Saturday, January 29, 2005

The Songs On the Radio Still Suck, I'm Afraid

Okay .... so I've been a little cranky lately. I at some point, I think, compared an Avril Lavigne song to a blood-stained piece of shit; I found no solace in NPR; and I've lectured strangers that any song that declares 'This house is not a home' is criminally worthless. The common feature here, of course, is that I'm becoming obsessed by my car radio. Make that, obsessed by my hatred of my car radio. A couple of weeks ago I found a big band station I liked, weak signal and all, and I listened to it pretty regularly whenever I was in its transmission's five-block radius. Ever since I heard a series of commercials on Social Security pension fraud and disposable diaper adverts, and realized that I was an intruder in its elderly target audience, I've not been as willing to return to that five-block radius. Silly, I know. But I felt like I didn't belong .... like what was mine, what I deserved, was to the right on my radio dial.

How ... how, in this age of IPods and CD players, does crap radio still exist? One would've thought that alternatives would've raised the bar, but it is as though it has simply gotten worse. My theory is that Clear Corp. has some major stock interest in Apple and Sony, and realizes that the big money is in pushing people toward using their products instead. How to do this? Simple ... play shit, 24/7 ... or, as I heard last week, have inane announcers ask questions like, 'Why do you think women's bathrooms are cleaner than men's?'

The other alternative is (a) that of NPR, to entice the responsible consumer with its own brand of vacuity; or (b) the college radio stations on which NPR typically broadcasts, which is often as draining as commerical radio, what for its New Age music hour, which seems to be every hour, and almost certainly has commerical interests of its own. For instance, listen to the music in your local Starbucks, and then listen to your local college radio station, unless you're in one of the few towns that still has a station that plays balls-to-the-wall punk. I for one will be damned if I don't hear the same deadening, I-want-to-sleep/I-need-coffee-music on both my local college radio stations as I do in the Starbucks at which my wife is currently enslaved.