Tag Archives: Music

Its the end….

( #Rapture )

…or not. These rapture people should have to throw themselves off a cliff… only fair.

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RANT: The Radio is truly terrible (#Radio)

About four years ago, tired of listening to the wasteland of modern rock radio, I purchased a subscription to Sirius Satellite Radio. I enjoyed the music they played. After the XM merger, Sirius eliminated a few of my favorite stations, this wouldn’t have been enough to make me cancel the subscription, but I started working from home more often and was only in my car for less than 20 minutes a day, so I did away with it. When I get in my car now, I usually listen to CDs/MP3 player, 88.5 XPN, or NPR. The last few weeks have been fund-drives for both stations (and I donate to both) so I started scanning. Nothing much has improved in four years.

I know you are thinking “tell me something I don’t already know”. I don’t just want to complain, I want to understand just what it is that sucks about radio today, and after listening for a week I discovered: there is no new(er) music on the radio. I listened from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM every day for the last 10 weekdays and I don’t think there was song produced in the last 5 years played on my scans. What did I hear? Led Zepplin, Aerosmith, older Jay-Z (and radio sanitized), Radiohead (they play “Creep” at almost the same time every day – and that song is before they really became what Radiohead is today), Lifehouse (really?), lots of Bon Jovi (maybe because we are in New Jersey), and AC/DC. These station don’t even bother playing the newer stuff of their established line up of geezers.

Perhaps I should just stick with the college radio stations? My issue with the college stations is they either play really shitty lo-fi recordings of their friends bands or it is 4 hour block of vaginal bleeding. Don’t get me wrong, I love female musicians, but I don’t need to hear Beth Orton, Susan Tedesci, and Nora Jones back-to-back. The common complaint of college radio playing R.E.M. 24×7 is bullshit – I would kill for some R.E.M. The ladies aren’t the only ones to catch my wrath: Fuck Vampire Weekend. I can’t stand the new twenty-something rock star: Fragile, fraught with stage fright, making sad bastard music (and nothing else). If I wanted to listen to a funeral dirge, I would go to church.

Radio stations say they play what people want to hear; but how do people know if they want to listen to something they never heard? Finding new acts on the internet is exhausting. It takes me at least 2-4 hours a week to pick out a song of the week for Sunday Leftovers. I scour at least 15 different music blogs each week to find ONE song I like enough to share each week, so I don’t think most people would be that dedicated to finding new tunes. So how do you find new music (seriously, write back on this)? Listening to your iPod isn’t a solution as it only has the music you own and know about (unless you want to listen to terrible 2 hour music pod-casts hoping for a good song). Should you pay $14.00 dollars a month hoping Sirus/XM’s new wage/college/underground radio stations break the acts you want to hear? Internet radio stations like Last.fm take your listening preferences and make suggestions, but it hasn’t been too successful for me yet. What is a viable alternative?

Musicians need the radio to get their songs to audiences. Radio stations need musicians to make music so people listen to their shitty formats and sell advertising. The radio has ignored the current 13-30 crowd because they have abandoned the artists this generation listens to. People aren’t going to record stores to buy music anymore; the radio should have more influence than ever, but instead it chooses to “play it safe” and relegate itself to the currently diseased and inbred “Top 40” (how the hell can there be a Top 40 if nobody is buying music anymore?) [Let us all thank the 1996 telecommunications act that allows one asshole to own multiple stations in one market]

Should we get more proactive? Does calling radio stations really help? Should we try an experiment and call some local radio stations to see if we can make a change? Or should we try to take over a small AM station? Wheels are turning my friends, twitter back with comments, ideas, and shows of support.

JoeyLombardi on Twitter
Further Reading: The Contrarian

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Top Ten Albums of the Decade (for me)

Thanks to Amazon’s magazine section and Discountmags.com, I usually have a few magazines waiting for me every day. Tis the season for year end lists and “best of” compilations which is all just dandy. Here are my selections for the best albums of the decade. This is my opinion, if you disagree, that’s fine – in fact, I hope you do. I am not going to put them in order. Here are my ten favorite of last 10 years:

Amy Winehouse – Back to Black

Once the novelty of “Rehab” fades, you are left with 10 more great fucking songs that honor Motown without imitating. Who would guess that a drunk, crazy, British woman in a beehive could kick so much ass? I hope she cleans herself up and gets back to making great music.

Conor Oberst – Outer South

Every song on this album is excellent – very little filler. Oberst channels the Flying Burrito Brothers, Dylan, and a little Los Lobos. I have discussed this album in previous blogs, so I will say no more. Excellent effort.

Feist – The Reminder

This is an outstanding album and once again – I like every tune front to back. She may have exploded due to the Mac commercials, but she still has her artistic soul.

Jack Johnson – On and On

Less artistically stunning and more the perpetual background music of my life from 2003 – 2006. Johnson got a little darker on this album and it fit my mood well… well dark for Jack Johnson (and me).

Ryan Adams – Easy Tiger

Ah – you all thought I was going to go for Heartbreaker….WRONG. Don’t get me wrong, I love that album, but I can get tired of listening to it front to back. I cannot say that with this gem. The first 5 songs knock it out of the park, then we slow down and explore some other sounds, and then we get the introspective Adams. This album will get overlooked in favor of individual efforts and songs, but it is a complete package.

RIP Spacewolf

Tegan and Sara – The Con

Let’s get past the “lesbian twin sister” information and focus on the music. Every tune on this album is good if not excellent. Yearning and sadness mixed with a uncompromising sweetness.

The Avett Brothers – Emotionalism

Old time and rootsy with a modern twist and relevance. This year more people have discovered the band due to their major label debut, but they have doing the DIY route for years which I admire a great deal.

The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls In America

Classic story-telling through music and classic American rock. Who can’t love a song about a race-horse and getting high from the winnings?

The White Stripes – White Blood Cells

Jack and Meg White brought the Rock back to America. Thank you pasty ones.

Wilco – A Ghost is Born

I liked all of Wilco’s output over the last 10 years, but this album mixes the electric ambiance of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot with some of their traditional offerings of later years. There is alot to chew on and find on this album, which makes it great for repeated listening. I can always come back to this one.

Special Mention: John Mayer – Continuum

As I mentioned with the Jack Johnson album, John Mayer’s music has been in the background of my life for a long time. When I think of the albums, the first few actually mean something to me. They are anchors in time, and when I hear them, it takes me back to my thoughts, fears, troubles, and joys during the time the memories were made. Mayer has struggled with living up to his promise. I appreciate and respect that. I always expect more and better from him and I anticipate he will deliver one day. I had to mention this album because it is actually intellectual and was a creative high point for him with his work with the John Mayer Trio.

Special Mention: Ben Harper – Diamonds on the Inside

You know what – this belongs in the list too. I don’t feel like bumping anything but this is a great fucking album that went under everybody’s radar. Ben Harper is a genius.

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