NUlogy: Farewell to the home of nu (new) rock

good-bye NU

I interrupt our jrock revelry to bid good-bye to the radio station that has helped mold my musical preference.

As I begin typing this, NU107 is 30 minutes away from playing its swan song. The home of new rock, the ONLY radio station in the Philippines to feature an all-rock music programming is finally shutting its doors after 23 glorious years.

Speculations are rife that the station will soon resurface with a new format, a new sound that will cater to more mainstream fare, in other words, pop music.

This is indeed a lamentable moment. And the weight of matter feels heavier as I listen to each radio jock whose voices had accompanied me through numerous up and downs say their final words.

The folks at summed it right: it’s the end of the world as we know it. FM radio will never be the same again.

In saying that though, I can’t help but feel a little guilty. And maybe a bit hypocritical.

To be honest, I have not tuned in to NU in a long, long time. Or to be more precise, I have not listened to the radio in a long, long time. It’s not that I have sworn off music for good. On the contrary, music has become an even more vital part of my existence with the passing of the time. What has changed though is that whenever I feel the need to block out the world, I reach for, not the radio but for my mp3 player.

Gone were the days when I had to wait for Remote Control Weekend just so I can be assured that my favorite song will be playing. Now, if I’m in the mood for some Stone Temple Pilots or Pearl Jam, all I have to do is tap a few keys.

That experience is clearly lost on today’s young music fan, who in the age of iTunes, Bit Torrent, and iPods, is more likely to be doing their homework with an IM app in a window, while listening to mp3′s of their favorite band, and viewing the band’s Facebook page in a browser, all at the same time. With all this going on, who has the time to listen to the radio? – Jim Ayson of The Ayson Chronicles

My sentiments exactly. So while NU107’s decision to re-format came as a big shock, it is not entirely a surprise. Noble as their cause may be, a radio station is still bound by the rules of economics. As mentioned by broadcaster Mike Pedero: “Radio is a business and if for several years, you just keep on losing and pumping in money without returns, until when are you willing to do it?”

NU107, for a time, was the embodiment of the anti-popular. It wasn’t just another radio station playing alternative songs. NU107 was THE alternative. But by being exactly that, it has limited its listeners to all but a chosen few. So now in order to stay afloat, major changes has to be done.

Reality just sucks like that.

Still, it was a good run. Heck, it was a marvelous run. You didn’t let us down, NU. Rather, it was the other way around. So here I am remorseful and at the same time, thankful.

Thank you for bannering Pinoy rock. Thank you for Stairway to 7. Thank you for Against the Flow. Thank you for the In the Raw. Thank you for Remote Control Weekend. Thank you for the Rock Awards. But most importantly, thank you for rocking it out like no other motherfucker could.


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