Save Special X!

Today is a special, and sad, day at XM Bootcamp. XM announced changes to their channel lineup at CES; those changes take effect on February 1. Four channels got the axe — three which were sourced from Univision and played Latin music, and one XM original: Special X.

Special X plays anything and everything, starting with the weird and getting stranger from there. Of course they play traditional odd stuff, like Weird Al Yankovic, Tiny Tim, and Mrs. Miller, and they play the Dr. Demento show frequently — but you can hear that on the regular radio dial if you look carefully. Special X goes farther: they have a six-hour surf music extravaganza (“Wax My Woody”); there’s the weekly Polka Party; I just listened to “Sci Fi Hi Fi”, which is just what you’re afraid it is; they feature cartoon music on “Wabbit Tracks”, and they can get even stranger — I survived an episode of “The Fabulous World of Parrot Training Records” earlier this morning.

No, it’s not a channel which appeals to everyone; it’s not even a channel which appeals to me all of the time — and I don’t think it would make good background music at work. But it’s a channel which makes XM special, and I will be very sorry to see it go dark next weekend.