Re: [rumori] radio variety

From: matt davignon (
Date: Thu Aug 15 2002 - 02:48:17 PDT

>Given that you have KALF, KUSF, KZSU, and KFJC around you Matt, I'm
>surprised your list above is quite so depressing...

I was trying to reflect on the lack of station variety that most listeners
get to encounter. Where I grew up, there was only the top 40 station, the
classic rock station, and the lite 70's station. Out of all the "indie"
stations, KPFA is the only one I can get in regularly, and they're mostly
talk. I only get KALX about 25% of the time (the same was true for KUSF when
I lived about a mile from it).

>bb> I actually disagree with the idea that their biz plan includes pushing
>people onto one platform - current pop...You can see this if you look
>through the very wide portfolios of labels owned by the big 5. They all
>have a pop label (or 2), a metal/hard rock/nu-metal label, an alternative
>label, a country label, a 'world cheese' label, a rap label, a soundtrack
>label, etc. I know it doesn't seem like much of range to you and I, but it
>is actually wider than you think.

Actually, that's exactly what I was trying to express. Not that they're
trying to get everyone onto the dance/rnb bandwagon. They do offer
"lifestyle choices" as you say, but the options within each lifestyle are
extremely limited. There has been nothing new in country music since I've
been sentient. Every metal/hard-rock band might as well be the same band
with the exception that some of them have rappers. I was actually having
some faith in rap music in recent years (with Dr Dre, Timbaland and The Rza
all being pretty unique producers), but it seems to be heading back into the
direction of expensive keyboard presets. And if what's widely available in
World music represents the world, then half the world is Celtic.

>Nothing scares them more than an Ani Difranco.

Isn't Righteous Babe (Ani's "indie" label) distributed by one of the majors?
Back in 1994, I was a bit suspicious that it was the only "indie" label to
consistently have product in every Sam Goody. That's strange for a
one-artist label.

>bb> I disagree that it's cheap sounding or lacking in effort. I know what
>kind of gear it takes to make that stuff sound so shiny and it's nothing
>like cheap.

Okay, I take that back. Lots of money and effort is spent on recording
vocals and making drum machines sound good. I was thinking of a lot of
modern (last 12 years) RnB and rap having really bad, sterile sounding midi.
Think of that Puff Daddy song "Do ya hate me now" from a couple of years
ago, or anything new on soft-rock stations.

>It just happens to be deployed in the worst possible artistic
>context...pure evil imperial intent. Even the stuff that's not ACTUALLY
>prurient SEEMS prurient.

Well, I still don't believe that being pop music makes something inherently
bad. The problem with pop music is, as you say, that Brittney Spears, her
songwriters, and her producers are not out there to promote art, arouse an
interest in music, or anything like that. The only reason Brittney keeps on
putting out albums is to give people something new to pay money for. If they
could, they'd just make one album, and sell it to you over and over again.

>...In fact, I suspect we'd all shift over to noise if collage was platinum
>selling territory.

It's not the success of the music that bothers me. I actually do own and
listen to a few platinum selling albums. (I think. Aphex Twin? O Brother?
Beck?) It's that it has fallen into a rut, and the people making the music
are under absolutely no pressure to rethink their musical approaches. It's
not the music that sells this music anymore. Rather, it's the marketing of
the music as a lifestyle tool and potential for social group-identity that
drives the CD sales.

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