Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Grossness Killed the Radiostar.

Last week I was shocked and saddened to hear that my favorite LA indie station, Indie 103.1, would be going off the air and now only available online. It seems that they were being forced to start spinning awful playlists that plague most radio stations (you know, most likely either mindless pop, atonal r&b or buttrock) and instead of just let that happen, they just said no. One of my favorite things about going out to LA was to just drive around the canyons in my rental car and listen to 103.1 and hear lots of new music and dj Mick Jones from the Clash interview people and have whistling contests. I've discovered some of my favorite new bands from that station.
This week I'm at home in New Jersey and a station 106.3 that I grew up on. Discovered when I was in high school bands like the Sundays, Pixies, Pavement, the Church, etc via the excellent DJ Matt Pinfield. Sure they went through some subtle format shifts through the years but recently were getting pretty good again playing new stuff from Beck, Arcade Fire, Gaslight Anthem, and MGMT. Anyways, I turn it on yesterday and I am met with Nelly, then Britney Spears. What the fuck?! Why are there no outlets for good fresh new music with some heart and some fucking balls anymore. Record stores are a rarity these days and now it seems that good radio stations and DJs have fallen to the same fate. Just makes me so sad. It makes me sad that there is a chance that my nieces and nephews and in the future, my kids, will never know the joy of discovering good music that isnt bullshit that corporations create and shove down your throat. that they might never know the excitement of the release day of a record from one of their favorite bands and go after school to their local record shop and buy a real hard copy and go home, listen, and pore over the liner notes. The power of listening to something in high quality, not digital. Ugh, I'm sorry but i just think this is such a tragedy.
Real music plays such an important role in everyones lives. Its how we meet people, how we fall in love, how we hang. I tie almost all of my important life events to songs and so do most of my friends. Alot of these events took place while we were listening to the radio. I hope all is not lost. There are still good stations like 101.9 (pinfield again with leslie fam!) fighting the good fight. Bringing us music that actually means something other than cheap sex and money most of us will never have. Give me Neil Young, give me Spoon, fuck man, give me even World Party. Just not this awful noise and static.

19 comments:

weaponofbeauty said...

Only a few weeks ago Blaupunkt released a prototype of the first in-dashboard internet radio. So you'll still be able to listen to Indie 103.1 while driving around the canyons.
And I'm sure that as long as there are real music fans there will be people who want a hard copy version of an album becoz of the superior sound quality. Only difference will be that we'll have to order the cd online instead of going to the local cd store coz probably they'll all be gone soon.

weaponofbeauty said...

I just noticed that it's even called the 'New Jersey 600i'. How's that for coincidence?
http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2008/12/blaupunkt-and-m.html

DaveCromwell said...

Yeah, I hear ya, Nicole.

My California friends are all lamenting the loss of Indie 103.1

But, I think weaponofbeauty is on to something. I think were are going to get more and more of internet radio stations on our handheld and in-dash devices. All technology is not a bad thing. Just the idiots who run the big business - who *only* care about "the bottom line" - and have no feel, or heart or soul for the music.

dj89 said...

the problem unfortunately is a mix of SOME people working at the big stations belonging on an episode of the hills, the bottom line comes into it too plus the fact that these days even magazines like rolling stone are singing the praises of slop like britney and the jonas brothers...

theres some trying but its a losing battle... traditional radio is struggling against ipods and things like that and they have to play the popular stuff to stay alive or get out (like indie 103.1)

lewis said...

clearrrchannellllll.

dmhawkmoon said...

I completely understand your frustration and flat out haven't even listened to the radio of my own will for years. I found your music as with most music I've found through internet radio and linking around online. I'm thinking that dynamic internet radio which shapes itself based on the individual's immediate feedback is going to be the way things will start to go, but that sort of begs the question of how this would be integrated into a car stereo. In 10 years will we all have online car radios or what? It's possible...

MachineOfaDream said...

By the way, I also find it cool how you mention Matt Pinfield. I remember watching him every night (if possible) on MTV's "120 Minutes" back in the day when it was possible to find non-shitty music on there.

