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The state of radio

GUEST,josepp 28 Jan 12 - 05:26 PM
Darowyn 29 Jan 12 - 05:14 AM
GUEST,josepp 29 Jan 12 - 11:18 AM
Will Fly 29 Jan 12 - 11:33 AM
GUEST,josepp 29 Jan 12 - 12:36 PM
Darowyn 30 Jan 12 - 04:20 AM
GUEST,999 30 Jan 12 - 07:00 AM
Deckman 30 Jan 12 - 08:02 AM
GUEST,josepp 30 Jan 12 - 06:35 PM
GUEST,999 30 Jan 12 - 06:47 PM
GUEST,josepp 30 Jan 12 - 07:52 PM
GUEST,999 30 Jan 12 - 08:16 PM
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Subject: The state of radio
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 05:26 PM

I mentioned in a "Paul is dead" thread about buying a 10 CD compilation of Detroit radio going from 1956 to 2011. Having listened to the whole thing, I realize how far radio has fallen. I think more kids today go to YouTube for music than turn on the radio--and who could blame them? Commercial radio is just that--commercials in large blocks separated by a song or two. This is just blatant money-grabbing. There is obviously no concern for the music, just play the commercials and get paid for it and play just enough music to justify your existence. They'd play commercials 24/7 if they could get away with it.

YouTube is a double-edged sword. An excellent repository of music but also home to a lot of mediocrity. Not that that is bad by itself--it gives anybody a chance to be heard--but, according to a source I read, the most watched video clip of 2011 was "Friday" by Rebecca Black. I guess I didn't help by then watching it myself, but how do you know how good it is if you don't? I didn't get more than 45 seconds through it and turned it off. It was terrible. Rebecca Black makes me look like a musical genius but evidently a huge number of people disagree judging from the number of hits she's gotten on that clip. You can count mine on one hand. But her song is horrible--it stinks. Same with her singing. I mean, I've seen 9-year-old kids at singing contests that could belt it out with amazing skill and talent and yet this horrible song and it's horrible singer gets to have the most watched video of 2011. I heard kids who love it and think it's music and I don't know what to say.

Rebecca Black couldn't have made it on the radio. Her popularity is unique to being on YouTube. But because radio has made itself unlistenable, people tune into this stuff and then the radio is forceed to play it to compete. And so there is this downward spiral.

"American Idol" and "America Has Talent" are also culprits as is the entire reality TV genre which elevates the mediocre and outright rotten performers the coveted rank of "celebrity." And it's disheartening but not all that shocking what behavior people will stoop to get themselves on TV. If eating cat turds out of a litter box would get someone noticed on TV then someone will do it.

But the real problem is that this is no longer the exception. William Hung was a joke when he first assaulted our ears on TV but frankly I don't find him any worse than Rebecca Black.

Radio once acted as a barrier to weed out the talentless wastes of time who crawl willy-nilly around the lower rungs of the recording industry like cockroaches hoping to find their way up. But now radio has driven younger listeners to those roaches and have opened the door for them. The kids love the cockroaches today.

When I was 13 or 14, I still knew what good music was. The first record album I ever bought with my own hard-earned money (delivering papers) was "Nilsson Schmilsson". Why? I heard it on the radio and I liked it. My next album was "In the Court of the Crimson King" because, again, I heard it on the radio and liked it. There is nothing equivlaent for younger listeners of radio today who have to wade through 10 minutes of commercials to hear 3 minutes of music.

Kelly Clarkson isn't a bad singer--better than I'll ever be--but she is no Laura Nyro, no Janis Joplin, no Judy Collins, no Joni Mitchell. Some will no doubt dispute it but to me I don't think there's any denying these aforementioned ladies are several cuts above Kelly Clarkson. And the idea of buying the CDs and seeing the concerts of someone who made her name winning on "Idol" is just downright creepy.   Talk about media manipulation! And don't you Brits start on me--you have Susan Boyle and she's even worse.

Same with what's left of rock music. Green Day sucks. So does Radiohead and Coldplay. But they are the top rock acts. Why? Because they are pretty much all there is to choose from. And kids today accept this because they not only have no choice, they aren't even aware of how bad it is.

Why are in a downward spiral in so many ways all at the same time. It's quite remarkable. But when and how does it end??


