Small town wave lengths

When people find out I’m a fairly recent transplant from Calgary, their first question is usually something along the lines of ‘Why did you choose Lloydminster?’

Invariably, I tell them I don’t mind it. The job fit what I was looking for, and I suppose I could do a lot worse than a population of 27,000.

But there are still some things that catch me off-guard. Like coffee shops not being open on weekends, Home Hardware not open past six, and the serious lack of radio stations.

For a 22-year-old, I’ve got what some might call “interesting” taste in music. My childhood summers were spent camping across Canada, in our tent trailer and later fifth wheel, pull by a Jeep and later a ’92 Ford truck. The truck only had a tape deck, and before CD adapters (and even after them) I can clearly remember my dad burning CDs to tape before holidays so we had stuff to listen to in the truck.

My dad likes rock. A mix between CJ92 and Q107, and I guess that wore off on me, because I could sing Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car and songs by Neil Young by the time I was four.

I was subsequently introduced to the Backstreet Boys, etc., in elementary and junior high, and then they fell out of favour, and I wasn’t quite sure what to listen to next. An English project solved that problem. I was introduced to Buddy Holly – and everyone who came after him, and I never looked back.

Top 40 in high school and university? Couldn’t tell you — I was too busy listening to what was “top 40” in the 1950s. It became a fun game for friends to try and find a top 40 song I had heard before.

Unfortunately, moving to Lloydminster, I had to give up my oldies radio station (XL103 and Capital FM — AM660 in Calgary used to be an oldies station before they flipped it five years ago, on my birthday, of all things) and have only a couple of choices: country (LloydFM), rock (the Goat), contemporary (WayneFM), some more country AM stations, and similar formats in surrounding communities. I picked Wayne FM because at least they play a little bit of stuff from the 80s, and I even heard La Bamba one time.

Occasionally, I’ll stream CapitalFM from Edmonton just because I need a good oldies fix, but I like hearing local news and weather, so I really have no choice but to pick one from above.

And so I’m kind of ashamed to admit that some of the songs I can’t stop playing recently include These Kids Wear Crowns’ Jumpstart, Train’s Save Me San Francisco, and Lady Gaga’s Edge of Glory.

But just to be clear, I would still kill for a poodle skirt, and as one friend put it, “If we had to pick one person to go back to the 1950s to save the world, you would be crawling into that time machine before anyone could say anything.”


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