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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Friday, May 20

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Steve / June 3, 2004 10:09 AM

Over the air? Almost nothing! But Air America comes in loud and clear online.

Saturday's NPR morning and early afternoon lineup is still solid, though. But I haven't bothered with any of the music stations in months. Am I missing anything?

Andrew / June 3, 2004 10:15 AM

NPR in the morning and evenings, plus a little XRT, NUR and LUW if I've forgotten to bring a CD.

Louis / June 3, 2004 10:27 AM

NPR in the morning, every morning. Grateful Dead Hour on XRT Sunday nights. Ocasionally terrible pop music on Kiss FM or B96 or GCI to keep up with the distressing state of popular culture, both urban and suburban.

robin.. / June 3, 2004 10:38 AM

'BEZ, all the time. except during piano jazz. bless maryann mcpartland (sp?), i just don't like her...

Heather S. / June 3, 2004 10:55 AM

I've been getting into classic rock lately so it's WDRV - The Drive until I get sick of it and go back to WXRT.

Xan / June 3, 2004 11:08 AM

It's all about Pervis Spall in the middle of the night, AM radio.

Xan / June 3, 2004 11:10 AM

Spann. Pervis Spann.

anne / June 3, 2004 11:11 AM

A surprisingly large amount of NPR at the gym and at work since my headphones won't reach the port on my computer (plus, I can't get streaming radio b/c of my lackluster Mac). I'm digging on the Tavis Smiley show every afternoon, but I get tired of the recycled news stories from morning to night. When I like to rock, I rock with WLUW. I'd love Air America again. What a tease!

Pete / June 3, 2004 11:38 AM

NPR in the car between home and the train station. But shifting my work hours means I no longer get to hear "Marketplace" at 6:30 PM. Sigh. That David Brown is such a hunk.

Benjy / June 3, 2004 11:39 AM

Usually NPR or XRT. Broadcast radio pretty much sucks these days but I haven't yet made the leap to satellite radio...

Anyone have XM or Sirius? What do you think of it?

Al / June 3, 2004 11:43 AM

NPR always always always. Except for that Gretchen Helfrich who drives me nuts. Also, I like to listen to This American Life on the internet. Ira Glass is the coolest.

Shylo / June 3, 2004 12:08 PM

I do a great Marian McPartland impression.

I've been listening to this great '80s channel on

brian / June 3, 2004 12:13 PM

Anyone ever consider that the reason Air America won't get too far off the ground is b/c NPR has a monopoly on the market?

I have NPR on sometimes, but have been listening to WFMT and lots of conservative talk radio because I think Bill O'Reilly is hilarious. Not that he's funny, but the bs that he spouts is funny.

XM too when the situation calls for it.

Andrew / June 3, 2004 12:25 PM

Pete- My god, I *never* would've pictured David Brown with long hair.

Steve / June 3, 2004 12:42 PM

Brian -- NPR and Air America are two very different animals. NPR is *not* partisan -- Eric Alterman has made this argument for years, and a new study bears it out. Check this:

Looking at partisan sourcesóincluding government officials, party officials, campaign workers and consultantsóRepublicans outnumbered Democrats [on NPR broadcasts] by more than 3 to 2 (61 percent to 38 percent). A majority of Republican sources when the GOP controls the White House and Congress may not be surprising, but Republicans held a similar though slightly smaller edge (57 percent to 42 percent) in 1993, when Clinton was president and Democrats controlled both houses of Congress.

Air America is openly partisan (and often loud and vulgar, as AM political talk radio tends to be), while NPR in its own quiet way genuinely does fairly express the views of both sides.

Eliza / June 3, 2004 12:49 PM

NPR. XRT when it gets boring, and 97.1 (the drive? maybe) when that loses its lustre.

Also, Cubs games when they are on and we are in the car.

MC High Life / June 3, 2004 12:50 PM

NPR? XRT? Pft...

ESPN 1000 all the time.

Kevin / June 3, 2004 12:54 PM

When I need a fix of Tom Petty/Annie Lennox/Poi Dog/Pretenders/ repeat til' the end of fucking time, I like to listen to WXRT. Then after five minutes of that crap, I break down in tears because my almighty WCBR no longer exists.

A lex / June 3, 2004 1:15 PM

WFMT. It's nice and soothing and I love their show "From the Top."

Other than that, 99% of Chicago radio sucks ass -- so I head on over to Radioio 80s for my nostalgic fix.

paul / June 3, 2004 1:20 PM

The amount of time since I last listened to radio was tested last week when I rented a car. I honestly didn't know any station frequencies. I finally remembered XRT's but the station I found at that number didn't even closely resemble the XRT I had once known.

