for February 19, 2002
Lifestyles Of The Unfocused And Incomprehensible
by Sean Carolan, from an ongoing rant between him and Rich Robinson
Why does anyone listen to the radio, really?
Okay, there's no answer to that question. People listen for their own reasons, and the station they choose to listen to reflects that. If they want to be informed, they'll choose a news station (all the news in twenty minutes, maybe) or NPR (one story in twenty minutes, maybe.) If they truly desire to hear two local yahoos regurgitating the topics from last night's late-night talk show jokes (but with far less skill) they've got their pick. If they want to hear a particular kind of music, they'll listen to a station that plays that sort of music.
If they're lucky, they'll actually hear some music. More often than not, lately, they'll hear about something that applies, however tangentially, to their lifestyle.
"Lifestyle" programming is a desperate form of music radio programming that tries to connect with the listener through ways other than music. A disc jockey might highlight a news item that could be of interest, for instance.
On paper, this sounds good. In practice, it's as annoying as arguing about politics with your dentist during a root canal, and about as successful.
The other day on a certain local "alternative" station, the disc jockey come out of a song, mentioned something about a controversy involving a local lingerie store, and went back into the music. It might as well have been an update on the state of their latest hangnail, for all the good it did for their listeners. (In fact, at least the hangnail would have had an iota of personal involvement.)
I can understand this sort of thing on a "mainstream" radio station; people don't actually listen to those for the music. (They listen to those for "Music", which you should imagine as printed on a white label with a blue horizontal stripe.) On a station where you've identified yourself as caring about the music, however, it seems a tad idiotic to suddenly be about something other than the music.
It's a trend, though, so we're gonna have to deal with it. Me, I'm looking forward to a time where, when a DJ says "Now let's get back to the music", we won't ever really have left it.
©2002 Sean Carolan
All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.
Today's NY/NJ Shows That Matter
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Boz Scaggs at Count Basie Center For The Arts (RESCHEDULED to Nov 18)
The Spill Canvas at World Cafe Live, Philly
Remembering Gregg Allman ft Scott Sharrard and more (including the full original Gregg Allman band) at City Winery
Smoking Popes and The Ataris at Knitting Factory Brooklyn
An evening with YMUSIC ft Amos Lee at Bell House, Bklyn
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ALTROK recommends music once a week; here's our most recent choices. Most links will take you to a place where you can buy the music; if there's no link, and you own a record company, consider releasing it yourself...
A Place To Bury Strangers - It Is Nothing
The Boxer Rebellion - Semi-Automatic
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Everything Everything - Photoshop Handsome
HEALTH - Die Slow
Miles Hunt and Erica Nockalls - Catching More Than We Miss
Julian Plenti - Games For Days
Los Campesinos - The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future (Free download!)
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