The sad, unwarranted decline of rock music on FM radio

RoccoT.....312RoccoT.....312 ChicagoPosts: 165
edited December 2011 in Other Music
I DID NOT WRITE THIS, IT IS BY CHRISTINE PAWLAK. AKA ELECTRA By Christine Pawlak|Posted Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011, at 11:14 AM Et

I was 24 when I first lost my job as a radio DJ. I was 30 when it happened again. In both cases, my employers changed the stations’ formats, abandoning “alternative rock” for gospel (at Philadelphia’s Y100) and news (at Q101 in Chicago). Just this year, another Philadelphia station, WYSP, as well as New York’s WRXP and WVRX in Washington, D.C., have shifted from rock music to talk radio formats. This is just the most recent round of deaths—over the last few years, major rock stations like New York’s K-Rock, Indie 103.1 in Los Angeles, and WBCN in Boston have gone silent. These stations haven’t been disappearing because the format’s a money loser. It’s because a handful of executives have decided that rock radio doesn’t belong on the FM dial.

In February of 2004, I moved to Philadelphia to host the night show at Y100. I was incredibly excited about being on the air in such a big city. During each five-hour show, I wrote “Weekend Update”-esque zingers about music and entertainment news and counted down the day’s most-requested songs. I had just fallen in love with the band Muse, and watching them at a private show for our listeners was one of my favorite Y100 moments. But about a year after I arrived, I walked into our weekly DJ meeting and found the station in chaos. We were told that Y100 was going off the air immediately, and our services would no longer be needed. I thought I’d never get such a cool opportunity again.

Thankfully, I was wrong. Emmis Communications owned Chicago’s Q101 when I started my new gig as a midday host in 2005. At the time, the station had responded to the iPod’s popularity by using the phrase “on shuffle”—you never knew which random musical gem might pop up after Nirvana, Pearl Jam, or Foo Fighters. We supported local bands and those with local roots, like Rise Against, Fall Out Boy, Chevelle, and Smashing Pumpkins. And to the chagrin of many “alternative” fans, we played Metallica.

I’m actually not a fan of the alternative label. It’s limiting because it’s subjective: One listener’s alternative is another’s mainstream. I just knew that Q101 played music that I loved when I was growing up, and that made it fun to go to work. I’d walk into the studio excited to play a request or crack a joke that made someone’s workday a little better. My enthusiasm caught the eye of Chicago Magazine, which named me Best Radio DJ in 2008, praising my “playful riffs on topics breathtaking for their sheer randomness.” I loved my job, and my listeners—eventually—grew to love me.

Behind the scenes, though, the station’s parent company was facing financial struggles. Emmis, a publicly traded company boasting more than 30 media properties, limped through the recession and a failed attempt to take the company private. With more than $300 million in long-term debt and its stock valued at around $1 per share, CEO Jeff Smulyan decided to sell off three of Emmis’ radio stations: WRXP in New York, and The Loop and Q101 in Chicago. A few hours after the sale went through, we learned that both Q101 and WRXP would be shifting to all-news formats.

The man who decided that alternative rock radio was over in Chicago was Randy Michaels. Michaels, who resigned from his executive position at the Chicago Tribune after revelations of inappropriate and loutish behavior in 2010, made his triumphant return to media moguldom by buying my station. “My favorite format has always been spoken radio,” Michaels said in the July 31 press release announcing the launch of Chicago’s FM News 101.1. “I’ve long had a nostalgic love affair with the big AM stations known for the format, and today—as music moves to the iPod—it’s time for spoken word to move to FM.”

This isn’t the first time that one man’s actions have dealt a blow to rock radio. Howard Stern’s hugely popular morning show debuted on New York’s K-Rock in 1985 and was ultimately syndicated on dozens of rock stations. When Stern took his talents to satellite radio in 2006, K-Rock changed to an all-talk format called Free FM, with disastrous results. Most critics blamed the plunging ratings on Stern’s departure, but I’m convinced that the sudden, drastic format change sealed the station’s demise. I wonder what might have happened if K-Rock’s programmers, or those at WBCN and Indie 103.1, had been patient and given rock music a chance. (Consider that multimedia giant Clear Channel, which owns 850 American radio stations, launched a successful alternative rock station in Philadelphia two years after the death of Y100.)

