News Article

Something on the Air

Which music celebrity radio shows are worth listening to? -- We review the satellite shows of Bob Dylan, Snoop Dogg and more

Which music celebrity radio shows are worth listening to?

What actors really want to do is direct. What rockers really want to do is moonlight as DJs. Bob Dylan just became satellite radio's most shocking jock addition, but he's not alone.

THEME TIME RADIO HOUR WITH YOUR HOST BOB DYLAN (XM)
DJ M.O. Each set of songs has a strict subject (''the weather,'' ''Mothers Day,'' ''drinking'') along with music-trivia asides and wry tone poems from the bard.
PLAYLIST Dean Martin, the Carter Family, Irma Thomas.
PATTER ''Slim Harpo wrote a bunch of songs with his wife, Lavelle. Boy, I wish I had a wife like that, to help me write songs.''
KEEP THE DAY JOB? Don't begrudge Dylan his part-time gig. Theme Time is tight in concept and delightfully freewheelin' in execution. A

TOM PETTY'S BURIED TREASURE (XM)
DJ M.O. Petty plays mostly legendary '60s acts, but does dig up lesser-known oldies that don't come around here no more.
PLAYLIST The Yardbirds, the Rascals, Little Eva.
PATTER On the Who's ''A Legal Matter'': ''When I first heard this as a teenager...I thought, Hmm, here's a very young guy that's already [singing about] getting divorced on his first record, so I guess his publishing [income] is safe.''
KEEP THE DAY JOB? Great song picks, but as a raconteur, laid-back Petty could use a pick-me-up. B

DAVID JOHANSEN'S MANSION OF FUN (Sirius)
DJ M.O. Chuck Berry segueing into Debussy! Makes the most adventurous NPR station sound like a Clear Channel flagship.
PLAYLIST Cab Calloway, Velvet Underground, Maria Callas.
PATTER ''Where once what was formerly felt as the horror of our inevitable mortality becomes transformed by an inner alchemy to an ecstatic sense of freedom from the bonds of individuality!''
KEEP THE DAY JOB? The singer for the reformed New York Dolls should rhapsodize more about the music and less about the cosmos. But his show's breadth is breathtaking. A-

WELCOME TO DA CHUUCH WITH BIG SNOOP DOGG (XM)
DJ M.O. Hip-hop, old-school soul. Snoop profanely reflects on how key lyrics mirror his own misadventures.
PLAYLIST Jamie Foxx, Shalamar, many Snoop protégés.
PATTER ''See, there's a lot of suckers in the gang that let bitches get away with s---, so I'm gonna teach you how to beat a bitch down. For real, man, I want you to listen...because you're being too nice to the bitch, man.''
KEEP HIS DAY JOB? The show offers insufficient time to master bitch beating. Maybe he could teach at the Learning Annex? B-

Originally posted May 26, 2006 Published in issue #879 Jun 02, 2006 Order article reprints