Wednesday, July 30, 2008

*This*close to being so done with XM

I swear, if it weren't for Steve Czaban's morning show on XM 142, I'd probably have no need for the silly service.

XM just torqued me by taking off XM Music Lab (XMML, channel 51) from its online service. A couple years back, the combination progressive/art rock and jam band XMML was banished to the online world from their regular playlist. I didn't much care for all the Phish, Primus, and moe. music from the jam side, but I discovered many bands with sounds I liked, such as Keller Williams, Widespread Panic, Iluvatar, Happy The Man, and Ozric Tentacles. This is stuff that just doesn't get played anywhere, and I'd never heard any of it before. Plus, XMML played classic ELP, Yes, Rush, Pink Floyd, and Genesis masterpieces; who couldn't start their day off right with Pink Floyd's 23-minute "Echoes" before going into work?

But no. XM replaced a bold station like XMML with XM 49 Big Tracks, a nice "safe" classic rock station that in many ways dupes XM 46 Top Tracks. Eeesh. I can hear that stuff on the 32 classic rock stations in the four-state area. And now XM 51 is playing a whole month of Coldplay (why?!).

And to make matters worse, XM decided to pander to the homosexual lobby and put on the online service XM 134, dedicated to all things "GLBT." Why not? Its anchor show is "The Agenda," hosted by none other than Joe Solomonese, the president of the so-called Human Rights Campaign. This silly channel is sucking bandwidth that could just as easily be used for XMML. Eeesh. BTW, Sirius has two Catholic channels. XM has none.

I'm going to wait and see how the merger Sirius takeover washes out before I make a final decision. But it's looking to me more and more like satellite radio will be seen as What Might Have Been.