I live in terrestrial radio hell. We have minimal rock stations, a couple of cookie cutter hiphop stations, and a shitload of country music (calling that crap music is a stretch, I know) formatted garbage. Mainstream audio broadcasts suffer heavily from “all sizzle, no steak”. There is almost zero substance to what they play, and in the case of my area, filled with on air talent (yes, I know, stretching again) like a local craptastic guy we shall refer to as Bobby Notalent.
So, I admit, I’m in my mid 30’s. I’m old, I’m out of touch, I don’t understand the music of today’s generation. Well, I didn’t understand it when I was 16 either. It was overly produced pop crap and hillbilly bullshit designed to appeal to people with no sense of individuality and are desperate to be part of the in crowd. What they played 20 years ago sucked just as bad as what they play today. And don’t get me started on hipsters, bunch of pretentious tools with a superiority complex that have made it such a point to avoid the mainstream that they became a part of it. You aren’t cool because you like obscure stuff, hell, you aren’t cool at all.
My coming of age was on the tail end of being able to identify the city you were driving in by the radio station. I somewhat long for the days where I could take a road trip from Lafayette to Houston and get a different listening experience as I crossed over into different regions. Now, thanks to Clear Channel/I heart Radio or whatever the fuck they call themselves, I can get the same assembly line radio as I pass through Lake Charles, Beaumont, and onward to Houston. It doesn’t even matter that the stations are not owned by the same mega corporations, they all sound the same.
Radio is like McDonald’s! No matter where you go, the menu is identical save for a couple of specially marketed local options (Go to Texas, you can get a Texas Big Mac or whatever). I suppose that it’s fine when you have no options and need something that you know quick, but fuck, it’s so boring. It doesn’t take that much of an adventuring spirit and a couple bucks more to hit up a place you have never been and experience something truly epic. Of course, people want to play it safe, and so, what’s what makes money, and that’s what makes it all suck.
I miss when radio was fun. Now it’s lame as hell, and of course, I can’t even enjoy a morning show without the hosts trying to be political. Who the fuck programs a rock station with the most liberal artists ever to take the stage with two hacks who do stupid voices while pushing a right-wing agenda? They have formats dedicated to political nut jobs on either side. I don’t want to hear it in between tracks of ZZ Top and Black Sabbath.
If it sucks now, how bad will it be in another 20 years? At least we have podcasts, streaming music, and satellite radio for better entertainment options.