Sound choices

Ace, Charlottesville’s FM dial has put a spell on me, and I can’t get no satisfaction—or relief, for that matter. Mostly, I just don’t know where to go for what I like. Any chance you can help me find what I’m looking for?—Ray Diogaga

Funny you should ask, Ray. Ace was just receiving some instant rock gratification from 91.9 WNRN. See, Ace is an unrepentant rock junkie. He doesn’t have time to wait around for his rock. WNRN gives him his rock, and gives it to him now. Not later. “WNRL” is not a station Ace would listen to.

But when Ace’s rock cravings get more intense, he turns to 97.5 3WV. It’s there for him when he needs something harder and heavier—the kind of rock that sets your temples throbbing, your teeth grinding, your adrenal glands firing double-time. Tom Petty. Eric Clapton. You know, freaky metal dudes like that. Sometimes Ace wants it all—everything that rocks.

When Ace’s rock cravings get more intense, he turns to 97.5 3WV. It’s there for him when he needs something harder and heavier—the kind of rock that sets your temples throbbing, your teeth grinding.

But it’s during these periods of fast living that Ace gets into trouble. He’s on the road to radio burnout, and his cravings are only getting stronger, more esoteric. Ace’ll go looking everywhere for the next big radio fix. Sometimes he’ll roll all the way down the dial to 107.5 WWTJ, where this guy TOM says he’ll play anything, anytime. He talks big, but Ace has heard it all before. Madonna, Bon Jovi, Prince. Stuff Ace had a good time with in high school, but isn’t doing much for him lately.

Usually, this is when Ace decides that it’s time for a change. Time to lay off the rock and broaden his horizons. Now he spends time at The Corner, 106.1 WCNR, developing his tastes and opening his mind, because different is good. Of course, every now and then he gets worn out on all this bleeding heart diversity and flips over to 99.7 WCYK, which is his country station. Get your own.

There are times when Ace just needs to mellow out. Then you’ll catch him listening to NPR on 89.7 WVTF, boosting his Radio IQ. Or sampling obscure, culturally significant tunes on 91.1 WTJU, which his hipster friends assure him is a sound choice. And when Ace is in the mood for love, he slinks on down to Kiss 92.7 WUVA, Charlottesville’s adult contemporary and R&B channel. Because, forgive him, but Ace can’t help but think about Kiss’ “Ten in a Row” pledge in terms of his aspirations at the end of a hot date.

You can ask Ace yourself. Intrepid investigative reporter Ace Atkins has been chasing readers’ leads for 20 years. If you have a question for Ace, e-mail it to

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