We used to depend on the radio.  We were addicted to our transistors, then our FM radios and then…MTV.

I just heard "Cool Places" on Sirius.  Oh, you remember that one.  Can you believe they actually PLAYED Jane Wiedlin and Sparks on MTV?  Remember when we were all addicted to MTV, when it was a train-wreck we couldn’t help but watch?  Boy are those days done.

You can’t blame MTV.  They’re in the TELEVISION business.  I.e. the ratings business.  Wherein unless you stay tuned in for half an hour, refraining from flipping, it’s like you never tuned in at all.  Music wasn’t built for television, but radio.  With its inefficient Arbitron system.

We all now know that the Telecommunications Act of 1996 killed radio.  Put a stake right through its heart.  We ended up with consolidation and ever more limited playlists.  Terrestrial radio is THROUGH!

But who knew that the record labels/RIAA would go on to kill not only file-trading, but Internet radio.  So concerned about getting paid, the record labels killed exposure.  And aren’t they happy now, in a world where you can’t REACH enough people to get a diamond disc.

After "Cool Places" I heard "Blue Monday".

Why do I know "Blue Monday"?  KROQ!

The KROQ broadcasting today is a pale imitation of what it used to be.  It used to be a clubhouse, the coolest place on earth, somewhere everybody hung out, not only newbies but those who were refugees from AOR.  KROQ would play the most left field shit.  You got the idea renegades were running the station.  Whereas today it’s now evidence of a lowest common denominator mentality, where a corporation and its employees have contempt for the listener.  I mean really, do you think the deejays want to hang with the fourteen year olds who listen to this station?  With its noisy alternative rock so out of whack with what the public wants that station after station playing this music has gone under/changed format in the past few years?

Indie 103 is better.  Shit, I heard FREE on Jonesy’s Jukebox today.  That’s why the guy’s successful.  He doesn’t worry about appearing cool, he just wants to play GOOD MUSIC!  He’s a rocker of yore, less cynical than those who never picked up an axe.  Then again, could it be a case of post rehab "when you’ve got nothing you’ve got nothing to lose"?

But Indie 103 can’t reach critical mass.  Not because of its signal, but because radio is passe.  Yes, iPods are what are cool.  Getting an iPod hookup in your car is COOLER and more NECESSARY than getting a satellite radio tuner.  That’s how bad radio’s cred is.  Whereas radio used to be the ultimate filter, the place you went to get TURNED ON TO THINGS!

How in the hell are you going to get turned on to something today?  Something as left field and exquisite as "Blue Monday"?

And don’t forget in the eighties, KROQ played hip-hop too.

It was akin to a Top Forty station of yore.  It was less about FORMAT, and more about what resonated, what was cool.

And like I said, radio is SO uncool today that CBS wants to sell stations.

It’s just like half a century ago.  With record labels refusing to have their records spun on the original radio.  Not seeing exposure is EVERYTHING!  Wanting to get paid in the new era, the record labels are putting themselves out of business.

At some point in the future there will be a cool place to go to get turned on to new music.  That will be the FUNCTION of the place.  Music will be first, not atmosphere or advertising.

That’s what this playlist mania is today.  But people don’t want to comb endless lists.  They want to be spoonfed.  AND, they want some place EVERYBODY ELSE IS!  We gravitate as a culture to norms.  Maybe not exclusively, but we want to feel a pulse.  The Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the record companies have conspired to eviscerate the norms.  Replacing broad-based outlets with such narrowly focused researched niches parading as broad-based that NO ONE IS INTERESTED!  Except for the lowest common denominator.

I say the labels should lower rates to Internet radio TODAY!  In the hope that some stations will evolve.  What’s the cardinal rule?  Less of something is better than all of nothing?

There is an exposure crisis.  And those who own the wares are doing nothing to address it, they’re just making war on their fans.

Terrestrial radio is never coming back.  It’s burnt, gone forever.  Maybe a whole new generation could become enamored of it, but that would take DECADES!  Then again, advertising is SUCH a turn-off today, people want what they desire ALL THE TIME!

Satellite’s a good waystation.  Unfortunately, the record labels are constantly trying to put the big hurt on that outlet.

But Net radio…  That’s easier.  Everybody’s got an Internet connection.  Can’t Mitch Bainwol get his troops together to jump-start Net radio, to get SOMETHING STARTED SO PEOPLE CAN BE EXPOSED TO GREAT MUSIC?

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