We all know how radio stations have been sterilized and homogenized by large conglomerates such as Clear Channel. It’s almost pointless to even bother turning it on, unless it’s a last hold-out local station or NPR. I think part of the blandness of radio is also the simple, aggravating annoyance of having to always hear the same old perennial favorites played over and over and over and over and over again every single day. Whatever value of freshness and wonder that these songs may have once possessed has been completely ruined by overplay. How many times can you listen to U2’s One or Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing (wait, I guess I could listen to that one again) or EMF’s Unbelievable or Eagles’ Hotel California , etc, before it just sounds like, well, like the same song that it was the last time that you heard it. . . like yesterday, for example. I think that there should be a quota for songs, world-wide. A song can only be played so many times before it must be shelved until a certain amount of tasteful time has elapsed, like a few weeks to a month. After all, there’s plenty of good music out there to play, other than Nirvana or Queen or Nickelback or Jessica Simpson or whatever crap they’re looping as we speak on a station near you.
Here’s a suggestion for how to attain this goal: have a centralized database of songs (operated by the UN or something) that must be accessed by commercial radio stations and advertisers, which logs how many times a song has been accessed and begins to impose a tax after a certain number of plays, with the tax increasing incrementally until no one will have any reason to play it anymore, whereupon it will begin to incrementally decrease until it is free again. Or impose some kind of cap and trade system on songs like they do with carbon emissions. Something. Anything. Anything to end these endless loopings of the same old songs. Anything to force commercial radio stations to start rotating something new and interesting instead.
Alas, I know, it’s a pipe dream. But wouldn’t the world be a much better place?