Thursday, October 04, 2007

Music radio had a good run.

I don't exactly have popular tastes.

This makes listening to music on the radio an exercise in frustration. What's that? You say you're playing that new pop song by that new pop artist? Great! It's kinda catchy! What's that? You're playing it again? What's that? You're going to stop just short of playing it back to back?! Hey, thanks for that. After all, if people didn't want to listen to the same song over and over again, they'd probably just change the station to one of the other 10 music stations owned by the same company, playing the exact same bullshit songs over and over. People usually listen to the radio in short blocks, around two hours, if you listen beyond those blocks, you realize that they're playing the same songs they just played. Try it, and keep long slender objects out of reach so you don't try to jam them into your ears after hearing that new hit single for the 11th time today.

Even when the music is tolerable, "deejays" can't help but interrupt over and over to remind you that they are, in fact, playing music. Or they take advantage of the rule that you don't talk over vocals, and when a song is starting out and building to the vocals, they feel free to yammer about nothing in particular over the first 45 seconds of a song. What really pisses me off, is when they're not trying to squeeze in announcements or information, they're just relating a story associated with the song. Ah, so when you first heard this song you liked it a lot? Please tell me more, Mr. Deejay. Additionally, instead of just holding down the button and telling us the story all at once, tell us the story in 4 second bursts so the music fades in and out annoyingly over and over. By the way, Mr. Deejay, after you've finished your story, feel free to continue to speak though you've nothing to say! Bonus points if you can continue saying things like "Yeah...", "Sooo..." and "Yep..." until just before the vocals start and quickly say the name of the show and the station and release the button with the satisfaction of knowing that you are a complete tool douchebag. (a tool would just say the station name; you bore us, and interrupt our music before saying the station name.)

Stations available run the gamut of music; oldies, rock/alt, country, rap/r&b, jazz/easy listening and... Oh, wait. That's it. Being a fan of electronic music I'm forced to suffer through Green Day's Time of your life, which is the 200th time in my life I've heard the damn song, before they actually consider playing a song I might actually enjoy. But every few years a station will pop on the dial that actually plays electronic/dance music, and for 6 months, life is good. No, life is awesome. Having great music to listen to when driving here and there or reading at home really makes a difference in my mood. Which makes it all the more wrenching when 6 months from the station's founding, I'm listening to my favorite music at 11:59pm, and at 12:00am I'm suddenly listening to mariachi music. Fuck you guys. How many truckloads of money did Clear Channel back up to your station to buy you out and eliminate you as competition? It isn't as though people didn't like the station because when the station shuts down and you flip to one of the "popular" stations that wouldn't play electronica if you chained it to a burning car as it rolled slowly toward a cliff siding a canyon filled with jagged rocks, broken glass, and salt; and surprise surprise, they're playing music straight from a playlist they snatched from the warm, dead hands of the dearly departed station. As if to say, "Hey, we hate what happened to that poor station too, but we've got what you need! I'd like to say this goes on for a week before they return to the same bullshit music, but it's usually about three days. Why mix up their "winning" line up of new pop song, old pop song, and popular 90's rock song, unless they thought there were ears to be bent? In my short life, I've seen this happen THREE times. After the last time I stopped listening to music on the radio.

Fortunately, I'm usually able to find independent stations that play interesting music. I'm not talking about the "Super Indy, Independent music radio that is totally not owned by some huge corporation so don't even bother looking at who funds us... please"-station, I'm talking about college radio stations. These are great for some interesting music, but you don't get any guarantee that you'll hear what you want. Fortunately, these stations usually have an electronic or semi-electronic night show.

After my most recent loss (which was surprising because the station had been around for a long time), I found a station that fulfilled my specific trance/dance/lounge/jazz taste. Another college station that could barely reach my area. After trying to catch a station name through the static that interrupted the music every 5-8 seconds, I found the station online, and it has an internet radio station. My DecTOP is going to get plugged into the sound system so I can stream constantly and just turn it on whenever I want to listen at home. Awesome. The station is KSBR, and is currently playing some easy listening... I'm guessing that awesome starts in the evening (PST), right now it's generic smooth jazz. Check it out later.

With my mounting frustration with radio, I'm finding the idea of paying for radio to be more and more attractive. I'd get the kind of music I want whenever I want, with (likely) minimal intrusion from "zany" deejays trying to make themselves memorable in some way so they don't get replaced when people realize they're just monkeys that push buttons.

1 comment:

blogagog said...

Once you start using pay radio, you cannot go back. It's like buying DSL and then switching back to dial-up.