Friday, March 18, 2011

Why are there no good songs on the radio?

Radio in NYC was pretty good. There were stations I loved, particularly WBLS. Way back then (about 18 years ago), I could always spin the dial and find some good music.

So when I moved to upstate New York, I wasn't expecting to find myself in a radio wasteland. Up here, you can turn on the radio and spin that dial all day without ever hearing a song you like -- or anything new, for that matter. They just play the same, dead songs over and over and . . .

I blame empty-headed companies like ClearChannel for the dearth of good music. They are the white bread of radio stations and lately it seems every station has jumped on that bandwagon. What ever happened to all those fresh FM stations that played new music?

It seems the only requirements for "artists" to be played on local radio is that they be white, heterosexual and talent-free. And yes, it's always white people. I call this idiotic brand of music "het-rock". They can't sing on key and the lyrics are always mundane boy-girl stuff. Talent? These folks offer nothing.

It's like it was planned. You almost expect that if one of these stations accidentally played an innovative song, they'd pull it off the air in mid-play, exclaiming, "How dare anyone show talent?! Don't they know this is a ClearChannel station?!"

It makes me long to be back in the city, though perhaps things are the same there by now. Maybe a reader from NYC can enlighten me on this point. And no, I don't want to pay for radio. It seems obscene. Still, I don't get it. If there's a great new song, why wouldn't a non-pay radio station play it? Isn't that in their best interest?

I know: the elephant in the room. Maybe there are no more good songs or talented artists and musicians. Maybe the only music that exists now is het-rock. Has mediocrity extended its greasy fingers into every aspect of our country? Is musical talent a thing of the past? Or do I just live in a radio wasteland?

How are the stations near you? And when was the last time you heard anything new and interesting on the radio?