Poor Music Variety.

Connecticut has never been all that awesome when it comes to radio stations. Recently however, hope was renewed when 104.1 was switched from a Hip-Hop station to an Alternative Rock station. Unfortunately, the hope seems to be misguided. While the station remains a refreshing escape from the ear-bleeding pop stations, the overwhelming surplus of classic rock frequencies, and the occasionally too talkative (though with a fair bit better music selection) 106.9 WCCC, 1041 seems to have lost the ‘rock’ part of their claim and also fallen into the uncomfortable habit of playing the same songs too frequently.

Shaun L. and I carpool to work between the times 7:25pm-8:00am and 5:05pm-5:45pm. Here are some of the things we’ve noticed.

Firstly, they overplay the big requests
– We can’t make it through a day without hearing Heartless by The Fray
– We can’t make it through a day without hearing Kids by MGMT

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy both of these tunes. But the scenario has occurred where we hear one of these songs on both the commute to work and the commute home… for multiple days. Too much 1041!! Too much!

Secondly, they overplay their random filler content – these songs aren’t new and if I were to hear them more than once every few months I’d be surprised.
– We tend to hear Criminal by Fiona Apple at least once a week
– We tend to hear Zombie by The Cranberries at least twice a month

All this leads me to the obvious solution:
We must start playing 1041 Bingo.

So, I looked up some song titles via lyrics and came up with my board. Check it out:

if that doesn’t fit nicely in your browser window, click here.

Now, just for kicks I thought I’d head over to the radio station’s website and look at the last 100 songs that they’ve played and see how my bingo chart fairs. Check the bottom of this post for the full 100 songs listed out.


If that isn’t opening nicely in your browser, click here.

Granted, 100 songs is a fair amount of time. They played 13 tunes from 11:00am until noon, so for 100 songs we’re talking 7.5 hrs or so. But! What especially amazes me is that both Zombie and Criminal were played. AND, Heartless was played THREE TIMES. 22 of my songs were played (including repeats). That means that over 1 in 5 songs falls within my set of 25.

If anything, this graph just goes to show that I didn’t do a great job with some of my choices. I thought Closing Time and the Ramones would hit for sure, but perhaps I just consider their occasional play time as near-constant because I loathe those songs. I stand by my Santeria and Vasoline choices – both bands are played regularly, though the specific song the radio station plays is up for grabs.

I wonder how 1041 compares to other radio stations in regards to frequency of play. I guess it doesn’t matter too much… either way, I’m disappointed.


9 thoughts on “Poor Music Variety.

  • 7/8/2009 at 1:04 pm

    1041 needs more Lil Wayne.

  • 7/8/2009 at 1:18 pm


    Luckily, I live in Seattle where I can get this in my car. But, they also have song-of-the-day podcasts, and I just put exactly 6 months (Jan 1 – June 30) worth onto a data CD for my car. It’s just like KEXP, but without the necessity of airwaves or internet. (And it keeps me up-to-date on nifty ’09 releases).

  • 7/8/2009 at 1:19 pm

    Oh, and we have a station here, 107.7, that would work well with bingo. They play way too much Nirvana and classic 90’s stuff (for a station that still attempts to be modern).

  • 7/8/2009 at 1:38 pm

    This list just proves what I thought when I was there: this station plays a very disproportionate amount of U2.

  • 7/8/2009 at 1:53 pm

    It’s true. There are five U2 songs in that list of 100 – which comes out to nearly one and hour.

  • 7/8/2009 at 7:41 pm

    104.1 was a better alternative station prior to this switch, not hip-hop… at least in Hartford anyway.

  • 7/9/2009 at 2:13 am

    Out of all the popular music stations in the area, 104.1 is the best, but like all other radio stations, they fall into the trap of having “rotations”. This is where the have a canned or setup line-up for anywhere between a week to a month. And, even though DJs change, the song variety really doesn’t. Being a former lifeguard and having listening to multiple straight hours of radio stations, it’s always really easy to figure out when the rotation ends because you’ll stop hearing those one or two gems from a decade ago that you haven’t heard in a decade (your examples were Criminal and Zombie).

    I suggest you try to tap into UHart radio on 91.9 if you still get it under reception. You can get some really interesting stuff on your way to work and because the individual DJs are mixing their own line-ups, they rarely tend to repeat themselves unless they’re pushing a friend. On your way to work you can enjoy zydeco or blues/roots music or the bluegrass hour like when I used to commute to my high school job (the show switches as per day of the week in the same time slot like a cable television line-up). The afternoons are generally hardcore/college rock or classical which can be good too depending on your mood. If you don’t get UHart, I’m sure Weselyan has a radio station.

  • 7/9/2009 at 1:44 pm

    Lifeguarding when I was in high school made me hate the radio.

  • 7/12/2009 at 7:47 am

    I noticed there were four songs each by both Coldplay AND The Fray. I’m guessing 104.1 has their playlist much like 95.7, 96TIC, and KC101

    The Original Donald
    listens to The Fan and 1300ESPN


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *