It’s time for the second ‘Grumpy Old Man’ blog. Before I let rip I would like to thank all the very bored people who took the time to read my first expose on that functionless and costly piece of mens clothing, the preposterous TIE. Don’t forget to add your comments and pass on the Word Press link to your friends and maybe your enemies as well.
I have had time to mull over my new topic Commercial Radio. The mulling in fact has been going on for the past 30 years. It is no small coincidence that commercial and crap start with the third letter of the alphabet. PEOPLE if you have even a passing interest in music then why in the hell do you tune your wireless to the moronic, unfunny, advertising riddled, big business controlled play lists that assail your auditory senses. Let us not beat around the bush here. I am talking about Fox (vermin), Triple M (moronic), Nova (star that becomes vastly brighter and then gradually dims – the current phase), Gold (fools).
Now I have a theory that I have expounded on for some time now. That is that music has its greatest influence on us in our early to late teenage years. A confusing time, when we are experiencing all sorts of change, both physically and mentally. When we are at our most rebellious and are growing into ourselves. We want to be cool and make up our own minds and you can’t do that listening to your parent’s daggy music. Well guess what most of us have turned into our parents regardless of our long ago good intentions.
I recently finished reading a book I purchased at Dymocks Collins Street store titled ‘This Is Your Brain On Music’ author Daniel Levitin. ISBN 978 1 84354 716 7
‘Daniel Levitin was a record producer and he now works as a neuroscientist and in this book he explores how the human brain perceives music, and how composers beguile and challenge us’. – Classic FM Magazine
I was pleasantly surprised to read that a very learned and far better educated man than my humble self wrote a passage in his book that went someway to giving credence to my theory.
‘Researchers point to the teen years as the turning point for musical preferences. It is around the age of ten and eleven that most children take on music as a real interest, even those children who didn’t express such an interest in music earlier. As adults, the music we tend to be nostalgic for, the music that feels like it is ”our” music, corresponds to the music we heard during those years’.
I recommend you grab yourself a copy. It is hard reading and can be a bit technical for those (like me) that have no music ability but non the less it really gets you thinking about how music can move you, inspire you, make you happy, make you sad and make you think.
Now I am not advocating that you completely turn your back on the music you grew up with. It is too engraved in your psyche. I like the Beatles, the Stones, the Doors etc., etc. but just not every day. The most brilliant thing that can be experienced as a music fan is to be surprised. To hear a band for the first time and go WOW, to feel that tingle go down your spine as you tell yourself ‘how good was that’. I had that happen to me recently while listening to ABC’s Dig radio when I heard for the first time ‘Hold On’ by a young band called the Alabama Shakes. I purchased the album and found out later that I will get to see them live at this year’s New Orleans Jazz Fest.
Commercial radio does play new releases (Gold FM aside) but it plays over produced tripe that is being driven by some fat cat executive at a major record label that couldn’t give a shit about innovative, talented musicians. The pop chart is just a flow on to the more important share price and another obscene bonus.
One of my little pleasure before getting into work is having a fifteen minute sit down in a local café to read the paper and have a coffee. I have been known to boycott certain cafes pursuant to what radio station they have on. I recall with utter disgust sitting through a week of ‘gotcha calls’ before I made the decision to never again go into that particular establishment. More the pity as they made great coffee and the staff were very friendly. This is my take on morning radio. Ten minutes of inane conversation by a couple of nobodies laughing at their own unfunny observations, then someone rings up with more dumb ass stories, followed by ten minutes of advertisements and then maybe a song that will not be remembered by anyone in a year or so.
Ah but there is a solution and folks it is community radio. Now community also starts with the third letter of the alphabet but is it a good C. I am talking about 106.7 PBS. 102.7 RRR. These are two stations where you can hear people who have a passion for music, talking about music. Where the play list is determined by the presenter and not dictated by some faceless man or woman. I will not guarantee that everything you hear will be to your liking. That is the beauty of experimenting, taking a chance. Another station to check out is the ABC’s Dig radio although I now have some reservation about its play list as JJJ are now involved. JJJ was a great station for new music but from my understanding and talking to people in the independent record producing business they are pretty much corporate now. Or you could do as I recently did a buy yourself a good quality digital radio. I regularly tune in to New Orleans WWOZ which is very similar to our own community radio. The list of digital radio stations worldwide is extensive and you are bound to get your music fix without the shit.
I was perturbed when reading a couple of recent newspaper articles. That would be in the Age newspaper folks as the Herald Sun is much like commercial radio (I’ll leave that comment as is and maybe the Herald Sun will get its own blog). These article state that a record 9.7 million people listened in to Commercial radio last year. Commercial radio ad revenue grew by 2.8 per cent to $355.7 million in the six months to December 2013.. That amounts to a whole lot of crap advertising that is forced upon you. You see Commercial radio is not about the music or supporting the local music scene. It is about revenue, value for shareholders and pandering to big business. It allows creeps like Kyle Sandilands to boast recently that his new show would steal the number one rated position straight away. I just cannot fathom why anyone in their right mind would want to listen to the shit he talks.
My plea to you is change your dial. Support radio that supports music and musicians and contributes to growing “Your Brain On Music”
‘The art of advertising – untruthfulness combined with repetition’. Freya Stark