Though the rise of satellite radio was supposed to prophesy the death of AM and FM, that’s not anywhere close to happening. Even so, Sirius/XM is unquestionably prying ears away from terrestrial radio. So are iPods; music-sharing services like Pandora and Spotify, which appeal to fans with instant access to millions of songs; social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter that provide constant streams of personalized content; and all the other entertainment options in this era of 1,000 cable channels and 24/7 connectivity.

An FM radio station, by comparison, lacks customization and can’t be heard “on demand.” But I don’t think music is ready to vacate the airwaves, or that someone who acknowledges a bias toward another format should be the arbiter of that decision.

FM radio doesn’t have the buzz of more recently minted technology, but that doesn’t mean it lacks listeners. The Chicagoland area is the country’s third-largest media market and has an audience of more than 7 million people. According to Arbitron, the research firm responsible for radio ratings, Q101 had roughly 1.2 million different listeners during its final weeks on the air. They weren’t all listening at once, and they wouldn’t all say that Q101 was their favorite radio station. They did, however, all make a choice to tune in. It’s too early to know if FM News 101.1 will match the size of that audience: Michaels’ Merlin Media LLC is conjuring new stations from scratch, unlike other radio conglomerates that have decided to simulcast established AM stations on crisper FM frequencies. Currently, Arbitron is reporting that 1 million fewer people are tuning their dials to 101.1 than when I was on the air. When I look at those numbers, I wonder how many of those missing million listeners remember their old friend Q101 when they turn on their iPods.

Curiosity can make a listener tune in to a radio station. Loyalty will make him stay, and loyalty must be earned. Making that kind of connection isn’t easy, and it takes patience. It helped that I worked for a company that trusted me to host a request hour and didn’t require me to pre-record shows for the weekend or for stations in other cities. Recording a show to sound live or local when it’s neither makes a DJ sound like the great and powerful Oz—a disembodied voice behind a curtain, not to be trusted. That practice, known as voice-tracking, is a way to cut costs by consolidating stations into regional clusters with a minimal number of employees. The industry started moving in that direction in the late 1990s at the behest of Clear Channel, specifically the head of Clear Channel’s radio division ... Randy Michaels.

It would be easy for me to resent Michaels, but radio is a business. He wanted to maximize his company’s profits in a volatile, vulnerable industry, and he met that goal. Consolidation made financial sense, even if it sacrificed the medium’s humanity.

Michaels’ faith in FM news is more subjective. CD sales have fallen sharply with the rise of digital downloads, and there are few alternative rock artists topping the iTunes charts. It’s tempting to conclude that tech-savvy consumers don’t care about hearing new rock music on the radio. If so, the absence of oldies, classic rock, and Latin music on those iTunes charts would imply that those formats aren’t financially successful on FM radio either ... but they are.

What I know from my years as a DJ is that listeners know what they like when they hear it. Q101 fans reached out en masse during our last days, sharing their memories of the station’s almost 20-year run. Chicago natives who’d moved away for jobs, school, or military service listened via Q101.com and sent us heartfelt emails and texts. Even now, I get choked up reading the hundreds of comments on my old Facebook page: “I feel like I've lost my best friend.” “You have no idea how much we'll all miss you guys.” “A big piece of my generation's life just died.” Then, there’s this: “Sure, the iPod can play music, but nothing can replace the personality that you brought to the station.”

Once we knew that the end was near, Q101's programming department let the DJs pick their own music. I "dusted off" songs I hadn't played in years, like "Little Black Backpack" by Stroke 9, The Cure's "Lullaby," and "Song for the Dumped" by Ben Folds Five. I played newer artists I've grown to love: Mumford and Sons, Foster the People, and naturally, Muse. I allowed myself to be nostalgic, emotional, and honest.

Those last shows were the best of my career. Passion isn’t quantifiable like ratings or revenue, but I’m proud that Q101 inspired it in our listeners, no matter how many we had. Technology will change; the need to connect with each other through stories and songs won't. When it comes to rock radio, I don’t think the preferences of a few should affect the interests of so many
Alpine Valley, PJ20 9-3-2011
RNDM: Lincoln Hall, 11-13-2012
Wrigley Field, An Evening with Pearl Jam 7-19-2013
BMO Harris Bradley Center, 2014 Fall Tour 10-20-2014
RNDM: Double Door, 3-15-2016

