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The State Of Radio via The Kinks

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My Favorite DJ… Huh?

On the way to work recently, I indulged in a little college-era nostalgia: Give The People What They Want by The Kinks.
Aside from this being a fantasic slab ‘o power pop, there’s one almost shocking (depressing maybe, you be the judge)
musical fossil burried in the song Around The Dial:

Well, you were my favorite D.J.,
Since I can’t remember when.
You always played the best records,
You never followed any trend.

My Favorite D.J.: if we’re talkin’ about radio in the year 2002 then this is a real head-scratcher. A meaningless concept. Does anybody really have a favorite D.J. anymore? Does anybody even listen to the radio? Back in the 70’s and 80’s (and to a lesser extent, the 90’s) it was possible to find a lot of cool stuff out there. This was back when D.J.’s were actually allowed to make their own decisions instead of being shackled to the corporate playlist. Now that the monolith that is ClearChannel has succeed in sucking the life out of most radio markets (college and community radio excluded) it has become nearly mpossible to think of radio as a form of musical entertainment. I can’t remember the last time I heard something new on the radio. Something that made me:
wait to hear the title/artist announcement…to later run out and buy a CD.

So when I hear idiots like Hilary Rosen (ok, maybe she should, just this once, be given a break…the recording industry has indeed complained about the whole pay-for play issue) spout off the patented line about how CD sales are down because of all that evil Mp3 downloading….well…it makes me want to scream. Just how the hell are people going to find out about music if only a tiny fraction of it is exposed to the airwaves? Am I supposed to base my buying decisions on the little snippets of video shown on TRL?? Fuck that.

Maybe we’ll all get lucky. Maybe some morning in the not-too-distant future we’ll wake to the news of the bankrupcy of one (or all!) of the major labels.

They deserve that fate.

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About Mark Saleski