As for NPR, I seem to tune in only when they're doing their daily "who will help the welfare mother now?" story.

Naz / June 3, 2004 1:28 PM

Since I don't have an actual radio, I listen online. In recent months, it's been a ton of KCRW who have great live sets on their show, Morning Becomes Eclectic.

daruma / June 3, 2004 1:56 PM

US99.5 - they have both kinds, country AND western.

Craig / June 3, 2004 2:04 PM

I used to constantly listen to WNUR & WLUW (& occasionally WZRD when I wanted college radio wankery) when I lived north, but they just don't come in clearly in the west.

The iPod alone can't satiate my constant need for new & interesting music...

Pete / June 3, 2004 2:09 PM

Andrew, I know. Isn't he dreamy? And I miss WCBR too--Dan Stone and Psycho Nicely were just the greatest.

Onid / June 3, 2004 2:33 PM

NPR but the piano jazz lady drives me nuts. It seems to be all name dropping all the time. "When excellent saxophonist Joe Schmoe and I did heroin after Bob Tumbelinas set at the..." (actually that story might turn out to be interesting). XRT is tolerable on the new music thursdays but what drives me nuts is the classic rock. I don't mind a bit of classic rock but can't they find some deeper cuts rather than the same old Jethro Tull or Pretenders tracks that DJs have played since the beginning of time.

And White Sox games: AM 1000...

'That Ian' / June 3, 2004 3:15 PM

I'm listening to a lot of the police scanner I picked up at the thrift store for ten dollars! I spend my afternoons listening to the cops fuck with the old man selling elotes from his cart on the corner. It makes me feel much safer at night knowing they've got their eyes on him...

Onid / June 3, 2004 3:19 PM

There used to be a website that let you listen to police scanners from all over the U.S. (Chicago included) but it isn't there anymore.

robin.. / June 3, 2004 3:42 PM

Onid! exactly! she's all "when i was playing for blah blah and then blang blong came by" and when the guest artist is one she's always "we should play a duet sometime," like she's already preparing to drop their name at a point in the future!

haydn / June 3, 2004 3:48 PM

Power 92, XRT and the Score. That way I get to listen to Kanye West, The Regular Guy and Boers and Bernstein.

Steve / June 3, 2004 3:49 PM

What about Dick Buckley, that slurry deep-voiced guy who does Sunday afternoon jazz on BEZ? All too often, he sounds like he's struggling to churn up some lung butter....

AL / June 3, 2004 3:56 PM

oh i love Dick Buckley (known lovingly in my house as "the grumpy jazz man"). Not too long ago i was listening and he forgot to turn off his mike and was definitely coughing up some vital organ over the jazz.

jjo31420 / June 3, 2004 11:17 PM

Pat & Ron with the Cubs and Hawk & DJ with the Sox. Only games in town...

Lyle from Lisle / June 4, 2004 12:29 AM

Air America. Ever notice when you're streaming the same webcast on different computers (say, across the house), they can be way out of sync, by about a couple of seconds - not reverb, but cacophony.

NPR, we gripe because we love. Every schedule tweak leaves you part winner, part loser. (One not too long ago: "On the Media" sprang to primetime, "Latino USA" tumbled to graveyard.) I've always felt that Sunday afternoon around-the-house-loungers like me would prefer verbal rather than musical programming (like that CBC [Canada] digest they got rid of).

Sports radio, always a decent fallback. On WMVP middays I miss the unabashed intelligence of Tony Kornheiser, and can't stand the blowhard block of Mariotti and Rome.

I'd listen if I could remember to: "Sound Opinions" on XRT, Tuesday 10pm-mid; "All Comedy Radio" on CKG, Sunday 4-7pm, let's hear it for recorded standup. And yeah, "Extension 720" and "Nick [Digilio] at Night" on WGN.

If I can be bothered to change the internet radio, which, mind you, is blaring Air America out of sync on two computers: then BBC, CBC, KCRW, WFMU.

Finally, the actual clock radio on my headboard, by Michael Graves/for Philips/at Target, emits random metallic shrubs of static-transmission while in the off setting. Like a lot of freaky annoyances, you just get used to it, I guess.


pat / June 4, 2004 11:14 AM

I feel old. Mostly wbez. I like the monday night 80s post-punky/gothy/dancy show on WLUW. When dialing around I land all over the place, but never really stay put for long. I too, long for WCBR; or even an XRT of 10 years ago.

What truly frightens and angers me is that the Radio industry thinks it's doing a great and diverse job, yet most every commercial station has the same dreck just with a slightly different name and playlist.

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