Why I Hate Radio
I am a commuter. I don't like being a commuter, but the simple fact of my dislike for it does not change that fact that I am one. So I try to make the best of it. One of the simplest and most common ways that people make long car trips more bearable is by listening to music. When I was in high school, there were only two stations that ever played anything I could tolerate, so I mostly listened to CDs. Since, however, I moved down to the LA area, I've been listening to radio more and more. But I've come to realize that, no matter where you are, whether it be out in the sticks like my hometown, or in a sprawling metropolis like Los Angeles, radio sucks.
Here's why. How often has this happened to you? You're on the way home after a long day at work and you want a little entertainment for the drive. You turn on the radio to your favorite channel. After an interminably long commercial break (don't even get me started on radio commercials, my GOD, people, what are you doing?) the music finally comes back, only, you've heard this song already today. So you change to some other channel, only they are playing THE SAME DAMN SONG. You scan through your presets to no avail, they are ALL playing that song. So you grit your teeth and sit through it, trying not to pay attention. Finally it ends. You get three more, one of which you like, one more that you hate, and one that came out about two weeks ago, but you've already heard 37 times and it's starting to get old (even though the album isn't going to be released for another week). Then there's another commercial break. You scan around, waiting for the break to end. It finally does and you return to your station, only to find that they are playing that first song, AGAIN.
Alright, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit. But how much, really? Not that much. I am sick and tired of hearing the same 20 songs every day! And I doubt I'm the only one.
Now let's think about this for a minute. The record companies have to pick one or two tracksfrom an upcoming album to release to the radio stations in order to promote that album. They pay the radio guys to make sure it gets played at least a certain number of times each day. This way, they think, the album gets exposure and people will want to buy it.
I may be an atypical music shopper, but I don't rush out and buy every new CD as soon as it hits the racks. So when I am constantly bombarded by the same song multiple times each day (actually multiple times in one drive, no joke), I get sick of it well before I get around to buying the album. So there goes the revenue for one sale. But, alas, I realize that a lot those impressionable teens out there need to be cool and have the very latest thing, so they DO go out and buy on the first day. So maybe the overplaying thing isn't so bad. But wait, the record companies need to promote the albums BEFORE they go on sale, so that people will know about it and want to buy it. The end result? I tire of music BEFORE it ever gets to the stores.
I understand that this is all about the money, and those record company guys will do anything to make a buck, but if they want MY hard-earned cash, they need to stop laying it on so thick. Let the radio stations have a little variety, record guys, otherwise I'll not only be unwilling to buy the CDs, but I'll be unable to listen to mainstream radio and be forced to listen to that member-supported jazz station (which, by the way, is a great great station: KLON 88.1).