R.I.P Donna, R.I.P. FNX

May 18, 2012

First – word that Donna Summer has died.

“On the Radio” was the first album I ever owned.  I played it over and over, until the songs entered my dreams (including my nightmares….The song below I still associate with some creepy dream I can’t even remember now). It’s interesting to look at modern music, Gaga/Madonna/Brittany electropop, and think that Donna’s disco-era output paved the way for synth-beats we’ve come to know and love from countless artists, from those pop starts to Robyn, Kylie, Depeche Mode and more. Love disco or hate it, Donna Summer opened a door that many others walked through and made their own.

Second – word yesterday that Boston Alternative Rock Station 101.7, WFNX, has been sold to clear channel. All of the radio staff, including DJ greats like Julie Cramer, were laid off almost instantaneously.

The anvil drops on the last New England vestige of a world in which the term “alternative” meant something. For those of us who grew up in the region looking to find our music, FNX served many and lead to my own discoveries of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Cocteau Twins, Cure, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails….the list goes on and on. The music industry moves to cannibalize quality once again, leaving in its wake garbage (not to be confused with Garbage, who I also discovered through FNX).

Fortunately the rights to all historical media, recordings and events are held by the former owner, Phoenix Communications – so WFNX may live beyond the airwaves, perhaps in some online form. Until then, however, we mourn the only way we know how – by sharing this video, who’s song WFNX referenced as the song of the year for about 10 years running.


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