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  • RoccoT.....312RoccoT.....312 ChicagoPosts: 165
    the reason i posted this is because we the people can have a voice to change the things that we want, weather it is a big or little thing in our lives so help get a alternative rock station back on the air!!!
    Q101 will be on the AIR in Chicago for ONE NIGHT ONLY. THIS Saturday Night at 9pm cst James Van Osdol will be on 97.9fm the loop and loop.com, playing Q101 music, and saluting the greatest Alternative Station in the nation, Q101. If you want to be heard and let the suits know Q101 deserves to be back on the airwaves again TEXT everyone you know, post on your wall and tell them to listen tomorrow night at 9pm cst. Do you have an Arbitron People Meter? Make sure you wear it and listen. If you move the needle, it will get noticed. This is something 97.9 the loop is doing on their own, without our input or permission. BUT, it's a testimant to YOU and your commitment to Q101. Never before has a Chicago heritage rock station like 97.9 the loop aired programming ABOUT another radio station. This is a test. Does Chicago want Q101, or Thin Lizzy. Be heard. TWEET. FACEBOOK. TEXT. Forward this to everyone you know and ask them to: Join the Q101 Club Follow Q101 on Twitter Become a Q101 Fan on Facebook GO TO Q101.com
    Alpine Valley, PJ20 9-3-2011
    RNDM: Lincoln Hall, 11-13-2012
    Wrigley Field, An Evening with Pearl Jam 7-19-2013
    BMO Harris Bradley Center, 2014 Fall Tour 10-20-2014
    RNDM: Double Door, 3-15-2016

    th_chicagobanner.jpg
  • Indifference71Indifference71 ChicagoPosts: 12,831
    the reason i posted this is because we the people can have a voice to change the things that we want, weather it is a big or little thing in our lives so help get a alternative rock station back on the air!!!
    Q101 will be on the AIR in Chicago for ONE NIGHT ONLY. THIS Saturday Night at 9pm cst James Van Osdol will be on 97.9fm the loop and loop.com, playing Q101 music, and saluting the greatest Alternative Station in the nation, Q101. If you want to be heard and let the suits know Q101 deserves to be back on the airwaves again TEXT everyone you know, post on your wall and tell them to listen tomorrow night at 9pm cst. Do you have an Arbitron People Meter? Make sure you wear it and listen. If you move the needle, it will get noticed. This is something 97.9 the loop is doing on their own, without our input or permission. BUT, it's a testimant to YOU and your commitment to Q101. Never before has a Chicago heritage rock station like 97.9 the loop aired programming ABOUT another radio station. This is a test. Does Chicago want Q101, or Thin Lizzy. Be heard. TWEET. FACEBOOK. TEXT. Forward this to everyone you know and ask them to: Join the Q101 Club Follow Q101 on Twitter Become a Q101 Fan on Facebook GO TO Q101.com


    The Loop has been playing 90s music all weekend....it has been great.

    That article by Electra is great....she was always my favorite Q101 DJ
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  • eeriepadaveeeriepadave West Chester, PAPosts: 29,478
    u were a DJ for y100? That's cool. that was my fav station (and WDRE). Yeah i remember the day they went off the air in Feb. Petitions were signed and rally's were being held. The next day I proudly wore my y100 shirt at the kings Of Leon show. In a way it's better that they went off the air. Now they are doing their own thing on the internet. Playing what THEY want to play, not what corporate wants. Now I pretty much just listen to them (ynotradio.net) and occasionally XPN.

    I also remember when the Foos and Weezer played philly later that year, Dave Grohl said "So i u nderstand" you guys have a radio station problems" or something to that effect. :thumbup:
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  • I don't live in Chicago and can't help out on this one. But it is really a pity that music is being sacrificed for talk radio. Seems people can no longer think for themselves - they have to have someone tell them what to believe, and get them so riled up about what is quite often misinformation that they are unable to have a civilized discussion with anyone who does not believe exactly as they do.

    Music is so much better - it's a positive force in the world, whereas talk radio rarely is.

    I just moved back to Anchorage, Alaska from Atlanta, GA. Fortunately, my favorite radio station in both cities (99X in Atlanta and KWHL in Anchorage) are both still intact. But I do agree that Sirius/XM has taken a chunk of the audience away. I got XM about 6 years ago and have never looked back. I still listen to the terrestrial stations occasionally...but it is really nice to have a no commercial format, where it's all music without all the annoying advertising - particularly political advertising.

    Pearl Jam Radio, E Street Radio, The Grateful Dead Channel, Octane, Lithium, 1st Wave, Alt Nation, Boneyard, Jam On, 80's on 8, 90's on 9, 60's on 6...there is always something on Sirius XM that is cool! Sirius XM is so awesome that even though you can't get good reception in Anchorage, I have transferred my subscription to listen on the net - have it on all day at work.

