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When I was younger, I faintly remember, there was a radio show in 987FM hosted by Vernon A during the weekend. It played songs I'd only hear surfing around the Internet for musical pastures greener. Having claimed he played songs which would be famous in the near future, Vernon A showcased the likes of, I recall, Empire of the Sun and the Whitest Boy Alive. Well, at least Walking on the Sun is occasionally played on the radio. Now the Edge's shifted to 10pm - 11pm every Sunday night. I wouldn't trade sleep for something which didn't satisfy my hipster needs.
So here's The Flipside, a radio segment co-hosted by Sonja Steinmetz and Emily Teng running from 5pm to 6pm every Sunday, and instead of playing what they think will be future hits, they play those that they think won't; singles and non-singles that could really be mainstream hits if the bloody major labels and current trends permitted it. These songs run a fine line between being radio-friendly and radio-unfriendly. It's made for the masses but not for the media.
Last week, Emily's made a mix documenting all the tracks that make her feel like "jumping on a plane", a move driven about by Sonja's concurrent sabbatical over in Hong Kong with her friends. A trace of longing or loneliness is apparent; she clues the listener in by playing dance queen Robyn's hit Dancing on My Own. The theme carries on now in hip-hop, with non-single Walé track 90210's solemn keyboard loop. Then alluding to getting through a tough day in the form of an inspirational story brought about by Jack Mannequin's Bruised? Plaintive.
For those such as I who have long since left the radiowaves for the Internet, the commercials haven't changed much. An unnerving Australian accent (and another one which tries its hardest to - more so unnerving) coolly describe the fatal chemicals present in cigarettes. But the commercial breaks spread far and wide throughout the one-hour radio show. Ah, the irony in the catch-22 of there being less commercials when there's less listeners when here I am telling people about The Flipside.
So much music, so little time. Right. The garden-variety alternative quasi-folk pop-rock scene punctuated by a few hip-hop and dance tunes and Emily's succinct anecdotes and music advertisements and (ugh) radio commercials - One hour isn't enough for Singapore radio's representation of the Internet. I'll be tuning in next week to see how things go, "to be together next again", as Emily tries to make her most poignant and desperate tone while remaining amicable and presentable. Plaintive.
Singapore's top youth (and young adults) English radio station compiled their top 100 hits for 2009...
987FM Top 100 songs of 2009
01. I Gotta Feeling – Black Eyed Peas
02. Poker Face – Lady GaGa
03. You Belong With Me – Taylor Swift
04. Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) – Beyonce
05. Fireflies – Owl City
06. Party In The USA – Miley Cyrus
07. Right Round – Flo Rida
08. Love Story – Taylor Swift
09. Just Dance – Lady GaGa ft Colby O’Donis
10. Love Drunk – Boys Like Girls
11. My Life Would Suck Without You – Kelly Clarkson
12. Hot n Cold – Katy Perry
13. Boom Boom Pow – Black Eyed Peas
14. Make It Mine – Jason Mraz
15. Womanizer – Britney Spears
16. New Divide – Linkin Park
17. Live Your Life – T.I. ft Rihanna
18. One Time – Justin Bieber
19. Down – Jay Sean ft Lil Wayne
20. Good Girls Go Bad – Cobra Starship