The State of Australian Radio (by way of Restaurants)

I bought a close equivalent of my ‘dream car’ about a year ago.

As with every junker I’ve owned, it’s come with some caveats. This time around, it’s the lack of Bluetooth connectivity, so goodbye my carefully curated Spotify playlists and listening to whatever the fuck I want. In it’s place, I have CD’s which are y’know, fine, but I’ve listened to all of the ones in my car at this point.

So that leaves the radio.

The more I think about it the more radio stations in Sydney fulfill a certain niche. Much like restaurants. So in the interest of bad similes, here’s a bunch of radio stations compared to restaurants.

TRIPLE M (104.9)

What it is: Sydney’s R-r-r-RAWKIN’ station du-jour. Expect lots of AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses, Queens of the Stone Age, and -of course- THE FOOIES!

What its Like: Triple M is the local pub/cafe/fast food joint you and your mates (and your parents, probably) have always gone to. The menu hasn’t changed in about 10 years, but it hasn’t become worse with time, either. It’s a bit bland and the staff are a bunch of dickheads, but it’s safe. You know exactly what you’re going to get. Of a weekend a bunch of tradies hang around and talk shit about the footy.

TRIPLE J (105.7)

What it is: The government-funded, allegedly bipartisan, youth-oriented station. Famous for the Hottest 100.

What its Like: You’ve known and have taken delight in this kinda-sorta well known for ages, and you rave to all your friends about how good it is. Then all of a sudden, something changes. The coffee might be a different blend, or the eggs aren’t done as well as you like it. I mean it’s still serviceable, but it’s no longer as great as it once was and now you’re questioning whether it was actually good, or you just convinced yourself to like it.

WAVE FM (96.5)/KIIS FM (106.5)

What it is: I’m… not actually sure. Found them whilst browsing radio stations after the 103rd replay of Acca Dacca (see: Triple M). Wikipedia tells me WAVE FM is a station for the Illawarra region, and KIIS is another commercial Sydney station.

What it’s Like: What I affectionately like to call a “They China Food” restaurant. You know the ones. They’re the “ethnic” restaurants found in regional towns that seem to collect cuisines that may be vaguely Asian-centric and like to do a bit of everything. Usually a front for a bootleg salmonella factory. Inexplicably fashionable with people far younger than you.

2GB (Google it. I’m not promoting these shitheads)

What it is: The “conservative” radio station.

What it’s Like: If you’ve ever seen the “Amy’s Baking Company” episode of “Kitchen Nightmares”, then you get the idea. If you haven’t, imagine a poorly-run family restaurant where all the staff is constantly yelling and you’re too afraid to get a refund.

LOCAL RADIO STATIONS

What it is: All local news, all the time. If you’re lucky they won’t play any Lee Kernaghan.

FUN FACT: I once had a pair of FM/AM radio headphones as a kid. The only station it could tune into was Southern Highlands FM. I learned a lot more about my hometown than I ever wanted to know.

What it’s Like: You’ve just arrived at the first hotel of your first holiday in 10 years. To celebrate, you decide to try some of the local specialties. You immediately regret this decision and wished you had opted for Domino’s instead.

THE CLASSICAL STATION

What it is: It plays classical music.

What it’s like: A fancy, overpriced restaurant you have no business being in. You only went to impress a date. You both opt to just share an entree and a bottle of wine and go to the pub for the rest of the night.

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