    I don't know what the solution is for the terrestrial stations - they need advertising revenue in order to function...and a lot of the people who have moved to satty radio did so in large part because of the variety on satty radio...and the lack of annoying advertising.

    I do wish more of the satty stations had DJ's though - 60's on 6 has one guy I absolutely LOVE, and there are a few other DJs on satty that I like. But some of the stations are just music - not even a DJ to speak a few words about the bands, etc.
  • seems to me the decline of rock music and radio in general is due to several factors. one is the FCC and the consolidation of radio stations and companies into just a few. and the 2nd is the increasingly irrelevance of the radio as a source of peoples exposure to new music. Back in the old days it might have been easier, say if you wanted to hear Bullet With Butterfly Wings, to call the station and they'd play it. Nowadays it seems easier to hook up your ipod to the stereo in the car and directly play the music you want to hear, no need for DJ's or commercials, you control it plus since they all are on your ipod you presumably like every single band on there, and no commercials.

    There are some great stations still around. KEXP in seattle. And KCRW in LA. but both are respected and quality in large part because they are listener powered, can be streamed online, and play artists who normally wouldnt get play on radio. We all love Led Zep, Nirvana, PJ, Alice in Chains. Thats some of the best music we've ever heard, but theres something to be said for playing someone like Bon Iver, or Arcade Fire, Flying Lotus, Sufjan as well.

    Additionally the power of radio has lessened dramatically. most people DO NOT find their new favorite bands via the radio like they did even 10. 15 20 years ago.
  • Of The AggieOf The Aggie The ATXPosts: 1,198
    The only time the stereo in my car is on the radio is when I have people with me that I know won't like the music on my iPod. Which pretty much includes my parents and that's it.

    I got tired of all the commercials, annoying DJs, and music that I didn't like so I stopped listening to the radio years ago and couldn't be happier.
  • JonnyPistachioJonnyPistachio FloridaPosts: 10,189
    Our last rock radio station just shut down in south Florida. There are ZERO radio stations that play new rock now. I'm baffled by this. (Although the station that shut down was Buzz 103.1, and played crappy generic rock)
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  • SatansFutonSatansFuton Posts: 5,399
    I didn't even know people still listened to the radio, except for satellite radio.

    I stopped listening because it just became an endless loop of commercials and DJ babbling. In the mornings none of the radio stations around here (rock or otherwise) played any music whatsoever. It was just morning shows. Then when they would go off and the music would start the ratio of music to commercials leaned more heavily towards commercials.

    And when they would play music it was always the same songs. I probably haven't listened to the radio in 6-7 years, it became unlistenable. I just do CDs and iPod. The last time I heard the local rock radio station (I had it on when I was switching CDs) it was just some stupid DJ talking about how she hid a pair of her underwear somewhere in the D/FW area and was trying to get listeners to go on a scavenger hunt for them by giving out clues.

    And I couldn't stand how they would ALWAYS talk over the intro to a song. They can play Yellow Ledbetter, and the DJ won't stop talking until a split second before the lyrics kick in.
    "See a broad to get dat booty yak 'em, leg 'er down, a smack 'em yak 'em!"
  • Of The AggieOf The Aggie The ATXPosts: 1,198
    And I couldn't stand how they would ALWAYS talk over the intro to a song. They can play Yellow Ledbetter, and the DJ won't stop talking until a split second before the lyrics kick in.

    I remember when that was a huge deal for stations in the 80s and 90s. They used to always brag about how they never talked over the songs. I guess that has fallen by the wayside.
  • Some of the responses in this thread have made me curious. How do some of you guys who listen exclusively to your iPods 'discover' new bands, for the most part? I mean, I have a ton of great stuff on my iPod...but obviously, I don't 'discover' any new bands that way. For that, I intentionally spend time on satty radio - mainly stations like Octane on Sirius/XM. I also intentionally spend some time each week rooting around on YouTube for new bands I've never heard before...although I find that less efficient than Sirius XM.

    I also have some friends who I post videos on Facebook with - sort of a little 'club' of people who all make an effort to post stuff we hear and like.

