The dream of the 90’s is alive in Detroit

I’ve spent the past 5 days

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in Detroit, Michigan for work. I can tell you a lot of things about the northern suburbs of this city now, but let’s focus on the most important.



When I arrived in town I hit the seek button on my rental car. And ended up on 101.1 WRIF. It’s the station that time forgot.

The basic premise of WRIF is that popular music ended in 1992. Every 8 songs, they play AC/DC. I’m not even kidding.

Earlier tonight, I heard a 2 minute trailer to Terminator 2 followed by Guns N’ Roses “You Could Be Mine”. I heard Tesla. I heard SLAUGHTER. I heard an implication that the Led would be gotten out.I heard a song by a member of Creed. I heard so many things from that beautiful time of 1987-1992 when popular music was dudes wearing make up and there were sick guitar licks. And if, at any point after 1992 someone made music that sounds like that, they played it. Five Finger Death Punch? Hell yes. THERE’S A OVERNIGHT DJ NAMED SLAYER.

I heard Nikki Six introduce a new Jane’s Addiction song.

And honestly, it was kind of awesome. A musical vacation. There was no flannel, no earnestness. No one played a banjo. It reminded me of a simpler time when there was no Pitchfork or Stereogum. There was that dude in 6th period telling you should check out the new Anthrax album. There was Cinderella and you just went with it despite thinking they kind of sucked. Your friend was really into Megadeth and made you listen to Peace Sells, But Who’s Buying? over and over.

Maybe you aren’t 38 years old and don’t relate. Maybe the next time you’re on vacation in Detroit (don’t do that) you hear half of “Down in a Hole” by Alice In Chains and shake your head and wonder what the hell you are hearing. But for me, it was pretty cool. I’m going to miss listening to Dave and Chuck The Freak in the mornings. Because WRIF only exists now in this alternate reality that is Detroit. There is no internet yet. If you get in an argument over what the 4th track on Ride The Lightning is, you have to ride to record store and find out for yourself. It’s Fade to Black, by the way.

I’m going to leave you behind, WRIF. I’m going to go back to listening to Alt-J and video game soundtracks and Kanye. But I won’t forget you. Mainly because at 5:15am you played Stone Temple Pilots and it was pretty awesome. And that cover of Temple of the Dog’s Hunger Strike. Thanks. Rock on? Is that a thing you say?


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