X Mars Its Spots

If you have ever loved someone, you know that sometimes you have to be straight with that person and say, “Hey, person I love, I love you, but you’re being a jackass.” (If you have not ever loved someone, then take my word for it.)

So understand that this column is written out of love for X96, Salt Lake’s finest radio station, the one with the best DJs and the only one with a morning show that can be listened to by humans without incurring brain damage.

X96, you’re being a jackass.

It saddens me to hear your constant promos painting yourself as some hardcore rule-breakin’ alternative radio station. Why? Because you ARE a hardcore rule-breakin’ alternative radio station. But there’s nothing less “alternative”? than going around telling everyone how alternative you are. You actually get cool points deducted for that, not added.

Bragging ruins everything. Who’s the least funny person you know? Probably someone who’s always talking about how funny he is. You don’t want to be put in that category, X96. You don’t deserve it.

Every time you feature a “Deep X Cut” (i.e., an album cut), it’s accompanied by the DJ saying, “We don’t only play the singles. We play whatever the hell we want.”? So shut up and play it, then. We know it’s cool that you play songs that have not been released as singles. But nothing sucks the coolness out of something like talking about how cool it is.

And you do oversell it sometimes, too, my beloved X96. Like the promo that says, “You’re listening to Corey O’Brien. No wonder you’re hearing music that would get most DJs fired.”?

OK, first of all, I suspect Corey O’Brien, like every other DJ, plays what’s on the playlist in front of him. Which means if anyone got fired, it would be the program director, not the DJ. Second of all, that particular blurb becomes meaningless when it’s followed by the fourth daily airing of “Somebody Told Me”? by the Killers. It didn’t get Corey fired when he played it the other times, nor have the other stations that play it constantly had to dismiss any employees because of it. So I think he’s probably safe.

Or this one: “You never know what Artie Fufkin will play next!” That’s true. But chances are good it’s by Nine Inch Nails.

My favorite: “Sure, the record companies tell us what to play. We tell them to SHOVE IT!”? In other words: “Sure, the record company wanted us to play that new Green Day song 11 times a day. They begged us. They said, ‘Please, overplay this new song so everyone will be sick of it before the album even comes out!’ And we said, “Shove it, record company! If we play this song 11 times a day — and believe us, we will — it will be because we WANT to, not because you told us to! Take that, The Man!'”?

I love you, X96. I love daytime DJ Artie Fufkin with a passion that is just this side of sexual and that occasionally crosses over. I adore the Radio from Hell show. I like the silly contests that mock other stations’ silly contests, like the one where listeners had to guess what was being smashed in the sound effect, and whatever they guessed, the DJ said they were right. But I get embarrassed for you when you play up your coolness so desperately. Relax, dude. Just be yourself and people will like you.

Another in my series of occasional columns for City Weekly. This one isn't as funny as a "Snide Remarks" is supposed to be, but it's not about anything serious, either. It's about X96, a cool local radio station that tries too hard to be cool.