Live blog: A day listening to Jam 88.3

[Live blog now up and running after the cut.] Let’s just say it: I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Jam 88.3 in the past couple of years. I should be a fan of the station, considering how we share similar musical sensibilities – and, for a few years, when it assumed the format K-Lite had before it became Max FM, I was. Then things changed and I listened less and less, and now I avoid it, either because they’ve gotten more juvenile or I’ve grown up and moved on. Have I been unfair to the station, now perhaps the only one in the Philippines to wave the flag for alternative music? Perhaps, so today, I’ll be listening to it and live-blogging the whole thing. I don’t know what will happen after today, but I hope it’s enlightening, in one way or another. [NB]

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Live blog: A day listening to 107.5 Wish FM

[Live blog now up and running after the cut.] Just last May, we spent a whole day listening to 107.5 Win Radio, the masa station that replaced NU 107, flag-waver of Philippine alternative music. A shift from a “classy” format to a “trashy” format would inevitably get some people bemoaning the death of local radio, but we thought the station had potential… if only they got off their asses. Last August, however, things changed. UNTV (who originally ran NU, but is now better known for its TV channel showing lots of news and Ang Dating Daan) took full control of the frequency, forcing Win to effectively merge with its sister station Big Radio on 91.5. Now, 107.5 is home to Wish FM, which isn’t “trashy”… but nope, it is not an alternative radio station. We spend a whole day listening to a radio station that “grants your wishes”, whatever that means nowadays. [NB]

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Live blog: A day listening to 107.5 Win Radio

[Live blog is now up and running after the cut.] A little past midnight on 8 November 2010, a crowd of people massed outside the NU 107 studios in Ortigas, to listen to Chris Cruise introduce the very last song on the respected rock station: the Eraserheads’ “Ang Huling El Bimbo”. (Or, if you’ll trust the smartasses, the last song was actually the Philippine national anthem.) The following day, every alternative music fan’s fear was realized: NU 107 was going the masa route. Three and a half years later, Win Radio is a ubiquitous presence – I always hear it in stores and on public transportation, despite the fact that it’s not the buzziest of radio stations. Arguably it’s a bigger success than NU ever was, but then again, I’m saying this from a businessman’s perspective, and not a music fan. So, today, we’ll do one of our live blogs again, listening to one thing for a whole day – although not as much as our previous live blogs, just so we can square in to the good bits – trying to answer the question: what makes Win Radio tick? [NB]

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Live blog: Retro 105.9 DCG-FM signs on

[Live blog is now up and running after the cut.] If you’ve been hearing the teasers over the last month, then you probably already know a few things. One, Radio High 105.9 is saying goodbye. Two, it’s going to be replaced by what I’d guess is a classic hits format. “Metro Manila will soon become Retro Manila,” the familiar-sounding teasers went. Today, the station, Retro 105.9, will go live, promising a mix of songs radio hasn’t touched in a while, presented by DJs you’ve heard in many other places before – a bunch from Campus Radio’s many versions, a bunch from 99.5 RT’s many versions, and the Mole from RJ. Old school radio, in other words, although it’s interesting to hear how they’ll approach this. Will the station go squarely against RJ 100, which had the oldies (and then some) market locked up? Or will it go up against all the other stations’ “old music” days, like Magic 89.9’s Friday Madness? All day today we’ll do a live blog – live from an exhibit booth at the SMX Convention Center, of all places – and try to answer these questions. [NB]

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Live blog: A day listening to Magic 89.9

[Live blog now up and running after the cut.] Ten years ago I listened heavily to Magic 89.9. The sung jingles, Joey and Miles doing the countdown, The Morning Zoo Crew and those random Faber Castell ads… as a high schooler it was cool to listen to it. Now, I avoid the station at all costs. It’s mostly because I grew up, and so did my tastes, but some of the reasons are surprisingly personal. (And some of the reasons are petty: if not for the Magic, 99.5 RT would still exist. At least in my mind.) But the station is still wildly popular: I have many friends who keep on referencing what’s going on in that station, and even I have to admit that it is some sort of gold standard on Manila radio today. Now, the day has come for me to face the enemy – if you’ve been following this blog from the start you know I can get really petty – and devote an entire day listening to, and blogging about, that station that claims to play today’s best music. Wish me luck. [NB]

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