Today, in particular, I came across a note about a new radio station opening up in Fujairah - 90.8FM. I scanned through the article, but it was only after a slow read that I was able to dig up one tiny mention of the format - rock.
His tone was so matter-of-fact that it was like he was announcing that there would be raspberry scones at the Piffle-and-Forth this coming Tuesday.
I'm betting most readers just scanned through the article, clicking through with either a shrug or a "That's nice." But for me, that one little word cut through all the verbiage, crystallizing in a singular reaction.
I know what you're thinking - whoop-dee-doo. Another rock radio station. And isn't radio dead anyway? Killed by the internet?
If this were Toronto, or somewhere in the US, I might agree. But out here in the Gulf, your only choices for music in the English language are Hip-Hop or Euro-Pop. And if that doesn't suit your fancy, you better start loving the Bollywood stuff, because there really isn't anything else out there.
So this isn't just a rock station. It's the first ever rock radio station in the gulf!
Tonight, driving home, I tuned in. They haven't officially started yet, not until 11am.* But they did have a playlist on, and I tell you, just hearing bands like Def Leppard, Whitesnake, and Green Day...
I know this sounds a bit dramatic, but, man I felt like Jack Black in the School of Rock was my own personal guru, as a visceral sense of relief washed through me through successions of power chords and pounding drums in 4/4 time. It's #$%*@&^ RAWK, man!
Back home I'd vary the dial between new rock, classic rock, alt rock (and a bit of classical, but let's keep it real here, okay?). Not here, however. In this land the deserts have been both sand and sonic.
But not any more.
*Which is kind of an unfortunate time to celebrate an opening, for us Westerners that is... since the start time is the exact moment everyone in the western world will be observing a moment of silence - 11am on November 11th. Otherwise known as "Remembrance Day".