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Subject: RE: The state of radio
From: Darowyn
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 05:14 AM

Right now, I'm listening to BBC Radio 6 music. I hear a lot of music I don't know, but do like.
There are no adverts.
OK that is a specialist station, for people who want something different from mass-produced R&B and Cowell Clone singers.
Sadly, the reason why you don't have that sort of radio and we do, is political.
Personally, I quite like a big, silly Coldplay anthem with a "woah, woah" chorus, though I have no plans to buy any of their recordings. Never liked Radiohead, and I thought "American Idiot" had a point worth making. I do find the Prog bands, like Yes and King Crimson just about unlistenable these days- although I felt really hip for loving them at the time!
There are a lot of good, new bands around, and a lot of great older stuff that I never heard at the time- Radio 6 has just played a Juliet Greco song, in French! The presenter is Cerys Matthews, formerly singer with Catatonia.
You are listening to the wrong side of the Atlantic, Josepp.
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: The state of radio
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 11:18 AM

Well, we have satellite radio over here which is decent. But I spend all my time listening to 40s on 4--which plays music from the 40s (some GREAT jazz and R&B from that era). Also the Bluesville channel which plays a lot of good blues including some good modern stuff I probably would never have heard otherwise. Of course, I listen to channel 67 which is jazz, jazz, jazz. And they play some nice stuff too--Miles, McCoy Tyner, Sonny Rollins, Art Tatum, Coltrane, Al Haig, Coleman Hawkins, Basie, Bill Evans, Ornette, Duke, Lester Young, Diz, Dexter Gordon, Ron Carter, Donald Byrd--wonderful stuff. I would like to hear more Sun Ra, Joe Pass, Neils Pedersen, Ray Brown, Bix & Frankie, Archie Shepp, Oscar P and so on--but they probably play those guys when I'm not listening. Jazz is a huge universe.

It's really local radio I'm ranting about. It's pathetic. You had to live in Detroit in the 60s and 70s to know what I'm talking about. There is one Canadian station that still plays the old AM hit radio format that I listened to as a boy but being AM the reception is bad--certainly not comparable to satellite--but they actually play about a half-hour of music with only a few commercials and I can hear all those great old hits I listened to as a wee lad so kudos to them.

But, you know, I've outgrown that and don't want to hear that all the time. But other than that local station, the rest are horrible. And I mean horrible. Compare it to what it used to be when I was in my adolescence and there is no doubt of how badly it has fallen.

/////like Yes and King Crimson////

I liked Yes but was never a huge Yes fan. As for Crimson, as I hit my teens (I was listening to "Court" when I was 11), I went for their more obscure stuff like "Earthbound" which Fripp apparently hated but which I thought was excellent. Then again, it was close to jazz if not outright jazz--mixed with Fripp's sense of the bizarre. They should have done more stuff like that. "Lark's Tongues" was pretty good as was "Red." I was and still am a huge fan of Fripp & Eno. Haven't had a release since 2004. They need to get on the stick.

///You are listening to the wrong side of the Atlantic, Josepp.///

On this side of the Atlantic, we have been polluted with the likes of Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan who belong on YOUR side of the Atlantic.


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Subject: RE: The state of radio
From: Will Fly
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 11:33 AM

On this side of the Atlantic, we have been polluted with the likes of Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan who belong on YOUR side of the Atlantic.

Josepp - PLEASE don't send them back!


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Subject: RE: The state of radio
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 12:36 PM

We Yanks were evidently unaware of Britain's no refund, no return policy on these two louts. I can't seem to get them off my TV. One way or another, there they are.


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Subject: RE: The state of radio
From: Darowyn
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 04:20 AM

Incidentally, josepp, I was lucky enough to see and hear Robert Fripp playing a solo lunchtime gig in Worcester Cathedral a couple of years ago. He was using some very clever looping and sample-and-hold devices along with his special tuned-in-fifths guitar.
I can only say that it was an utterly enthralling performance. The elaborate soundscapes combined with the gorgeous acoustics of the Cathedral, along with the numinous atmosphere of a thousand year old, and beautiful, religious building all helped to creat something transcendently inspirational and utterly memorable.
I really liked it.
Then, in a wonderful example of the fact that even the highest flying artist must live in the real, day to day, world, at the end of the gig, Mrs Fripp, AKA Toyah, turned up with the car to help him get the gear home in the car.
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: The state of radio
From: GUEST,999
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 07:00 AM

Josepp, you'll get a kick outta this, considering the first record y'ever bought: You're breakin' my heart, you're tearin' apart so . . .

I agree with you regarding radio. Big music has left little music out of the mix for the most part. It's great however to see this kid making music. I listened to it and I really like it. Reminds me of a car we borrowed one night--but returned it about two hours later unhurt and $2.00 in the ashtray to cover the gas we used.

