Seven (New And Old) Rock Songs That WEMP Should Add To Its Playlist ASAP

In this week's Voice I wrote about the recently flipped 101.9 FM, which—after an abortive effort at being an FM news/talk hybrid—is back to playing commercial "alternative" rock. I listened to a lot of the station's programming during its first seven days on the air, and while I was often pleasantly surprised by the choices of recurrents and the quality/low yarl quotient of the newer songs played I kept thinking that there were songs that could have slotted into the current (and pretty decent!) playlist very easily—or, at the very least, be elegantly swapped out for every third play of the noxiously "funky" likes of Sublime, 311, or the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Seven suggested tracks, both from the new arrivals stack and the recent alt-rock archives, after the jump.

7. MS MR, "Hurricane"

There's a distinctly '90s vibe about the way the vocals were recorded on this moody track by this local duo—they ring out clearly from the gloom, with lead singer (who's the "MS") singing all too plainly of the toxic machinations made by her romance-choked brain. If you played this song within earshot of people who are still mourning the terrestrial-radio loss of WLIR it would be like putting out a nice ripe hunk of cheese for a starving mouse. (Critical bias, to borrow a phrase: I have listened to this song upwards of 15 times in the past 24 hours)

6. Interpol, "Obstacle 1"

Like I said in my piece, if you're playing RHCP's "By The Way" and getting peoples' hopes up with those deep guitars, you might as well throw the slap-bass-averse a bone once in a while and play this track from New York's own Dukes of Dour. Hometown pride, people!

5. Deap Vally, "Gonna Make My Own Money"

This rip-roaring track from this gutter-blues LA duo should satisfy those people jonesing for another White Stripes album and make those people who think the Black Keys are an acceptable substitute think twice.

My Voice Nation Help

I think a lot of you are missing the point as to who a radio station in 2012 serves.  Anyone who is tuned into the "blogosphere" (is it still called that?) is never going to be properly served by an FM radio station again.  It's just not fiscally possible.   What 101.9 is doing, and I think doing quite well, is serving those people who grew up in the 90's/early 00's who are still mildly interested in new music.   Note, "mildly" interested as in open to checking out new bands but not combing the web every day looking for the next Grimes or Zola Jesus.   That's where bands like Neon Trees, Grouplove, Foster The People, etc. really make a case for their purpose.   They are "indie rock" for people who don't really listen to indie rock.


Also, scoff all you want at the neo-grunge lites of the mid-90's but those Candlebox and Collective Soul songs have held up suprisingly well.   Though, perhaps I'm the only person in the tri-state area who attended a Dirty Projectors concert this year and yet loves hearing "You" or "Far Behind" by Candlebox when it comes on.


Finally, agree with the no more "Under The Bridge".   There are so many great deeper SINGLES by the popular 90's alt-rock bands (for example, rather than playing Soundgarden's "Spoonman" how about digging into "Pretty Noose" instead?)

maura.johnston moderator

 @p_herring1127 I think I picked pretty accessible songs though -- Dead Sara's track is on Billboard's rock charts! The playlist can afford to be widened a bit is all I'm saying. (And YES x 10000 on "Pretty Noose." That song is so great.) 

danielliott70 1 Like

Seriously, Collective Suck as I call them, should never be heard from again! Awful. Nice that this station is back, but these alt rock stations start off with good intentions to draw people in and then switch it up to the same RHCP tunes that you've heard a billion times already. Please no more "Under the Bridge". It becomes stale very quickly.


While I appreciate the idea of having an alt-rock station and I like that they're playing new band and songs, do we really need to hear the same 30 90s songs over and over? I could go without ever hearing "Spoonman" ever again. And, really, is there anyone out there who wants to hear Candlebox? "Hey, is that 'Far Behind'? Turn it up!"


Also, it should be illegal to play any Collective Soul.


maura.johnston moderator

 @timspc I have to be honest: I was kinda stoked to hear "Far Behind" the first time. (Not sure where to make the blushing emoticon on this thing, but yeah.) 


 @maura.johnston If you YouTube any recent performances of that song by Candlebox, you'll be amazed as to how well his voice has held up over the years.

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