially, I have not listened to the radio in eight years. What used to be a crucial item in my existence has simply faded away. The only “radio” I listen to now is Pandora on occasion, a totally evolved version of the medium. I still get to hear new music, insofar as it’s new to me, and anything I really like, I can go to my computer and get. C’est magnifique!

Anyone else out there still a hardcore radio aficionado? Or has your music lifestyle changed, as mine has?


Side notes: I have never subscribed to Sirius Radio or anything like that, which is the “cable” of radio. My total ignorance on this topic is why I have left it out entirely. Additionally, my dude does listen to talk radio, so it’s still a big part of his life. Plus, when we go on road trips, we play a game where we hit Scan on the radio and see who can guess the name and artist of a song before it scans to the next station. It’s a nice way to pass the time, actually, and the only time the radio retains any lingering significance for me.


  1. saintclarence27 says:

    I do love some talk radio. I can avoid commercials, however, by podcasting it. I really don’t listen to fm any more, although that may be because some of the good stations here changed. I mean, the Chief? Really?

  2. We have sirius and when our first free subscription expired,we hated going back to regular radio. It is so much better than regular radio. We bought another subscription when we basically got it for free (we’re cheap). I like radio so that I am forced to listen to new and popular songs. Recently, I listened to a song on Sirius radio and had to go buy it for my on personal library. I love the downloading part too.

  3. Lunchbox says:

    Funny, Pamela and I talk about this sometimes. I’m a talk radio guy (which she says means I’m old), or my iPhone. She still listens to the radio since her car doesn’t have an iPod plug-in. One benefit of not listening to the radio is you don’t get sick of songs you like due to overplay.

    • Heyyyyy, nice to see you on WP again! (Do you have the WP app on your phone? It’s great.) I think every guy I’ve ever dated has been into talk radio,
      Kevin included. And I totally agree about not hearing the same song thirty times over!

      • What about me? 🙂

      • I’m not ignoring you, promise! Sometimes I don’t see my comments right away. From everything I’ve heard from those who have Sirius, it’s really good. I don’t think I’d get much out of it, as I’m so entrenched in my routines.

  4. Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon says:

    Hi Zoe!
    I’m a newbie to your blog by of Mr. Alan King’s Blog 🙂 I have to admit, I LUV Music, but not much of radio ever since I fell in LUV with *Spotify*…..I like that you can actually listen to a whole CD without all the commercials!! My taste in music from The 80’s, R & B, Gospel, lately…..Michael Jackson, Mary J, and Celtic women!! I love Irish music, which makes no sense to me since I’m Italian…HHHHHMMM……I love listening while I’m writing. (Working on book 2 & 3) I say……”MUSIC MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND!” Thanks for a great Post, I’m a FAN! 🙂 🙂
    *Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon* Blessings

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