Once upon a time there was a radio station called WHFS. It was the alternative music station back when that meant something. Once upon a time, you had to struggle to hear REM on the radio. HFS was underground, dirty, and sort of risque. Parents spoke of it in hushed tones, older teenagers would introduce it to you like a new drug.
Naturally, I grew up after the “Golden Age.” By the time I grew up, HFS was already stupid popular. People were already talking about how they sold out. My friends and I didn’t understand it, we came to the game late. We used HFS to establish our music identity. That sounds stupid, but that’s the way it worked in the fucking 90’s. The 92Q kids would talk shit about the HFS guys, the 98 rock guys would flip both of us on, and the 104.3 the Colt kids would talk about how AC/DC blows the hell out of anything that’s out now. There, I just described 3/4th of my High School experience.
HFS would hold a yearly HFStival. It started off simply, 20 bands for 20 dollars. Eventually it got so popular that it was selling out stadiums. THe HFStival in Baltimore had like 92,000 spoiled teenagers trying to feel up a girl for the first time. These things got huge. I remember camping out in front of a ticket office for two days and spending 60 bucks. That’s how things went before the internet folks, never question my commitment to see Everclear.
Around my freshman year of college, HFS started collapsing in on itself. It spent so much money on these HFStivals that they couldn’t afford to pay their DJ’s. Things fell apart soon after. It was replaced by a Spanish station, and people were pissed! They organized little petitions on AIM that said “Bring back HFS!” They harrassed the DJ’s at the bars, “Hey Gina Crash, when are you bringing back HFS?” All of a sudden their precious little childhood had been robbed from them. Where would they go for their daily fix of Sublime, Smashing Pumpkins, and the same bands that they’d heard for a solid decade plus Limp Bizkit?
Nevermind that Baltimore/Washington was never at a loss for alternative music. Nevermind the fact that DC 101 was THE SAME FUCKING CHANNEL. Sure, the Chili Cook Off was a half-assed HFStival, but HFStival was a half ass concert unless some guy was passing around a joint and you were fifteen.
You know what, 103.7 and 89.7 blew HFS out the water. Sure, you have to get through ten minute hippie songs, but when that was over, you could hear something cool or new. HFStival never played new music unless it was approved by their corporate masters. Occasionally one of the DJ’s would get frisky and they’d play some ancient REM, something from the days of classic HFS. Those minutes disappeared when HFS started emulating MTV, treating us to a nonstop helping of Nu Metal and Pop Punk.
HFStival’s demise was the greatest thing to happen to my musical taste. Instead of relying on Gina Crash to hook me up with a soundtrack, I took initiative and went out on my own. I used the internet. I used friends recommendations. I took risks and experimented. There’s a whole world of music out there! I still listen to Sublime on the occasion, but it was so refreshing hearing 55-46 unburdened from Bradley Nowell or whatever asshole’s singing it now.
So fuck HFS’ return. Fuck them and Fuck you. Grow up. it’s not the late 90’s anymore.
And while we’re at it, fuck Green Day. Poser ass motherfuckers.