Tag Archives: radio

No, radio, I will not enable you

Recently, I had the opportunity to be part of the Arbitron ratings system. I was sent an initial questionnaire, in which I left no doubt that I would be interested participating in the TV survey. I also made it very, very clear that I had no interest in the radio survey.

So of course I was selected for the radio survey.

At that point, my interest ended, for a few reasons:

1) My radio listening habits consist primarily of changing the channels 3-4 times in the 10 minutes it takes me to get from home to work. I don’t listen to the radio at work, at home, anywhere else. Sure, I’ll occasionally hang with National Public Radio for the full dime on the car ride, but it’s not unusual for me to turn to one station, listen to the end of a song there, hate the next song, turn to another station, listen to the end of a song there, etc. Recording that would drive me nuts. Plus, I’ve gotten to the point now where I play music on my iPhone half the time, music that would in no way be part of said survey.

2) Since I listen to the radio like in such a minimal and haphazard way, it would mark me as an outlier and my data would be ignored. Statistically, I wouldn’t matter. Just like I haven’t mattered to radio since about 1991, when I graduated high school and quit listening.

3) Why the hell would I do anything to help radio? It’s the ultimate in lowest-common-denominator media. It eschews anything interesting, intelligent or artistic to pump aural junk food and the garbage that is talk radio out to the sheeple. No thanks. I don’t want to be part of that. Unless, of course, it’s time to put radio down like Old Yeller. I’m all in on that one.

4) As mentioned in the previous paragraph, I have no dog in this hunt. With things like iTunes, Spotify, etc., I can find any music any time, not something that’s programmed by a bunch of music-hating numbers crunchers who only play music that record labels pay them under the table to play. I don’t need radio because I have what I call my “Radio Adam” playlist, consisting of more than 400 songs, always listened to on shuffle. I can hear Jimmy Cliff’s The Harder They Come followed by The Cars’ My Best Friend’s Girl followed by Liz Phair’s Fuck and Run followed by Helmet’s In the Meantime followed by Nice ‘n’ Smooth’s Sometimes I Rhyme Slow. Where am I going to hear five genres spread out over 3-4 decades like that on the public airwaves? Maybe on stations in places like Austin or San Fran, and even then it’s doubtful.

So, thanks, Arbitron, but no thanks. Contact me again if you ever want me to do the TV survey. Or if you need someone to help dig radio’s grave. I’m all in.

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Songs classic rock radio should be playing, No. 5

Classic rock radio, it’s time to weed out the losers and plant a Soundgarden.

5. Soundgarden, Black Hole Sun. I could have picked Alice in Chains, Mother Love Bone, Screaming Trees, etc. The Seattle sound ruled rock in the early 1990s, which is now 20 years past and clearly worthy of “classic” designation. I chose this particular track because Soundgarden’s Superunknown was probably the biggest of the Seattle albums to cross over (with some apologies to Pearl Jam’s Vs.), and Black Hole Sun was a huge, all-over-radio-and-in-regular-rotation-on-MTV single that defined it. But lazy-ass classic rock radio has chosen to play only Neil Young-approved Pearl Jam and leave it at that. Unacceptable. Dump everything from overrated pop acts like REO Speedwagon, Kansas and .38 Special, and you’ d have plenty of room for rock that ruled both radio and video and actually mattered culturally.

Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mbBbFH9fAg

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Songs classic rock radio needs to forget, No. 1

1. Anything by Eddie Money. I’m cheating a bit, but it’s my damn list. Let me ask you this: Have you ever heard these words: “Up next, Eddie Money, by request”? No, you haven’t. Here’s why: Baby Hold On, Two Tickets To Paradise, Take Me Home Tonight, Shakin’, etc. The only people requesting these songs are A) on Money’s payroll and want to keep cashing checks, and B) Money’s family, who are afraid if the classic rock royalties dry up, Eddie will want to sleep on their couch. No big-time rock star is ever going to say, “I was really inspired by Think I’m In Love.” No one’s conceiving their children to I Wanna Go Back. No one wants to hear this guy anymore. And if they do, they’re paying the $5 entrance fee at the Jay County Fair and checking out the horror live. Cut him off. Make the world a better place … of course, radio programmers would probably just play more Foreigner in his place, so I’m not sure why I’m even trying.

Why you’d want to, I have no idea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbhXmSBlS_U

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Songs classic rock radio needs to forget, No. 4

4. Foreigner, Double Vision. I really could have chosen Feels Like the First Time, Hot Blooded, Head Games, Dirty White Boy … you get the point. These pedestrian pop stars have been masquerading as above-average rock stars for far too long (call it the “Nickelback Syndrome”). Double Vision in particular is lame lyrically, uninspired musically. The fact that this mildly catchy piece of milquetoast that has hung around for 30+ years is a blemish on classic rock radio’s permanent record. I don’t care if you sold 30 million albums in the 1970s. People thought Agent Orange, Richard Nixon and Ford Pintos were a good idea during that decade, too. We didn’t hang on to those dated, unhealthy, self-destructive proper nouns. Foreigner shouldn’t get a break, either.

If you must: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC0GXFNKw_I

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Songs class rock radio needs to forget, No. 5

Are you tired of hearing Magic Carpet Ride? Centerfold? Jumpin’ Jack Flash? If you’re like me, someone who loves music and isn’t hestitant about wandering off the beaten path to find it, you’re often offended by classic rock radio. Stations have the entire history of rock and roll to choose from, yet every afternoon during drive time you’ll likely hear I Can’t Drive 55. Every Friday afternoon Working for the Weekend will be spun. And some reason, despite the fact that he was once part of the greatest rock and roll bands to every walk the face of the earth, I continue to hear Robert Plant’s voice singing the same underwhelming Honeydrippers’ songs over and over and over again. Radio programmers ignore the vast palate from which they have to choose only to keep painting the airwaves beige, day after day. Here in East Central Indiana, you pretty much only have oldies, pop, classic rock, country and the usual right-wing gasbags on AM to choose from. Options are limited. And when classic rock stations lazily funnel those choices even more, it’s frustrating, agonizing and boring. And there is only one sin in rock and roll: Never, ever be boring.

So with this post I start my run of 5 Songs That Classic Rock Radio Needs To Forget.

#5. Lynyrd Skynyrd, That Smell. That smell of death around you? That’s backstage at a Lynyrd Skynyrd show, the rotting corpse of a once great band. Yes, we get it, these poor Southern boys, their friends, family and associates, have pretty much been cursed. Apparently, they wanted to share that curse with the rest of us. Because now, if you manage to listen to classic rock radio for about 15 minutes, you’ll likely hear this tired, dusty tune with its uninspired lyrics and awkward transitions into to the chorus. Freebird tends to be mocked, at least by people of my generation, but at least it’s a pleasure to listen to, even if – for some – it’s a guilty one. Sweet Home Alabama, Saturday Night Special, Simple Man, etc. There’s plenty of quality Skynyrd to choose from. Unfortunately, That Smell continues its stale run. it’s time to get the aural Febreeze and knock That Smell out of here.

Check out That Smell here, if you must: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjAPoN8qs0Q

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