I've had satellite radio in my life since Christmas. Nothing is better than falling asleep on the couch on a Saturday afternoon after a big fat lunch with Willie's Roadhouse playing; waking up every few hours to piss during a Ray Price cut and then falling back to sleep.
What I love the most, besides the Howard Stern stations since I am eternally 14, are the stations that Sirius/XM devotes to one single artist. It probably helps that I love these artists in the first place.
Way back when I had Sirius on Dish Network at home in the late '00s, they still had stations devoted to The Who and the Rolling Stones. I credit the Stones channel with warping me for good, although it was light on live shows. The Who channel was mostly extended bass and drum solos, not bad for doing college homework.
I'm curious as to why Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Led Zeppelin haven't had their own stations as of yet. I guess someone will need to die for that to happen. "Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour" must have sufficed for Bob.
Today Sirius/XM has stations for the Grateful Dead, Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, Frank Sinatra and Jimmy Buffett. Willie's Roadhouse plays country music programmed partially by Willie Nelson himself, supposedly.
If you don't have Sirius/XM Online, you are missing out on Neil Diamond and Simon & Garfunkel-devoted stations. Oh, the humanity. There is a Pink Floyd one that is also only available online. Sadly some of us want our Floyd on the road and not just on a computer.
The current channels break down like this:
E Street Radio: lots of "Bruuuuuuuuce" and Springsteen asking us if we are alive (we are) and me realizing that own of my beloved artists says "mister" a lot.
Elvis Radio: tons of live shows, rarities, and old people talking about how he changed their lives. Most of it comes from a tiny station at Graceland in Memphis, which is cool. Around Christmas, I didn't change the channel much from Elvis Radio quite honestly.
Pearl Jam Radio: Man, that Mike McCready sure does like to jam, and damn, did Pearl Jam only play shows in the Northwest and Italy for the past two decades?
Radio Margaritaville: I get really thirsty for rum after about two minutes.
The Grateful Dead Channel: Hey man look... hold on... oh man, that version of "Ripple"... I have never heard that one yet.
Thing is, I love all these stations, but I could do without the PJ and Dead stations to be honest.
After an hour of a Pearl Jam show, everything sounds the same, and "Even Flow" doesn't need to be 20 minutes long.
Not to sound corny, but you need to be in the right mood and chemical influence to enjoy the Dead channel 24 hours a day. Maybe split time between them and Phish, 12 hours for each.
Even Bruce's outpost is a little boring at times, with the sound quality of the live boots varying from crystal-clear to piss-poor. Stop killing time playing songs off Working On A Dream that I don't like either. "Queen Of The Supermarket" doesn't rate next to "Cadillac Ranch".
I can't understand why they won't devote an hour every Saturday night to every song he wrote about Saturday night in one block. I guess the programmers are not getting my emails. But I do like knowing that on a long trip I can find a live Bruce show from 1975 to spend the drive with.
All that being said, here are some more artist-exclusive stations I would like to see. I think we can do without some of the extra rock stations. What is the difference between Classic Rewind, Classic Vinyl, Deep Tracks, and The Spectrum? I dunno.
Floyd Damage: I would love, love, love a Pink Floyd station, and I know many others would as well. For longer than just enough time to plug a reissue project, namely. There is just so many outtakes, live shows, bootlegs, and solo stuff from Syd, Roger, and David that would make it worth the time. OK, maybe not all of Roger's stuff, but you get the idea. Forget what I said earlier about songs being too long, aight? Put this channel in the regular rotation already.
Strait Country:A George Strait station would go great with the current crop of country already on Sirius. The man is about to release his 40th LP, so it's not as if he's short on material. I am sure there are recordings of his early Gruene Hall shows somewhere in his archives yet to be heard. Have the man himself record a few chat shows too. He doesn't open up enough.
Fab Four Radio:A Beatles station is a no-brainer, but I know that if you had 24-hour access to their music, it would cut into their widows and kids' annual residual checks. Fine, but you know that everyone would love a constant Beatles soundtrack to school their children with. Yet again, use their solo work to pad it out. OK, easy on the Ringo.
Damaged Radio:I am very partial to Black Flag of all eras. The early stuff, the middle periods, and even the later period towards the end of their run when they were helping build the sound that would soon be grunge. A Black Flag station could also encompass most hardcore bands that they toured with and called contemporaries, sort of like American Hardcore Radio or something.
24-Hour Zappa Therapy: Zappa Radio, just let it unfurl all freaky-like for days and days, infecting impressionable teens. See what happens to the number of members and horns in most indie-rock bands in five years.
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Purple Radio One: And finally, I know he's not in the picture at the top of this article, but for Jesus' sake and the sake of the world's population, please please please throw Prince tons of cash for his own station. Let the man bring a live mike into his studio and jam for six hours.