Bill said...

I also relate to your lament, Nicole, but don't forget WXPN. Talk about a great station with incredible diversity. Living in Harrisburg where the radio REALLY sucks, I feel very lucky to have access to XPN. Of course, it's accessible on the Web now too (xpn.org). After my first exposure to the wonders of Neptune City (thank you Dave!), it was so grrrreat to tune in XPN one day and hear Maybe Tonight.

Jersey Jeff said...

Indie 103.1

Troufazz said...

Being both a parent and a huge fan of real music, I feel a responsibility to pass down that gift to my boys. Whereas some parents form a connection with their kids through sports or hobbies, I use music. There are few greater joys for me than when I play something for them and I can feel them respond to it. I take some weird pride in the fact that my 8-year old's favorite song is Jesus, Etc by Wilco or one of my 11-year old's favorite early memories is dancing around with me to Sloan's Everything You've Done Wrong.

I, too, lament the disappearance of good radio and physical record stores. That sense of community is sadly fading out. My best conduit now is satellite radio. Driving around with the kids turns into a sort of mobile music seminar.

A Stevie Ray Vaughan tune will lead to a discussion about Hendrix; a Hold Steady tune will segue to The Boss.

When my oldest asks if he can download 'that Beck song you were singing in the car,' I feel like I've done my job.

So, I think as long as we play our role as torch-passers, future generations will appreciate good music and have that instinct to seek more out. Yes, it will be digitized and compressed, but it will still inspire.

Opinionated Jaahil said...

It takes effort to find good music these days. The channels are full of mainstream bullshit, everyone seems to be into the same mindlessly idiotic "music". I have friends who aren't aware of any music except that which is on the popular charts and it's quite sad that they don't know anything about good music.

I completely agree that music is very, very important in shaping a person. The music that's taking over today just symbolises the mass brain drain.

Jack said...

Hey Stranger--

You've sure come a long way from sunday night acoustic sets at Armadillo Xing way back when!

They say the past is a different country--and this just puts punctuation mark on it.

Honestly 106.3 from '86 through the mid '90s shaped so many people, but it died for me after the sale to Press Comm in 2000...

Drop me an email sometime!

Jack

Eric said...

Very well stated!!!

dadofdarkangel said...

Thanks for speaking out. It is os frustrating that some days I want to rip the radio out of my dash. I'm 57 so I'll let you count back to figure out the rock and country music I grew up on. It has be a constant educational process to teach my daughter, now 15 waht real music is. I am lucky she took to music early. she knew who Ben E. King was long before she knew who britney was, but it gotten increasing difficult to share our common interest just tuning in a radio station. She now is into her own music and she turns me on to new artists, but it is great to hear her say " Dad listen to this group (Cold Play) they sound a lot like Pink Floyd" or "you'll like group they sound like classic rock". Hopefully this all will passed on through the ages.

Jersey Jeff said...
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Jersey Jeff said...
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Jersey Jeff said...

One more time people. The WHTG-FM 106 wikipedia page notes, "Reacting to the change in format, local listeners formed a facebook group protesting the change. As of January 25, 2009, the facebook group, which is called Bring G-rock Back had about 8,000 members...  On January 24, 2009, there was a protest against the format change in front of Press Communications Inc. in Neptune, NJ with about 150 attendees."

joey said...

Radio these days has become pure audio excrement.

20 song playlists and dipshit DJs.

Dianne Warren raping your ears, leaving you without soul.

Leave the corporate radio to rot and die I say.

The Internet is the future of all media anyway.

Jersey Jeff said...

Favorite LA indie Internet radio station, Indie 103.1 now on iPhone iTunes APPs!

Now I can listen to Indie 103.1 while driving around. Don't forget WXPN - a great station with incredible diversity including Y-Rock On XPN also on iPhone.

As I write this I can hear Nicole on Indie 103.1 backing up A.C. Newman! Coincidence? Synchronicity?