Sometimes The Best Short Story Is A Song (#11)

It might be hard to imagine in this era of all-you-eat streaming services, but college rock radio used to be the best place to discover new music. Curated by students themselves, or local record store shepherds who finally found their flock, college stations were the epitome of “play whatever you want” radio. It was hit-and-miss sometimes—but when it hit, it hit really hard. The stations often lived in the 80s and 90s on the FM dial, where the signal strength was weak and reception was spotty.

Enter legendary college radio denizens The Replacements. The album “Tim” was their major label debut and the last album to feature the original line up. The album is littered with songs that fans of the band would consider classics including “Waitress In The Sky,” “Bastards Of Young” and “Here Comes A Regular”. But none of them capture lead singer/songwriter Paul Westerberg’s melancholy struggles with success like “Left Of The Dial”. This is the ultimate ode to life on the road and college rock radio, and a great short story to boot.

(P.S.—Some amazing college radio stations still exist, like KXLU in LA and KEXP in Seattle, among many others. Stream it up!)

Read the lyrics for “Left Of The Dial” HERE.

Previous installments in this series:

S.W. Lauden’s short fiction has been accepted for publication by Out of the Gutter, Criminal Element, Dark Corners, Dead Guns Magazine, Akashic Books, WeirdBook, Spelk Fiction, Shotgun Honey and Crimespree Magazine. His debut novel, BAD CITIZEN CORPORATION, will be published in October 2015. His novella, CROSSWISE, will be published by Down & Out Books in 2016.

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