The new talk outlet known as The Truth, at 101.5 FM, is playing music on the weekends. But stylistically, the station is a lot less consistent than the right-wing flavor of its syndicated blab. At first, the outlet simply spun the same mix of hard rock and hip-hop as during an interim stunt called The Pole, aka Stripper Radio. However, Truth GM Jeff Norman promised a tweak, with more of a rock emphasis. Nonetheless, the next weekend featured mainly soft-rock and easy-listening fare.
So... what did this past weekend bring? Another shift -- and a schizophrenic one at that.
Some of the tracks I heard during a Saturday drive were stripper-worthy, including Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me." But Jimmy Buffett's "Margarettaville"? REO Speedwagon's "Can't Fight This Feeling?" "Stuck in the Middle With You?" by Stealers Wheel. Not so much -- unless the thing stuck in the middle is a pole. And more neck-cracking transitions came courtesy of '80s fare such as "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley, whose name Nick Lowe once rhymed with "ghastly."
The imaging has also undergone some fiddling, with occasional mentions of "True music on the weekends" outnumbered by promos that are geared entirely to talk. One spot declared, "You just learned something!" immediately after Samantha Fox's "I Wanna Have Some Fun," and I did: I learned that blatant attempts to rip off Madonna sound even funnier now than they did twenty years ago. But despite its eclecticism, the playlist doesn't seem very deep. Note that I heard Great White's cover of the Ian Hunter composition "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" two times in the span of a few short hours.
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Not that I'll be shy about tuning in the Truth next weekend -- and it's certainly possible that this new-format-every-seven-days approach could boost ratings. Who wouldn't be curious to find out what's the next kind of music to be declared "True"?