It has been said
These days I rarely listen to FM radio. I am addicted to sports talk radio like Extra Sports 690/1150 in the LA area. But when Lee Hamilton or Jim Rome can't keep my interest, I take the agonizing leap to FM radio and pray for gold. Instead I mostly get crud.
I'll try not to be so negative from here on in, but it might not work out that way.
I start with 106.7 KROQ. If it's in the morning I'm treated to a show called 'Kevin and Bean' which is like listening to two 18 year olds talk about the Real World and how cool (insert lead singer of modern rock band) is. They hurt me. If it's not them, it's music. This station plays songs from the last decade by Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, Sublime, and The Offspring like they are brand new bands. These bands get played hourly, and they choose only from the top 3 songs of each bands career so you hear the same old songs every day. They then mix in the new music.
New rock today for me sounds overly dramatic, whimpy, full of video game-like sounds, and overall annoying. In the words of William Shatner and Henry Rollins, 'I just can't get behind that.' I liked The White Stripes for about 20 minutes. I saw them live on SNL and I liked it. Then I downloaded some songs and they started sounding all the same to me, that's a turn off. I liked The Killers for about 5 minutes and then realized the the same fact about them. I then saw them on SNL and watched the lead singer sing a song that is supposed to be jampacked with heartwrenching emotion, and he had one hand in his pocket while lightly shaking his body and staring sparingly into the crowd. It sucked, he sucked, they sucked. And what is with these new hipster boy bands wearing pink sweaters(we all know Melondog started that craze back at SU circa 2001) and button down shirts? The ironic nature of these bands is getting old fast and this is part of the problem: new bands today seem to be all gimick, no substance.
Not that music has to bring deep meaning to the table to be good, I'm all for some good old fashioned Rock and Roll sillyness(see The Misfits, New York Dolls, old KISS, The Kinks, Warron Zevon, etc.)
Live shows tell a lotl about a band, and as I watch Conan O'Brien on a daily basis and I watch all the musical acts on SNL, I see these 'rock' bands do nothing more than play their song politely and walk away with an 'I'm shy and unagressive so I'm too cool for you' attitude. It sucks, it's not Rock and Roll, it's whimpy shit. No-one's got balls anymore. It's not grabbing me, not the music or image.
Maybe I'm just an old fart, or I'm too set in my ways, but when I think about music today and I try to compare it to anything maybe it's this generations Hair Metal. They have an image that people can duplicate, they have songs that are mostly run of the mill sap stuff and some 'party' stuff, and they will sell records for a few more years. For us in the 80's, we liked hearing about what the cat dragged in, maybe these days people like hearing about your boyfriend who looked like a girlfriend who had a boyfriend who ate with a girlfriend. Something that may seperate these two genres of music in the future might be the re-play value of it all. I can't imagine 20 years from now Jones Beach Theater being sold out for a new 'Modest Mouse' tour featuring 'Taking Back Sunday.' Then throw in the crowd of thousands in hipster gear while being overweight and cranky, and it just doesn't seem possible.
To finish on a happy note, I do enjoy listening to Indie 103.1. I know, 'Indie 103'. But it is good as they play a good mix of old rock and roll, punk, and newer lesser known rock acts that aren't so generic. They also rarely have DJ's which is a welcome break from the norm. One stretch of show that has a DJ but is quite good is 'Jones' Jukebox', I reccomend y'all East Coasters try a little on-line listening to this station, I know it can be done.
And also, NPR is always a fine FM choice.
That's all I got for now.
Please Note: Some of you out there dig some of the new music, I'm not knocking you, I just haven't been able to dig it.