Tag Archives: Sirius XM

Radio Review – The Spectrum

Tractor Tunes are our 30 minute radio station reviews. So, grab an Old Milwaukee, slide on your headphones, hop on the tractor, and decide if this one is for you…

SIRIUS|XM‘s The Spectrum, Channel 28

The Spectrum features five decades of rock music targeted to listeners of adult rock.

They feature bands like Dave Matthews, U-2, Coldplay, REM, Wilco and Tom Petty. In truth, it is a fairly diverse cross-section of generally softer rock and roll, but this is clearly not music to put you to sleep. They play some brand spankin’ new stuff like The latest from The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Arcade Fire, and then quickly slide back 40+ years for something from a classic icon like Van Morrison.

There’s a nice mix between mainstream hits and some much lesser known tunes.  I guarantee you’ll hear something you’ve never heard before, an old favorite, and a deep cut off a great album (and probably a few that make you grown).

Overall, it’s good stuff, and would probably make a great soundtrack to a day at the office, or on a dock by the day.

  • Bodeans – Dreams
  • Sheryl Crow – Steve McQueen
  • Broken Bells – The High Road (live)
  • Elvis Costello – Watching the Detectives
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie
  • Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al
  • Coldplay – Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall
  • Wilco – Heavy Metal Drummer
  • Van Morrison – Tupelo Honey
The day I listened, Jenny Eliscu was the DJ. She was the perfect host, adding interesting tidbits throughout the show, without being the least bit annoying.

Stats:
Date: August, 2011

Music: 98%
Chatter: 2%
Commercials  0%

Bonus Tip: Celtic Crush, hosted by Larry Kirwan. A great diverse mix of Celtic music from a guy who knows what he’s taking about. Kirwan is the front man from the fantastic Irish band Black 47.

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Radio Review – Hair Nation

Tractor Tunes are our 30 minute radio station reviews. So, grab a Schlitz, slide on your headphones, hop on the tractor, and decide if this one is for you…

Sirius XM’s Hair Nation, Channel 39

Hair Nation features “Hair Bands” from the 1980’s, in fact their slogan is “Vintage Rock From the Big Hair Eighties.”

It seems that every time I tune to this commercial-free Sirius XM station, I hear Bon Jovi, Motley Crue and Poison, but they do spread the wealth and dig a little deeper into the album cuts.  It’s definitely not non-stop “Blaze of Glory,” “Dr. Feelgood” and “Every Rose Has a Thorn.” You’ll notice in the playlist below that they played one of my favorite, and under-appreciated Poison tunes.  It’s a good mix between the hits and the rest of the stuff, but the songs really are hit or miss. 

In my opinion, there’s really not enough good hair band music to justify a dedicated full-time station. It would probably be better suited for a recurring weekend show, or special holiday weekend special.

  • Poison – Cry Tough
  • Dangerous Boys – Teasin’ and Pleasin’
  • White Snake – Here I Go Again
  • Badlands – My Last Time
  • Bon Jovi – I’ll Be There For You
  • Cinderella – Push Push
  • Motley Crue – Primal Stream
  • Faster Pussycat – Babylon

Stats:
Date: July, 2011

Music: 98%
Chatter: 2%
Commercials  0%

 

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Radio Review – Underground Garage

Tractor Tunes are our 30 minute radio station reviews. So, grab a PBR, slide on your headphones, hop on the tractor, and decide if this one is for you…

Sirius XM’s Underground Garage, Channel 21

Another journey into one of Sirius XM’s commercial-free music channels.  This station is just a little bit different than anything I’ve heard anywhere else; different in a good way. They describe their music as “The Coolest Rock and Roll Records Ever Made.” HOnestly – it is pretty damn cool stuff.

They dig deep into their music library and constantly unearth cool garage bands we never hear anywhere else, and toss in some deep cuts from more popular bands, as you see below with the Kinks. They also feature newer tunes, such as the ones from Social D and Joey Ramone in the sample below.

Just look at the diversity of artists to see how interesting this station is.

All of the DJ’s truly add to the experience. On this Saturday morning it was Bill Kelly behind the microphone, and he shared interesting and often little-known factoids about each song and artist – definitely high value-add information!

  • New York City – Joey Ramone 
  • Dedicated Follower of Fashion – Kinks 
  • Alligator – Foxboro Hot Tubs 
  • Social Distortion – Machine Gun Blues 
  • Sparklers – Ain’t No Friend of Mine
  • Pop – Down on the Boulevard
  • Otis Redding – That’s How Strong my Love is
  • Grip Weeds – Ready and Waiting
  • Smithereens – Rings on her Fingers

Stats:
Date: 7/9/11
Music: 95%

Chatter: 5%
Commercials  0%

Bonus Tip: Breakfast with the Beatles on Sundays at 9AM.


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Radio Review – Alt Nation

Tractor Tunes are our 30 minute radio station reviews. So, grab a PBR, slide on your headphones, hop on the tractor, and decide if this one is for you…

Sirius XM’s Alt Nation, Channel 36

Ah, the beauty of commercial-free radio. Alt Nation claims to play the latest alternative rock releases.  Not sure they live up to the “latest” but the selection is a pretty damn good mix of Alternative Rock.  Here’s what we heard on a recent Wednesday morning:

  • Radiohead – House of Cards (2009)
  • Naked and Famous – Punching In A Dream (2011)
  • Blink 182 – Feeling This (2003)
  • Last Royals – Crystal Vases (2011)
  • Arcade Fire – Rebellion Lies (2004)
  • Vampire Weekend – White Sky (2010)
  • Metric – Help I’m Alive (2008)
  • The Heavy – How You Like Me Now (2009)

Overall, a nice selection and an excellent way to ease into a work day, or battle through rush hour, or milk the cows.

Regan is the morning-drive DJ, and he’s entertaining; feeding us interesting tidbits about the artists played. As an example, he shared that the Arcade Fire and Vampire Weekend recently played basketball against each other.  The interruptions are minimal and welcome.

Stats:
Date: 6/8/11Music: 97%
Chatter: 3%
Commercials  0%

To quote Sum 41: All Killer, No Filler.

Bonus Tip: Listen Saturday’s at 1PM for the Alt-18 Most Requested Countdown.

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