    Another reason I ask this is because I have noted in some other threads that there are about 10 'newer' bands that everyone here on this board seems to repeat over and over on their 'best of' lists (and these bands do not necessarily resemble PJ, by the way)....and yet there is just tons of new music coming out all the time. This makes me wonder if some of the new rock music coming out is even being heard by a wide audience.... If all the radio stations are dying out and people don't spend a lot of time on satty and YouTube.....
  • dcfaithfuldcfaithful Posts: 13,076

    There are some great stations still around. KEXP in seattle. And KCRW in LA. but both are respected and quality in large part because they are listener powered, can be streamed online, and play artists who normally wouldnt get play on radio. We all love Led Zep, Nirvana, PJ, Alice in Chains. Thats some of the best music we've ever heard, but theres something to be said for playing someone like Bon Iver, or Arcade Fire, Flying Lotus, Sufjan as well.

    If anything needs to be kept alive, it's public and community radio. KEXP, KCRW, and KRCL (here in Salt Lake City) all have pretty strong followings. I personally find it important to keep these kind of stations alive through listener support and contributions... but it takes a lot to keep them alive.
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  • PKTrekGirl wrote:
    Some of the responses in this thread have made me curious. How do some of you guys who listen exclusively to your iPods 'discover' new bands, for the most part? I mean, I have a ton of great stuff on my iPod...but obviously, I don't 'discover' any new bands that way. For that, I intentionally spend time on satty radio - mainly stations like Octane on Sirius/XM. I also intentionally spend some time each week rooting around on YouTube for new bands I've never heard before...although I find that less efficient than Sirius XM.

    I also have some friends who I post videos on Facebook with - sort of a little 'club' of people who all make an effort to post stuff we hear and like.

    Another reason I ask this is because I have noted in some other threads that there are about 10 'newer' bands that everyone here on this board seems to repeat over and over on their 'best of' lists (and these bands do not necessarily resemble PJ, by the way)....and yet there is just tons of new music coming out all the time. This makes me wonder if some of the new rock music coming out is even being heard by a wide audience.... If all the radio stations are dying out and people don't spend a lot of time on satty and YouTube.....

    As recently as the 1990's probably the only ways most people discovered music or new bands was listening to radio, watching mtv, or via a subscription to some type of magazine, Spin, Rolling stone, Nme etc... In 2011, every single one of those things is old, outdated and no longer reliable. Radio, as i said is consolidated, and plays the same artists and same songs, every hour on the hour all day. MTV no longer plays music videos. And Spin and Rolling Stone are released either bi monthly or monthly. Its a hell of alot easier to find out good music looking at some blog and getting instant updates on a band right this minute, why wait 2 weeks for RS to tell you tool is in the studio, when you can read it right now online?

    I'd say in 2011, most people find out about new music in one of the following ways: filesharing and cd burners have made it easy for a friend to tell you about this awesome new band, and then make a copy for you, free. Friends and word of mouth is huge. You overhear a coworker, friend, family member talking about a band. Second, is blogs. Pitchfork. Stereogum. Brooklyn Vegan, Gorilla vs bear. And a million others, who recommend a huge number of albums each year. Pitchforks best new music feature, a tag/seal of approval is given to any album they deem noteworthy and worth a listen. This past year there have been about 50 albums given such tags. Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver, Kanye/Jay-z were all among the ones picked this year. Third, you are right, there is such an overabundance of music nowadays. As I said, this year alone pitchfork recommended 50 albums to listen to. Thats just one website. Its not uncommon for on pitchfork or stereogum, them to recommend an album on monday, another blog to say, check this other album out on wednesday and friday for pitchfork to recommend another album. Theres so much to listen to. and really not enough time to digest albums anymore. Its been argued and its true, a biggest band in the world can no longer exist. Theres so many niches in music now. Hip hop, indie, pop, techno, electronic, etc... Just look at Arcade Fire. They won arguably the biggest prize in music last year, and they were met with absolute shock from most viewers. Who is arcade fire? Whats an arcade fire? hell even streisand was shocked they won.

    So, I think blogs, word of mouth, and tv shows are the main ways people get music
  • Of The AggieOf The Aggie The ATXPosts: 1,198
    I guess I can admit that I really don't discover new music that much. I'm sort of content to listen to the stuff on my ipod and get new releases from those artists I've known and loved for years. But when I do find new stuff it's primarily from word of mouth of friends or on this forum.
  • I still listen to terrestrial radio! Although it's not where I generally discover new tunes. I discover a lot of new music here and some other forums that I frequent as well as Pandora.
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  • JonnyPistachioJonnyPistachio FloridaPosts: 10,189
    PKTrekGirl wrote:
    Some of the responses in this thread have made me curious. How do some of you guys who listen exclusively to your iPods 'discover' new bands, for the most part? I mean, I have a ton of great stuff on my iPod...but obviously, I don't 'discover' any new bands that way. For that, I intentionally spend time on satty radio - mainly stations like Octane on Sirius/XM. I also intentionally spend some time each week rooting around on YouTube for new bands I've never heard before...although I find that less efficient than Sirius XM.

