Thursday, February 13, 2003

Chicago's WZZN, 94.7, has gone through a circular evolution.  Initially they called themselves "the '80s station" but soon discovered that the format was a novelty that wore off quickly for listeners. So they became "The Zone." The implied pitch was, "We play alternative, but not that really noisy stuff they play on Q101." Then they gave up on that, and the only discernible difference was that the Zone actively courted a female audience while Q101 is indifferent to that half of the population.

And I thought they had happily carved out that niche until I was listening today. They claim it's "today's new music first," but it's really just a trip back to Altera-'80s. They played American Hi-Fi's "The Art of Losing" which lifts the drum pattern from the Adam Ant theme song "Antmusic" and quotes the chorus of "Kids in America." Next up was the guitar riff from the Cult's "Fire Woman." Yeah, it was part of some Foo Fighters song, but the back-to-back '80s references, coupled with their being the only commercial station to play Interpol suggests they are reverting to the original game plan.

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