Monday, September 10, 2007

The Radio's In The Hands Of Such A Lot Of Fools Who Want To Anesthetize The Way That You Feel

Thanks to my DAB radio, I have stumbled upon Radio 6 Music, a BBC station that appears to have no playlist. Listening this morning, I heard It's The Time Of The Season from the 1960s followed closely by If I Could Talk I'd Tell You followed by the Vines' Get Free from the '00s followed by a return to the 1990s with The Diamond Sea by Sonic Youth, a band that to my knowledge has never ever been on a major radio station in the United States.

Now lest I be accused of constantly saying "everything's better in Britain," I have to say that I have a hard time imagining a U.S. radio station that would dare to play such a mix of music. If somebody dared to, the marketers would come to them and say, "You're a mess! You appeal to 50 year olds for a minute, then GenX the next, then 20 year olds. We can't sell ads." I remember how the Washington, D.C., market was such a clanging mix of soundalike Modern Rock and Classic Rock stations, with a seasoning of soundalike Talk and Sports Talk thrown in (plus a couple of Spanish language stations), all looking for the specific market segment. And what it was for me was boring and predictable (with one exception, WRNR, but because their broadcast antenna was on the east side of the Chesapeake, it was difficult to pick up). But if your funding is public and you don't sell ads, you're free to do a lot of things that ad-driven broadcasters can't.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Sarah said...

It seemed that Australia radio stations had no genre specification whatsoever. We heard everything mixed in together on ever station!

6:00 PM  
Blogger Middle Kid said...

There are many, many things that are better in Britain! The media is (are) much better there, that's for sure. As far as I can tell, the only thing better here is the weather!! Oh, and maybe the interstate highway system.

4:48 PM  
Blogger oldest kid said...

I am not at all convinced that TV is better in the UK. I think it's just about as bad as here. And, people smell better in the US, as a general rule. And, you almost never get served mashed up peas with a meal here in the US (which is a good thing). But, the beer and the subways are better in the UK!

4:13 PM  
Blogger Smitty Werbenmanjensen said...

The TV in the UK is just as bad as in the U.S. because it's, well, mostly U.S. content. I'd add that most of the bad ideas for reality TV are stolen from the UK, but I don't know that it's necessarily true.

Better weather? Hmmmm, well, I never have to worry about dehydration here if I go outside in the middle of the day in July .....

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a huge fan of the BBC. Shows like Watchdog could not exist anywhere else ( consumer rights show that exposes bad practice in major companies) or Top Gear (auto show with reviews of new cars that are often scathing - boss of Renault demanded all ads to be pulled from BBC after a bad review of a particular model, only to be told the BBC has no ads). HAHA.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous KathyF said...

Sonic Youth were definitely played in the US. I remember them well, on WMAD in Madison.

And I heard the Zombies just the other day on a commercial radio station here.

Where on the dial is Radio 6?

10:35 AM  

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