Sunday, March 10, 2013

#639: Giving Up on Radio

Of course I've been giving up on radio for YEARS, but this time it's Serious.
After going thru a brief nothing-but-radio phase (because I was bored with my music from home) & a nothing-but-news-&-talk-radio phase, I'm convinced there's nothing in the Seattle area worth tuning-into anymore. Can't remember the last time I was surprised by any music, the news stations just repeat themselves, & the late-nite talk-radio programs ... well, don't get me started. Some people will believe ANYTHING. The BS factor is pretty high.
The weird thing is, the Seattle stations sometimes run commercials about how 2 million people in the greater Seattle area listen 2 at least 2 hours of radio per day -- usually when they're stuck in traffic, I'll bet. With that kind of audience, you'd think there'd B something 4 every1. But there isn't. More & more it seems radio programming is all about AVOIDING surprises, about making sure everything is comfortable & familiar 2 the listener.
When's the last time you heard something surprising on your local radio station? When's the last time they kicked-off the weekend with something fairly high-energy -- say Cheap Trick's "Surrender" or the Easybeats' "Friday on My Mind" or the Bobby Fuller Four's "I Fought the Law," or even Bob Seger's "Hollywood Nights"?
The 1 moderately adventurous Oldies station we had here has gone WAY more mainstream & safe since more people discovered they're around. Now they play the same old worn-out list of 200 publicly-acceptable oldies. It's been a long time since they've played anything as off-the-wall as Small Faces' "Lazy Sunday," or even Jefferson Starship's "Play on Love." Or even Perry Como....
Not everybody likes surprises -- some people might actually B jolted enuf 2 mess-up the traffic flow, or even change 2 another station. & we can't have that.
(My girlfriend assures me Country stations R the same way -- most of them play the current country hits 2 death, & maybe an occasional oldie from as far as 10 years back. But if you want 2 hear any classic country, the formats R so fragmented that you havta find a Classic Country station. Sounds just like the rock&roll situation, don't it?)
So, almost every day when I go 2 work I carry a big bag of about 3-dozen motivational CD's, everything from the Beatles & Fleetwood Mac & the Bangles & the Go-Go's 2 Camel & Caravan. & even tho I'm fairly bored with almost all of them, I know I can come up with a better, more motivational playlist than any of my local music stations.
& I'm sure millions of other folks around the country do something similar -- with CD's or iPods or whatever. No wonder radio's dying -- fewer listeners, smaller pool of $$$ 2 support the format, downward spiral, everything gets tight & conservative, etc....

(To be continued....)

No comments: