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How do you even hear of half of these people!!??? by jason
January 12, 2010, 11:15 am
Filed under: Interwebs, Radio

How do you even hear of half of these people?

That was a question posed to me in the comments to a recent post, and it touches on a debate that Jayson and I have had over the merits and drawbacks of corporate radio. See, I say that the fact that there is little variety on the radio proves that the capitalist nature of radio is bad for music. Jayson argues that while I may not like the music, and while it may not be “good” as art, it is “good” at attracting listeners and therefore fulfills its function.

Jayson’s other point is that if people wanted to listen to other music, since there are many ways to find that music, it’s the people’s “fault” (that’s my word, not his) that they aren’t hearing it.

I see his point, and so, in answer to the reader’s question (a good question, too!), here’s how I hear “half of these people”:

Pandora-Pandora Radio is obviously a great way to listen to music you know you like, but if you only put a few songs or bands that you like into your station, you will hear all sorts of stuff you haven’t heard. Actually, this is how I found about about The Mountain Goats! Also, you can listen to other people’s radio stations (like, for instance, jaynova’s Mountain Goats Radio, or maybe jaynova’s surf-a-paluau).

Daytrotter-Daytrotter is a great place to listen to FREE music from indie bands, plus they sometimes get some really big names in their studio (Like Kris Kristofferson!!!). Nearly half of the music on my computer at home is from Daytrotter.

Under The Radar-This is the only magazine I subscribe to. They are sometimes a bit pretentious for their own good, but they have hella reviews in each issue. Their website is cool, too, and if you get the print magazine, you can download a sampler soundtrack every issue.

Pitchfork-OK…I’m going to get some flack for mentioning these guys…they are very pretentious at times, and I often disagree with their reviews, but they do have a lot of videos and links to music. In fact, right now, they have a two song set by the Mountain Goats!

Message Boards-I belong to the Mountain Goats message board, and people talk about other music they like. This is a good way to find stuff…talk to people who like something you like, and find out what else they like.

Associate yourself with people with good taste in music-Like me.

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1 Comment so far
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I wouldn’t even argue that it’s bad as art. There are relatively few things I will dismiss as categorically bad art. The songs on the radio are accessible art. By definition they’re the easiest things to get into and attract the most listeners. You and a lot of people who adopt an anti-radio, anti-corporate or anti-capitalistic stance feel that if people we’re exposed to the music you like, they’d like it too because it’s so damn good; way better than AC/DC and Kanye anyway. This just isn’t true. If it was true, people would demand other music and the radio station would add it or go out of business. It’s like when Cleveland 107.9 changed from alternative to r n’ b. Not enough people wanted to listen to alternative, it was a dead duck, so they switched to a format that more people wanted.

While I’d say that it was theoretically good to be exposed to a lot of different forms of music, most people just are not up for it.

This is why I blame the listener, not the radio. People who ask ‘How do you even hear half of this stuff?’ are either satisfied with what is easily available or unimaginative and lazy. I say this as a child of the early 90s, who found alternative radio lacking and sent away for cd’s based on written descriptions in catalogs or reviews in magazines. I’m an average dude and I was living in a rural area in the middle of nowhere. Finding new music wasn’t that hard then.

Now in 2010 there is zero excuse. Labels and corporate promotions are becoming less relevant with every passing minute. Hell, we’re living in an era where bands are asking you to listen to them. (Although that has just hell of dried up for me lately.) As you pointed out, there are any number of websites where you can just go listen to music for free. I’ve found more new stuff through MySpace and Pandora and other blogs than anything else .

Really all someone has to do is have the thought ‘I wonder if there is any other music out there?’ and fire up Google.

Here is your obligatory flack for Pitchfork. They suck and should be destroyed.

Comment by Jayson




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