    I also have some friends who I post videos on Facebook with - sort of a little 'club' of people who all make an effort to post stuff we hear and like.

    Another reason I ask this is because I have noted in some other threads that there are about 10 'newer' bands that everyone here on this board seems to repeat over and over on their 'best of' lists (and these bands do not necessarily resemble PJ, by the way)....and yet there is just tons of new music coming out all the time. This makes me wonder if some of the new rock music coming out is even being heard by a wide audience.... If all the radio stations are dying out and people don't spend a lot of time on satty and YouTube.....

    I used to listen to the radio often, but never found good new bands that way.
    I agree with HeWhoForgets - Pandora is pretty sweet. I've found about 20 new bands in just this last year from creating a hybrid Paul Simon/Rogue Wave station of my own. I hear new bands all the time through this, then go save them in my amazon wishlist to purchase later.
    Pick up my debut novel here on amazon: Jonny Bails Floatin (in paperback) (also available on Kindle for $2.99)
  • Indifference71Indifference71 ChicagoPosts: 12,831
    I still listen to terrestrial radio! Although it's not where I generally discover new tunes. I discover a lot of new music here and some other forums that I frequent as well as Pandora.


    Pandora is great for finding new bands. Discovered a few from talk around here too.
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  • DewieCoxDewieCox Posts: 9,508
    I use this(mostly) and other message boards to discover new bands. Who better to recommend new tunes than the people that already dig some of the same stuff?

    I also read album reviews, full articles or little blurbs in magazines. I don't necessarily go by the reviews, but alot of times they'll have pretty good description of what a band is about.

    Having Shazam on my phone is a pretty cool tool for tunes on tv or the little I listen to the radio.
  • catefrancescatefrances Posts: 28,899
    so long as WKRP in cincinnati doesnt go under itll be ok. 8-)
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  • Good riddance.

    There's about 400 songs in a commercial radio station's playlist. 10% of those are in heavy rotation. Heavy rotation by radio standards means the song is required by marketers to be played every 3.5-4 hours. Mix that allotted time with commercials and you get the same 40 songs being played throughout the day with one wildcard song per hour that comes from their vast playlist selection of 360 songs.
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  • Thanks for the responses, everyone. I really appreciate it.

    I sort of learned the hard way about just being satisfied with the music I already like. Until about 5 years ago, I was sort of 'stuck' in the 90's, in the sense that I was satisfied listening to and buying the new material of bands that I liked in about 1995. So I bought every CD that Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains/Jerry Cantrell, Bruce Springsteen, and other favorites put out over those intervening years...but I had really stopped listening to new bands. I guess that for a while, I wasn't really liking much of the new stuff that was coming out, and so I just stopped listening to it and sort of became a music curmudgeon of sorts: I was perfectly happy listening to 80's and 90's music and bands that were popular then, and all new stuff became, by near-definition, 'crap'.

    It just seemed like most of what was on the radio in the late 90's was so overproduced and watered down - it really killed my interest. I guess that from the first moment I heard PJ on the radio (late 1991) my appetite for happy/shiny/overproduced music began to disappear - it all sounded like ramped-up elevator music to me.

    But then, about 5 years ago I discovered through an on-line friend a 'new to me' band (who has actually been around for quite a while, but had been popular mainly in Canada (I lived in the Atlanta, GA) and that band sort of changed my viewpoint. I really LOVED this band (The Tragically Hip, for all you Canadians out there) and began to think about the fact that if I remained a music curmudgeon, I might well miss other cool bands...and some really great music.

    I've not spent a lot of time on Pandora - I might try that as well now. But I do listen a fair amount to Octane (the station on Sirius XM that is dedicated to new hard rock) as my tastes tend to run toward hard rock and the 'lighter' end of metal (not too screamo, although I don't mind some screamo). I was trying bands that I was reading frequently about here for a while, but to me, a lot of them sound kind of similar to each other - Fleet Foxes is just fine (although I found them on YouTube before I joined this board) and I like them, but too much of that mellow-ish/folk-ish sort of synthed up/reverb stuff(Bon Iver, Middle East, etc) just gets to be too much for me after a while. I'm good with a certain amount of 'experimentation with sounds' and do enjoy it...but I think my taste is, generally speaking, more toward harder music than what a lot of people here like (more in the ballpark of Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour, Alter Bridge, Shinedown, Volbeat, and Apocalyptica as opposed to, say...Bon Iver and Middle East). Although I'm not so much a huge fan of a lot of rap in rock (say, Korn).

