Here are some of the things that bother me about The Spy –
- I have only heard The Replacements played once while The Smiths are played ad nauseam.
- I have only heard them play “Punk Rock Girl” by the Dead Milkmen once. While I don’t want that song played to death, that is a cult classic that should get more airplay than it has.
- The only Dropkick Murphys’ song that I have heard on The Spy was “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” (and that was only once). This is a band that has been around for well over a decade, has played Oklahoma tons of times, has a huge cult following, and has released six full-length albums. There is no reason why more of their songs aren’t in regular rotation.
- The only time that I’ve heard them play the Descendents was on the punk rock show The Void.
- I have yet to hear The Spy play anything by the following artists – Hot Water Music, Stiff Little Fingers, Ben Lee, Sebadoh, Husker Du, ALL, Dinosaur Jr., Superchunk, The Thermals, Archers of Loaf, Dead To Me, Teenage Fanclub, Swingin’ Utters, Teenage Bottlerocket, Cock Sparrer, KMFDM, Jenny & Johnny, Ministry, Fugazi, Lard, Camper Van Beethoven, Minor Threat, The Farm, Black Flag, Happy Mondays, J Church, Dramarama, The Farm, Me First & the Gimme Gimmes, The Smithereens, Sugar, The Donnas, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Gorilla Biscuits, Concrete Blonde, Screeching Weasel, Filthy Thieving Bastards, Bad Religion, Mojo Nixon, NOFX, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Avail, Jawbreaker, Sonic Youth, Afghan Whigs, Dag Nasty, The Epoxies, The Briefs, The Specials, Street Dogs, Madness, Alkaline Trio, Fishbone, The Promise Ring, The Eyeliners, Big Drill Car, Pegboy, Faith No More, Naked Raygun, The Gaslight Anthem, Drag the River, Buffalo Tom, The Riverdales, Uncle Tupelo, Against Me!, Urge Overkill, Operation Ivy, Guided By Voices, Rancid, Youth Brigade, Green Day, The Minutemen, Shonen Knife, fIREHOSE, Seaweed, The Rentals, Paul Westerberg, Pavement, The Mr. T Experience, The Watson Twins, the Goo Goo Dolls, 7 Seconds, The Bouncing Souls, The Tight Bros. From Way Back When, The Bronx, CIV, The Devil Dogs, The Figgs, Flogging Molly, Hagfish, The Independents, The Lemonheads, Matthew Sweet, Nirvana, Man or Astro-Man?, The Damned, Nada Surf, Misfits, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Roustabouts, The Pogues, Urban Dance Squad, Pinhead Gunpowder, Scott Reynolds & the Steaming Beast, Jawbox, Redd Kross, Stephen Egerton, Tinted Windows, U.S. Bombs, Shudder To Think, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Wilco, X, The Get Up Kids, Wretch Like Me, The Chemical People, Lagwagon, Bad Brains, Suicidal Tendencies, Teen Idols, Sinkhole, Soul Asylum, Bob Mould, The Smugglers, Sham 69, XTC, Billy Bragg, Rites of Spring, Sleater-Kinney, Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians, Wire, Buzzcocks, The Undertones, Dead Boys, The Moldy Peaches, the Backbeat Band, The Jesus Lizard, Girls Against Boys, Season to Risk, Bishop Allen, We Are Scientists, The Like, The Psychedelic Furs, Mother Love Bone, Mudhoney, Bikini Kill, Shelter, Cracker, 10,000 Maniacs, Cowboy Junkies, The La’s, The Jesus & Mary Chain, John Wesley Harding, Meat Puppets, Beck, Sunny Day Real Estate, The Fastbacks, L7, Babes in Toyland, Liz Phair, Primal Scream, Manic Street Preachers, Bratmobile…
Now to be fair I only get to listen to The Spy when I’m in my car, but I seem to find myself stopping on The Brew more often during my scans of stations than I do The Spy. There have been a handful of times that The Spy has surprised me and played some amazing stuff—the other day for example they played “Planes, Trains, and Brains” by The Flaming Lips, this blew me away so much that I had to pull over and post a status update about it on Facebook from my phone. Other times that I have gotten excited about what The Spy was playing include the times that I heard John Moreland, Red City Radio, and The Pipettes, but sadly these times are the exceptions and not the rule.
I applaud Ferris O’Brien and what he is trying to do with The Spy and I hope that it stays on the air for years to come. I just wish that they played a better variety of alternative music.