Radio Days — 90FM Reunion 9

This series of posts covers my long, beloved history interacting with the medium of radio, including the music that flowed through the airwaves.

For the ninth straight year, my college radio alma mater threw open its doors and airwaves to allow alumni the change to relive past glories. 90FM’s Reunion brings back station personnel from past eras to program radio shows just like they did back in the day, all reins notably free. In the first few years of the annual endeavor, I was a victim of geography who marveled from afar at the shows my fellow broadcast-besotted souls put together. That appreciation hasn’t changed, but not I get to join in the fun. For the past few years, I have claimed the 10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. slot on the Thursday night of the long weekend, brazenly blasting past my middle-aged bedtime in the name of occupying my favorite shift on the 90FM schedule.

I’ve taken a slightly different approach every time I’ve slipped into the air chair during Reunion. For the 2021 iteration, I took my inspiration from my longtime pal who has long held down a Sunday night shift at the station. During the first few months of this year, he pitched in with a weekday afternoon shift, confining his playlist selections entirely to the station’s music library, with special attention on the trusty records still sitting on the shelves. He gave spins to albums that hadn’t been touched in years, maybe even decades. I wanted to do the same, especially since my era as an undergraduate coincided with the gradual transition from records to CDs as the primary format for feeding college-rock cuts into the transmitter. I toted in a couple albums to help me get started, but the vast majority of what I played was pulled straight from the stacks. The show was largely a mystery to me until I got there and started flipping through the well-worn treasures.

The other rule I set for myself was a restriction to albums that were released during my time as a student at the station. If an album was released between September 1988 and May 1993, it was fair game. I tripped up with the very last song, but I think I otherwise adhered to my own guideline. These songs were the soundtrack to my college years, and revisiting them — and sharing them — was pure joy.

For posterity’s sake, and my own record-keeping, this is my playlist from Reunion 9:

The Feelies, “Real Cool Time”
Material Issue, “Valerie Loves me”
Del Amitri, “Kiss This Thing Goodbye”
Dramarama, “70s TV”
Jesus and Mary Chain, “Head On”
Drivin’ N Cryin’, “Honeysuckle Blue”
The Alarm, “Devolution Workin’ Man Blues”
Midnight Oil, “Forgotten Years”
Blake Babies, “Out There”
Love and Rockets, “No Big Deal”
The Sugarcubes, “Hit”
Sicilian Vespers, “Hee Haw”
Camper Van Beethoven, “(I Was Born in a) Laundromat”
Timbuk 3, “National Holiday”

R.E.M., “Belong”
The Darling Buds, “Let’s Go Round There”
Jesus Jones, “Never Enough”
Suzanne Vega, “Rock in This Pocket (Song of David)”
They Eat Their Own, “Like a Drug”
They Might Be Giants, “Twisting”
Richard Barone, “Mr. Used to Be”
Sugar, “A Good Idea”
Screaming Trees, “Windows”
Tommy Keene, “High Wire Days”
Big Audio Dynamite II, “Rush”
Transvision Vamp, “Baby I Don’t Care”
Siouxsie and the Banshees, “Spiral Twist”
Couch Flambeau, “Just Kidding”
Lime Spiders, “The Other Side of You”
The Connells, “Stone Cold Yesterday”

The Replacements, “Anywhere’s Better Than Here”
The Pixies, “Letter to Memphis”
Black 47, “Rockin’ the Bronx”
The Ophelias, “I Dig Your Mind”
The Posies, “Flavor of the Month”
Too Much Joy, “If I Was a Mekon”
The Mekons, “Memphis Egypt”
The Weeds, “Better Now”
Michael Penn, “No Myth (acoustic)”
Max Q, “Way of the World”
Renegade Soundwave, “Biting My Nails”
Pere Ubu, “Waiting for Mary”
Steve Wynn, “Carolyn”
Kitchens of Distinction, “Quick as Rainbows”
Psychedelic Furs, “Should God Forget”
Midge Ure, “Dear God”

XTC, “The Ugly Underneath”
The Beautiful South, “You Keep It All In”
Deborah Harry, “I Want That Man”
The Chills, “Heavenly Pop Hit”
The Jazz Butcher, “New Invention”
Michelle Shocked, “Come a Long Way”
John Wesley Harding, “The Devil in Me”
House of Freaks, “Sun Gone Down”
10000 Maniacs, “Poison in the Well”
Oingo Boingo, “Try to Believe”
Blue Aeroplanes, “Who Built This Station in the Midwest”
Robyn Hitchcock, “Glass Hotel”
Concrete Blonde, “Carry Me Away”
Blue Rodeo, “Girl of Mine”
Indigo Girls, “Least Complicated”

Previous entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Radio Days” tag.

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