Not long ago, a discussion was started about those times when we come across musical notes or incidences that leave us scratching our heads or wondering to each other exactly what people are thinking. If I was one for text-speak, I would say it was a “WTF Moment”. And then I would likely “LOL”. Fortunately (umm..unfortunately?) I am not one for text-speak. Except for when I’m feeling bratty.
Perhaps it was the recent Festivus festivities, or just the work of an excellent muse, but there has been an increase in discussion around the airing of grievances, so to speak. And what better platform in which to air industry grievances – a well-founded litany of musical grumblings if you will – than the blog?
Some of the perceived offenses will be mine to divulge. Thoughts that I have through the courses of my days. Some will be ones that are shared and discussed with people who, like me, note the incongruous nature of a sometimes fickle industry. Because not everything is always sunshine and lollipops when it comes to music. Sometimes you have to rail to the wind, to wonder why, to dump a bit – and sometimes you receive an alternate view that will make you think and consider.
Okay, really, let’s not take this too seriously. Mockery can be an amusing pastime and is not completely without humour. When this WTF idea was discussed, it was noted that I needed a catch-phrase. There is something about catch-phrases. They amuse, they incite smiles and they are memorable.
And so “What’s Up With That” was created. Blatantly plagiarized from the SNL skit of the same name. It works. Mostly because you watch it, laughing and thinking “What the Fuck” (sorry, couldn’t bring myself to type out one more WTF… LOL….ha), but you are still laughing. And watching Jason Sudeikis dance those horribly funny 90s throwback moves (only horrible because you kind of want to jump up just to see if you can still throw out a decent “running man” move). The videos are hard to come by, but if you’ve watched a skit, you know. I suppose that you question “what’s up with that” while watching “What’s Up With That” makes it a bit of an enigma wrapped in a paradox (hmmm.. that isn’t my catch-phrase either, I borrowed it.. I’m sure I’ll pay royalties on it..). It will be episodic, based on the mutterings you oft hear from those who take their music somewhat seriously. Even with a bit of snobbery.
Without further ado, may I introduce Beat & Lyric’s newest topic:
WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?!
(no embedding permissions – you guys will have to clicky-click)
And, since I never do things halfway, my first WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?!
The Edge. 102.1 fm for those not in the know. It was a radio station that I listened to in my younger years and have come back to, without the benefit of indie-friendly satellite radio. I tuned back in (ha.. punny…) last spring on a recommendation that has been an enduring interest, and listened happily as I was introduced to many great Canadian indie-type bands (Hollerado, Hey Rosetta, etc) and reacquainted myself with a more popular music scene. The beginning of dropping my aforementioned musical snobbery. This was a good thing.
However, lately I have been listening to the Edge and have found myself commiserating with others in my WHAT’S UP WITH THAT moments. It is the programming – seriously Edge… what the fuck? I fully understand the need to include more popular music in your playlists. A necessary evil. Profit is not a dirty word. However, Nickelback?! No. Really?! Nickelback?! The other day, I noted a string of terrible song choices that included such stellar inclusions as Nickelback, old Metallica (but not classic-good Metallica.. old, irrelevant Metallica like Enter Sandman), No Doubt’s Hella Good (you know when they went from slightly ska-cool to industry standard) and Eminem. WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?
Dear Edge, you are supposed to be an industry leader – introducing the masses to something better than the norm. If they wanted to listen to the same shit as every other station, they would listen to those stations. Radio being on such tedious ground with listernership and a much more educated musical standard by those tired of hearing Nickelback’s 3-chord drivels, you would wonder why a station would indulge in playing music that, ultimately, you expect them to mock openly. We hold you to a higher standard. It seems more like lazy programming and less like innovation from where I’m listening.
However, it’s not all bad. I still hear snippets of musical greatness. They are still funny as all hell (Porn for the Blind.. go Google it… that was a shared laugh that I’m still giggling at). They still play Bob Marley et al at 4:20 (if you don’t get that, just skim over it.. as always I’m grateful that it was pointed out to me.. as always, it”s the small observations that have the best payoffs). They are purveyors of a damn fine Top (insert number here) list that always inspires debate and discussion (even when I don’t agree with many of their #1 choices). Songs heard in rotation months before I hear them on other stations. But, I’m sorry to say it is still at least a few months behind what I’m reading or listening to from a word-of-mouth musical arena. Placing the Edge, in their current state, at a level of sad mediocrity.
Edge Programming crew.. if you can’t do anything about pulling your heads out of your collective asses, could you just at least take a page out of Hot 107’s book and give us a No-Nickelback Guarantee? (Hot 107 is a radio station based in Edmonton, Alberta.. I am a fountain of useless information).
Hit us with it readers – do you even listen to traditional radio anymore (am I showing my advanced age by admitting that I still do??) If you’ve listened to Edge, have you noted the recent slew of irritable and somewhat questionable programming blitzes? And if this doesn’t make you ask, WHAT’S UP WITH THAT?!, tell us what does and we’ll open it up on the blog for discussion.