FM radio has its fair share of critics, and sometimes I’m among them. In the D.C. area, we have plenty of stations to choose from yet most of them either feature nonstap gab or play the same five songs by the same five artists as if iTunes weren’t home to 40 quadrillion other ditties.
Despite this, at heart I’m still a fan of music on FM radio and here’s why: serendipity.
A cruise up and down the dial doesn’t delight every time, to be sure, and sometimes it yields nothing more than eight separate encounters with Adele in a four-second span. But every now and then, the song you bump into is exactly what you want to hear, exactly when you need to hear it, even if you don’t know it yet.
When I surfed the FM waves for a few minutes on Wednesday morning—January 2, for those of you keeping score at home—I never expected to run into “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, one of the best movie theme songs of all time. The song launched me back to the 1980s, when I was a tween and a huge fan of the flicks that pitted Rocky Balboa against challengers like Apollo Creed, Mr. T, and Mitt Romney.
That said, on Wednesday morning, after an extended break and a fantastic holiday, I felt less like Rocky Balboa than the art museum steps he trampled in training. Still, I stayed glued to the song.
Aside from the fact that my craving for 1980s cheese never needs an excuse to activate itself, I hung on til the end because, by the time the vocals had faded out to the decisive three-beat guitar/drum crash makes the song instantly recognizable, I kinda felt like fighting to win.
It was the pitch-perfect sentiment to tote along as I walked into a conference center for my clients’ national sales kickoff session. The kickoff is my favorite meeting of the year. It gives me a chance to connect in person with the people I support, but it also has unbeatable ambience. Without fail this event radiates optimism, energy and enthusiasm, and yesterday’s was no exception.
It had senior leadership, it had music, it had…thunder sticks. (For the uninitiated, thunder sticks are big inflatable wand-like things that people bang together to make a racket at sporting events and such.)
When was the last time you went to a daytime business meeting that featured thunder sticks? Yep, that’s what I thought.
As you can imagine, this sales meeting stood in marked contrast to your average lawyer gathering, where the only music emanates from mobile devices chirping to announce the arrival of new messages.
And the entertainment at lawyer-fests, such as it is, usually consists of poking fun at other humor-impaired professionals, like accountants and auditors.
For example, I went to a continuing legal ed course last summer where a presenter told the following joke (WARNING: Be sure to have some thread handy so you can stitch your sides back together after uproarious laughter blows them apart):
Q: How can you tell when an auditor is an extrovert?
A: He looks at your shoes instead of his own.
Needless to say, there wasn’t a thunder stick to be seen or heard in the joint (crickets, on the other hand…), nor were these the kind of attendees who would turn off WTOP in favor of a possible run-in with “Eye of the Tiger.”