    IMO, for example, Wasting Light is the best album the Foos have ever put out. A little harder edge.

    Found a couple of super-cool bands here though - ones I'm interested in checking out further - Wooden Shjips, Kasabian are a couple of examples from recent explorations here. But I will try Pandora. I thought Pandora was just basically a function for programming your own radio 'station'. Didn't know you can get suggestions from the stuff you listen to...which, from the posts here, is what I presume happens.

    Anyway, thanks, all. I think it's a shame that young people today can't find bands like I found Pearl Jam in late '91 - just by listening to their radios. But I'm not giving up the search, just because radio is no longer what it used to be. At least one of my top 5 bands of all time (Avenged Sevenfold) I discovered since the demise of commercial radio, and The Hip (which is certainly in my top 6 or 7) I discovered without the aid of radio at all (I've never to this day heard one of their songs on a radio of any kind).
  • I guess I can admit that I really don't discover new music that much. I'm sort of content to listen to the stuff on my ipod and get new releases from those artists I've known and loved for years. But when I do find new stuff it's primarily from word of mouth of friends or on this forum.

    I'm the same exact way. It's not very often that I actually add a new artist to my iPod.

    Over the years I can admit that I have become very closed minded to listening to new music. For almost the last year all I had in my car was a radio so that was my only option. Here in Cincinnati I think we actually have 3 rock stations. One that is a new and old station, one that is more newer stuff, and one classic rock station. I'll admit that anytime I'm listening to a song that I actually like and that ends then the station will say something about "new rock now" I'll change the station over to something else and try to find something I'm familiar with and already like. Back in the 90's I would actually get excited when it was time for them to play something new.

    But radio is just garbage now. The same songs, over and over with waaaaay too many damn commercials. It's just not to enjoyable listening experience for me at all anymore. But, now I got a new car a couple months ago with an iPod jack so I haven't listened to the radio at all since I got it.
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  • PKTrekGirl wrote:
    How do some of you guys who listen exclusively to your iPods 'discover' new bands, for the most part?

    i gave up trying to broaden my musical horizons a few years ago when i sort of just stopped caring ... but before that (circa 2005-7) ... if i wanted to "discover" new music, i went over to amazon and started reading "lists" ...
    it is a GREAT way to find new music. Why? Cuz you don't have to listen to SHIT, if you don't want to ... you can READ concise reviews of WHY you MIGHT want to listen to it.

    I found out about bands like The Hold Steady when they were still "uknown" and playing bars, Sparklehorse, and even Silversun Pickups before they hit the radio ... just by spending about 10 minutes every couple of days browsing lists on Amazon.

    Not endorsing any of those bands .... just saying ... you can truly find "new" stuff just by checking out those lists ... cuz they are compiled by record store dorks and indie freaks.

    :D :D :D
    If I was to smile and I held out my hand
    If I opened it now would you not understand?
  • ^ Thanks much for the YouTube link. I enjoyed that. Quirky, but rockin'! I liked it! I had heard of those guys, but hadn't had time to look them up properly. Great pick - right up my alley. I will check them out some more!

    And good idea bout Amazon, too. I spend a fair amount of time on there - any music that I purchase, I usually purchase there since there is not much of a selection where I live (Best Buy is pretty much my only real option, besides places like Target). I will pay closer attention to the lists! :)
  • PKTrekGirl wrote:
    How do some of you guys who listen exclusively to your iPods 'discover' new bands, for the most part?

