A New Media Paradigm. Part II

A New Media Paradigm. Part I

While I have a moment or 2 I’d like to talk about my media habits.

I see a lot.

The TV is on 24/7 unless I’m out.  Usually news as you might imagine.  When I was working as a cashier at a convenience store I’d read 4 newspapers a day including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal which are way overpriced.  When I drive I listen to NewsRadio 88 (Traffic and Weather together on the 8s at 8, 18, 28, 38, 48, and 58 minutes past the hour) unless there’s a Mets game on or I’m out of range (more about the Mets and sports in general in an upcoming episode).

If I’m even out of range of the clear channel stations I like talk radio and occasionally I’ll even stream WABC when my lust for schadenfreude overwhelms me.

Not music so much.

Back in my DJ days my chief utility was librarian and programmer.  When my buddy and I worked he would run the board and I was in charge of finding the next song out of the 1000 CD collection.  By memory with something else playing.  It makes my ears bleed to listen to the plastic mouseketeer boy/girl band American Idol rap crap that passes for popular today.  Music ended about the same time MTV stopped playing videos and started doing reality.

And I’ve always hated country, why do you ask?

But my main point is not to tell you kids that your music sucks although it does (shakes fist at cloud), but to get you to reflect on the changes in the business model of music.  You used to get 7 or 8 great songs an album because they would sell the singles separately.  Then 45s went out of style and you’d get 1 or 2 great songs an album and pay about the same price (adjusted for inflation) as you did for those great A & B side 45s.

Then when digital came out you spent the mega bucks to replace your entire collection.

But digital changed everything.  Vinyl would wear out (two plays, and you can tell the difference between the second and the first) but CDs never do.  More than that, they’re easy to copy.  If all else fails you can put a microphone next to your speaker and tape something that sounds kind of ok, no worse than your average mp3.  Sure it sounds like crap, but so does radio and people have been listening to that for 80 years now.  The fortunate fact is your mind makes up the difference.

Having memorized all those songs I feel no more compelled to re-hear them than to re-read the books I remember the plots from simply by looking at the title on the spine (more thousands and most re-read many times for pleasure).

What I look for from radio on the rare times I listen is novelty.  I want to hear something not only fantastic but new.  My Aunty Mame is trying to get me into books on tape.

I heard you on the wireless back in Fifty Two.

Lying awake intent and tuning in on you.

If I was young it didn’t stop you coming through.

Oh-a oh

They took the credit for your second symphony.

Rewritten by machine and new technology,

and now I understand the problems you can see.

Oh-a oh

I met your children

Oh-a oh

What did you tell them?

Video killed the radio star.

Video killed the radio star.

Pictures came and broke your heart.

Oh-a-a-a oh

And now we meet in an abandoned studio.

We hear the playback and it seems so long ago.

And you remember the jingles used to go…

Oh-a-oh

You were the first one

Oh-a-oh

You were the last one.

Video killed the radio star.

Video killed the radio star.

In my mind and in my car,

We can’t rewind we’ve gone too far

Oh-a-a-a oh

Oh-a-a-a oh

Video killed the radio star.

Video killed the radio star.

In my mind and in my car,

We can’t rewind we’ve gone too far,

Pictures came and broke your heart,

Put the blame on VCR

You are a radio star

You are a radio star

Video killed the radio star.(x10 fade out)

(after 4x) You are the radio star (x5 fade out)

Oh-a oh (x6 fade out)

7 comments

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  1. More to come

    • Edger on December 15, 2008 at 7:30 am

    Not George Noory.

    Art Bell.

  2. listening to the “First Wave” station on my XM radio which is early to mid 80’s New Wave ironically some of which at the time I deemed “too commercial” to listen to that I am now all nostalgic about and I started having old person thoughts…. gee they sure don’t make music like…

    I almost pulled over and asked a random stranger to shoot me because I was turning into my parents.

    But there is still decent music coming out these days, the difference is we don’t have hours and hours to obsessively find good college radio on the dial and to obsessively debate one band vs another because we are old and we have the slavery of jobs and mortgages and the stench of failed personal ambitions hanging over us. Now I am not saying mainstream commercial pop isn’t absolute crap, just that good stuff still exists.

  3. ek- that was the first video that ever aired on MTV. I believe the literary term is “foreshadowing.”

  4. its the job of every generation to criticize the music that comes after them. That doesn’t mean its not getting worse, just that it seems to be a right of passage.

    For Crosby and Stills, the corruption of “real music” happened when it became commercialized back in the 70’s. That was their generation’s take.  

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