There's Hope Left On Those Airwaves.

I heard Finger Eleven's "so-last-year" hit "One Thing" on the radio the other day, and it occurred to me that, while it's not a bad song at all, it says a lot about the state of radio today. Because everyone who hears that song knows ten songs just like it, in a very similar style, by all kinds of artists, which are much better than "One Thing." To make things worth, this was followed up immediately by the latest Paris Hilton single (from a debut album subtly title Paris).

Take me now, Lord. My cup overfloweth.

Most people who know me have heard me rant about radio, Clear Channel, the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and the vibe-killing actions of The Man. But it's summer, it's time to drive around with the windows down, blaring your AM/FM radio (and cassette player) and blowing out your factory speakers. So here's good news about the radio to brighten your summer:

1. Those of you who caught my bit on John Mayer and Keane last week should know that both artists have singles out on the radio, and both seem to be at least marginally following my advice. All the guitar I've heard so far on Keane's recently-released Under The Iron Sea album is positively incidiary, and while Mayer's announced his new album is "a little John Mayer Trio-ish," that first song, "Waiting on the World to Change," is just brilliant.
2. Thanks to Shakira, "Hollaback Girl" is no longer the most played single in American radio history. Thank you, Shakira. As a sign of our gratitude, you can have Texas.
3. And while Sufjan has yet to hit mainstream radio, a song about Sufjan has arrived, as Snow Patrol's newest single, Hands Open, talks about driving around and playing "Chicago," which isn't a bad idea.
4. While we're at it - the radio's playing new Snow Patrol, which is another thing to look forward to. They're also playing O.A.R., which I never expected to happen.
5. Chad Kroeger was arrested for drunk driving in Canada, which might, maybe, just maybe, decrease Nickelback's air time on national radio. As a sign of our gratitude, Canada can have Texas if Shakira doesn't want it.
6. Bow Wow has decided to retire from the rap game (when did he start?). I'm assuming, offhand, that he's doing this in order to focus on his acting, which just go a huge boost in "Fast and The Furious: Tokyo Drift." At least, I'll assume it did. I'd rather not see it just to check.
7. In a response to having an American Idol hit the top 20 with a karaoke cover of "Wanted Dead or Alive," John Bon Jovi has released yet another single into Top 40 radio. I haven't heard it yet, but I'm going to bet it's gonna sound a good deal like "Wanted Dead or Alive," only with a female vocalist accompaniment. Any takers? Didn't think so.

Sure, the list's a little thin, but hold on as best you can. The Fray and Panic! At the Disco are climbing the charts. Guster has a new album out. There's hope left.

And whenever that runs out, there's always Sirius.