Until Tuesday morning, I loved XM Radio. Unconditionally. While I only listened to a handful of stations, I loved them. Unconditionally.
Wait, I loved one of them unconditionally. The others had too many commercials, and they annoyed the hell out of me. If we have to pay for radio, then I don't want 5 minutes of commercials every 10 minutes.
XCountry, channel 12, was my channel, our channel. Tom and I ran across it three and a half years ago on the way to Myrtle Beach for Kara's wedding. We'd just gotten XM and hadn't learned our way around it yet, but that day we discovered XCountry. We were in love immediately.
I think that the first song to which we really paid attention was "The Boys from Oklahoma (Roll Their Joints All Wrong)" by Cross Canadian Ragweed. Hilarious, and wow, commercial radio (by which I mean those sucky local stations we have) doesn't play anything like that. Then there was "Choctaw Bingo" by James McMurtry and also by, I think, Ray Wilie Hubbard. It starts, "Strap them kids in, give 'em a little bit of benedryl and some cherry coke". We were hooked. We've discovered Last Train Home, Peter Cooper, Robert Earl Keen, Corb Lund, Todd Snider ("B double E double R U N, beer run") and hundreds of others that we never would have heard of if not for XCountry.
And now it's "Outlaw Country", taken over by stinking Sirius radio which bought XM, and I knew there would be trouble, playing Roger Miller (oh come on, he's an outlaw???) and other old crap that could be found on other channels or, even better, on those local stations that play the same shit day in, day out, same time each day.
Examples of shit Outlaw Country plays: "Hammer Down Radio with DJ Rig Rocker 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM". Great, while I'm driving home, just what I want to hear. I loves me some big rig trucking songs. NOT. "Elizabeth Cook's Apron Strings 7:00 AM - 11:00 AM Sassy country singer Elizabeth Cook kicks off your morning from Music City, where she cooks up a scintillating mix of music, recipes and household cleaning tips." I've always wanted recipes and household cleaning tips mixed in with my music. This is considered outlaw??
And this--"Meredith Ochs in Outlaw Country 8:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Smart, sassy siren-voiced Meredith Ochs brings over a decade of music journalism and radio commentary to your nights in Outlaw Country!" How many sassy singers do we need? And commentary? No thank you.
One thing that we really really liked about XCountry was that there were NO commercials, no commentary, no shit that we used to hear on regular radio between songs or instead of songs. XCountry focused on music. After a set of songs, the dj would say what songs they were, by whom, and that was it. On to more music.
Doesn't this one sound like fun? "Johnny Knoxville & Roger Alan Wade
A hell-raisin' hour of hot pickin', finger sniffin' frog stickin' Outlaw mayhem with "Jackass" star Johnny Knoxville and his cousin - musical misfit Roger Alan Wade." Finger sniffin' frog stickin'? Eeeewwwwwww. That pretty much sums up my feelings about Outlaw Country.
The XM Channel Linup (yeah, they can spell) FAQs state that XCountry is now Outlaw Country with the same music as before. So far, all I've heard is Roger Miller and other shit that I wouldn't listen to if all other music had vanished from the face of the earth.
Can you tell that I'm not happy? I'm so upset that I'm considering cancelling our subscriptions to XM (the fact that we can no longer afford to pay for the family's subscriptions does not come into play here. I mean our personal two subscriptions.) Why pay for that shit when I can listen to the sound of my own ears ringing for free?
I don't want classic country. The stations in my area play that ad nauseum. I don't want truckin' country. I don't want Outlaw Country.
I want my XCountry back. And I want it now.