C'mon. It's a little compressed (Friday), but fun. The other stuff I listened to is girl-band schlock. The kid is doing great. She'll make the business come to her. Good marketing.


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Subject: RE: The state of radio
From: Deckman
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 08:02 AM

I'll wade into this discussion as I've been a radio fan since I was 13 ... and that was 100 years ago. I agree with what has been said about the downfall of radio today. I can't listen anymore to "commercial radio", as it's nothing but commercials.

The best answer for me, in the small town of Everett (close to Seattle) is my local community radio station KSER. They really go to great efforts to make it community based in every way. They promote local musicians, have many live interviews with regional shakers and movers. And ... they live-stream.

I was in Palmer Alaska about nine months ago. While there, I had a conversation with a local couple that were starting a community radio station soon. I have musician friends in Seattle who have had serious thoughts about doing the same.

And, a final thought ... IT IS ALL ABOUT MONEY! Thanks for starting an interesting, and timely thread. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: The state of radio
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 06:35 PM

////Incidentally, josepp, I was lucky enough to see and hear Robert Fripp playing a solo lunchtime gig////

I saw latter-day Crimson (Fripp, Belew, Levin and Bruford) live once. My brother saw him do a Frippertronics clinic at a local record store once. It kills me that I missed it because I would have had SO many questions. I know of one church with a really boomy services area that would probably complement his material very well but it will almost certainly never happen.

////you'll get a kick outta this, considering the first record y'ever bought: You're breakin' my heart, you're tearin' apart so . . .////

That was off "Son of Schmilsson" actually. I bought that one too, eventually.

/////The kid is doing great. She'll make the business come to her. Good marketing.////

First of all, I don't believe for a second that she just made this vid on her own. It was obviously bankrolled by some big label using YT to market their new acts. Same with Justin Bieber. There has to be a bit of payola going on there or something equivalent to paying girls to scream and faint at Sinatra shows. Soon others figure they should do the same because everybody else is doing it.

You might like it but it is precisely the kind of schlock you're putting down. Nothing I would have wasted two seconds on listening to when I was that age. But with so little else to choose from today, she gets noticed. I find that alarming. It's turning us tasteless and stupid.

////I can't listen anymore to "commercial radio", as it's nothing but commercials.////

I remember when I got my first FM radio at 12. I would sit glued to the thing listening to all these cool songs and even the commercials were cool back then. I was enthralled and fascinated by FM radio and all this new, different stuff I was hearing. Even groups I was familiar with in my AM days had stuff on FM that was very different--The Who, for example, I knew "My Generation" but "Baba O'Reilly" blew my mind! But there all these new bands--Roxy Music and Bowie (whom I never heard on AM) and more adult-oriented Dylan and Taj Mahal and the Fugs and White Noise. A whole new universe opened up to me. The first time I ever heard of John Coltrane was on WABX, a true underground station in those days, when they played both sides of "OM" uninterrupted. I heard Morton Subotnick's "Silver Apples of the Moon" on ABX--my first really in-depth introduction to the Moog Synth (although I knew about the Moog since 2nd grade). Then ELP popped the top off the can. When I first heard Renaissance, I thought, "Who is that woman who sings like an angel??" To show how far the Brits have fallen, they give Susan Boyle more publicity than Annie Haslam ever had.

Radio now is pathetic. Utterly pathetic. I would LOVE to start my own radio station and do like the old underground DJs and just play whatever the hell I want. I have a HUGE collection of music--I'd never run out. But I have NO experience in radio--wouldn't know where to start. It's very frustrating because I keep saying we need to do something and I have no idea what to do myself.


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Subject: RE: The state of radio
From: GUEST,999
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 06:47 PM

There are more than a few people on Mudcat who know about that stuff, josepp. Let's keep the thread near the top for a few days and see who can suggest what.


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Subject: RE: The state of radio
From: GUEST,josepp
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 07:52 PM

Instead of broadcasting locally, which would likely be a huge hassle, I wonder about streaming. I know a lot of radio stations both broadcast and stream and I would like to do that also but all the stuff that goes into a running a radio station and all the FCC rules--I don't know. But getting a streaming station where I could play all this stuff without getting sued or shut down--that might be the way to go.


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Subject: RE: The state of radio
From: GUEST,999
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 08:16 PM

http://radio.about.com/od/createinternetradio/How_To_Create_Your_Own_Streaming_Internet_Radio_Station.htm


Worth looking at, j.


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