    I listen to KEXP, or go to shows and check out opening bands, or go to record stores and talk with the clerks, or read critics reviews, or album liner notes when bands thank other bands.
    350x700px-LL-d2f49cb4_vinyl-needle-scu-e1356666258495.jpeg
  • eeriepadaveeeriepadave West Chester, PAPosts: 29,478
    the reason i posted this is because we the people can have a voice to change the things that we want, weather it is a big or little thing in our lives so help get a alternative rock station back on the air!!!
    Q101 will be on the AIR in Chicago for ONE NIGHT ONLY. THIS Saturday Night at 9pm cst James Van Osdol will be on 97.9fm the loop and loop.com, playing Q101 music, and saluting the greatest Alternative Station in the nation, Q101. If you want to be heard and let the suits know Q101 deserves to be back on the airwaves again TEXT everyone you know, post on your wall and tell them to listen tomorrow night at 9pm cst. Do you have an Arbitron People Meter? Make sure you wear it and listen. If you move the needle, it will get noticed. This is something 97.9 the loop is doing on their own, without our input or permission. BUT, it's a testimant to YOU and your commitment to Q101. Never before has a Chicago heritage rock station like 97.9 the loop aired programming ABOUT another radio station. This is a test. Does Chicago want Q101, or Thin Lizzy. Be heard. TWEET. FACEBOOK. TEXT. Forward this to everyone you know and ask them to: Join the Q101 Club Follow Q101 on Twitter Become a Q101 Fan on Facebook GO TO Q101.com


    The Loop has been playing 90s music all weekend....it has been great.

    That article by Electra is great....she was always my favorite Q101 DJ
    RIP The Loop in Chicago

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-wlup-sold-emf-christian-20180306-story.html

    Last three songs they played were:

    Motley Crue- Shout at the Devil
    Iron Maiden- Number of the Beast
    AC/DC- Highway to hell
     
    :lol:
    bf959b1f-9b77-457c-baf8-038776f33339_zps8a6a389d.jpg?t=1365722973
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  • josevolutionjosevolution Posts: 19,794
    lol Rock is dead it’s not the stations that are killing Rock the fact is there are no good Rock bands on the up&coming !!!
    jesus greets me looks just like me ....
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 25,329
    lol Rock is dead it’s not the stations that are killing Rock the fact is there are no good Rock bands on the up&coming !!!
    There is some good stuff being made out there but not like there once was.  I've read a number of times that this is due in part to the fact that labels don't give bands a chance to develop the way they used to do.  Now days its, "Give us a hit song and then get out, you're done".

    But besides that, even when something good is released these days, are you going to hear it on FM radio?  How many songs from Dinosaur Jr's excellent Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not from last year got any radio play?  Not much, if any.  Or even going back as far as Yield and No Code- how often did any of that great stuff get air play? 

    I think good rock radio is a thing of the past.
    "Love and only love will break it down"
    -Neil Young
    ***********
    M.I.T.S.





  • rgambsrgambs Posts: 11,477
    Rock radio is dead because they have been playing the same 3 ACDC, Def Leopard, and Van Hagar songs 10 times a day for 30 years.
    Monkey Driven, Call this Living?
  • rgambsrgambs Posts: 11,477
    the reason i posted this is because we the people can have a voice to change the things that we want, weather it is a big or little thing in our lives so help get a alternative rock station back on the air!!!
    Q101 will be on the AIR in Chicago for ONE NIGHT ONLY. THIS Saturday Night at 9pm cst James Van Osdol will be on 97.9fm the loop and loop.com, playing Q101 music, and saluting the greatest Alternative Station in the nation, Q101. If you want to be heard and let the suits know Q101 deserves to be back on the airwaves again TEXT everyone you know, post on your wall and tell them to listen tomorrow night at 9pm cst. Do you have an Arbitron People Meter? Make sure you wear it and listen. If you move the needle, it will get noticed. This is something 97.9 the loop is doing on their own, without our input or permission. BUT, it's a testimant to YOU and your commitment to Q101. Never before has a Chicago heritage rock station like 97.9 the loop aired programming ABOUT another radio station. This is a test. Does Chicago want Q101, or Thin Lizzy. Be heard. TWEET. FACEBOOK. TEXT. Forward this to everyone you know and ask them to: Join the Q101 Club Follow Q101 on Twitter Become a Q101 Fan on Facebook GO TO Q101.com


    The Loop has been playing 90s music all weekend....it has been great.

    That article by Electra is great....she was always my favorite Q101 DJ
    RIP The Loop in Chicago

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-wlup-sold-emf-christian-20180306-story.html

    Last three songs they played were:

    Motley Crue- Shout at the Devil
    Iron Maiden- Number of the Beast
    AC/DC- Highway to hell
     
    :lol:
    If they had played those songs less they wouldn't be dead lol. A fitting end, I guess.
    Monkey Driven, Call this Living?
  • Tim SimmonsTim Simmons Posts: 3,209
    Fuck the Loop.

    Who even listens to radio anymore? Between podcasts and streaming, whats the point? Do people love local commercials?

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