All we need is radio ga-ga

I listen to an indiscriminate amount of radio these days. Because I spend a decent amount of time in my car and my phone has been largely music-free for a while (note to self: must correct this, pronto!). But also because of the general lack of music in my life. Other sources have been painfully cut off, unless I make an effort to source some and that just seems like an enormous effort.

Basically not having access to high speed internet, the general lack of youtube and music exchange, and a perennial condition of sorely missing musically inclined buddies who decided to move away and all that has left me, how shall I put this, musicallybereft.

To make things worse, I decided to clean up my laptop and make way for the new OS. In true-OCD style, I went at it like my life depended on it, off loading almost 100 GB of data on to a hard disk, including a gigantic collection of all the music I have ever wanted to keep/save. Everything is awesome and squeaky clean, my laptop runs like its on fire but, I did not anticipate the giant bitch it would be to just listen to some music! An ordeal that now requires me to lug hard disk out, connect, hook up said music to iTunes and then press play.

Also, I haaaaate iTunes. So, radio. Which made me realise, much to the disappointment of my borderline-snobby musical side, that I quite like trashy pop once in a while. It’s not stuff I can listen to all the time, like I used to when I was 13, but it makes for fun music while driving, does make me shake my head, smile and bop around every now and then. Also, some of it is seriously energetic and can give me a good dose of the happies. Sometimes strong enough to make me come home and press play and turn up the volume.

Care to take a listen? There’s an equal number of Bollywood tracks that make my ears perk up every time they come on, but I’ll save that for another post.

I’m not ashamed to admit, I came home and had this song on loop, at full volume for a couple of days after I first heard it on the radio. I felt 16 again, just for a bit. I even went and introduced it to my Zumba instructor, without thinking it through.

Have you heard the new Britney Spears song?

“No,” she said, “what’s it called?”

Umm, work…bitch

I like this one because Beyonce’s still got it. And her hair cut kind of looks like mine. I just wish JayZ would find his own little spot in the limelight like he used to, and quit stealing Beyonce’s sunshine.

I’m blaming my new-found Pitbull love entirely on Zumba. Apparently they have the rights to his music, and get dibs on siphoning off select tracks to sell to Zumba instructors the world over. So I get to hear more than my fair share of Pitbull. I can’t complain. I like it.

One can always count on the likes of Usher to never, ever, ever change. One whole decade after this, he sounds, looks, behaves and sings exactly the same. I could give him full marks for consistency, but I just turn it up loud when this one comes on, on the radio.

Latest discovery and by far the nicest song in a long, long time — worth reaching out to Chief Pirate and requesting a download is this get-up-and-clap-your-hands track, that has firmly given Will Pharell a spot in my mind.

He’s got talent. He’s understated, but so good. he’s got some adorable moves, he’s smooth and he makes me happy. Currently, shamelessly on loop, about to drive my neighbours a little crazy.

There was a time about 10 years ago when the FM radio, playing English music was just making it big, and it quite literally changed my life. Mp3s were around, but downloading them was a bitch, and it wasn’t until much, much later that we figured out a CD writer and started making CDs. So unlimited, free listening seemed like an excellent proposition!

The radio was always on. I woke up and hit the power button and it stayed on as I got ready for school, came back on as soon as I came home and stayed as I studied, danced, talked on the phone — even as I went to sleep. Some times it would stay on all night, until someone showed me how to for the sleep timer. Those were the days of double deck stereo systems, and when I perpetually had an empty tape stuck in the recorder. Every time a song even mildly interesting started, I’d dive out of my chair, lunge across the room and press record. Done. The song was mine to keep. I now think of that as piracy of the last generation.

Radio had such an aura about it. Something about listening to voices without seeing a face, I think. It was the first time I fell in love with a voice. A love that then bloomed into a perennial obsession with a certain RJ. So extreme was my love for him, that I tried breaking rules to get a chance to do a school internship at Radio City, as opposed to Action Aid, which was my first choice when I hadn’t realised Radio City was on the list. It was an obsession so unabashed and apparent that my sister managed to write in to him, asking him to show up at a small night club where my parents had planned my 18th birthday party. He agreed, but we saw his response too late. And I remember feeling so, so gutted. I remember calling in and participating in a music quiz of sorts, just to be able to talk to him. I remember frequenting a certain nightclub on Old Airport Road, on the sly. We’d be there every Saturday, mostly sipping on our nonalcoholic beverages,  because someone had told us he partied there on weekends, and I was willing to do anything for a good hard look, up close and personal. Many Saturdays passed, and our determination seemed futile, until finally! There he was, one Saturday! Looking dishy in a tight tee, bootcut jeans, a leather waistcoat, and a cowboy hat. There he was, with his wife.

I’d like to say that was the end of that. But it wasn’t.

That’s where it started, my love for the radio and the little doses of happy it offers, for free. Radio has come a long, long way since then. It should logically have gotten better, but it hasn’t. The programming in Goa is pretty shite. The RJs make me want to bang my head against the car window, approximately four times every day. There’s not a single voice worth going ga-ga over. And I no longer depend on it to source my music. The charm has waned almost completely, but all said and done, it does give me my daily dose of happy, even today. Just like it did almost ten years ago.


8 thoughts on “All we need is radio ga-ga

  1. chaipakoraandgupshup

    The radio is such an under-appreciated medium these days….I got all my studying done with the radio by my side. English music wasn’t available back when I was growing up but I loved Vividh Bharati, the Binaca geet mala and bhoole bisre geet etc, And now after almost 20 years life has come a full circle. The daughter is a huge fan of the radio. Thanks to her I’m up to date on all my “Pop” these days!!! Our current favorites include

    Btw I love Work B%^ch too!!! :)


    1. Lady Gaga is bloody awesome. And that is an insanely powerful video! Id heard the song, but never bothered to watch the video. To listen to/watch that and follow it up with Katy Perry makes me want to stick a finger down my throat and barf :S What do kids like about Katy? I dont get it..


      1. chaipakoraandgupshup

        I like Katy Perry, she’s fluff just like Taylor Swift is and Demi Lovato is…Katy’s lyrics are laughable but I still like what she did with the music on Dark Horse. Have you heard “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus? The video caused a furor here in the US but as far as music goes, I think this is the first time Miley has shed her Disney avatar. I hope she digs deeper with her next album. The girl can sing, she needs to back it up with good writing.


  2. I remember being a huge fan of Kalindi on Purani Jeans, Sana on Radio Mirchi. There were also Neha and Jeeturaj plus a huge fan of RJ Malishka on Red FM. That was during my days in Mumbai and it was an awesome companion. Then, I moved out of India and kep downloading on the laptop till I found an online Indian radio based in US, Mera Sangeet which is pretty cool. Haven’t listened to Britney Spears for a while..m also Gaga over Lady Gagga.


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