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Clear Channel... shudder... and options.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2003 10:51 am    Post subject: Clear Channel... shudder... and options. Reply with quote

The mention of Clear Channel in Junk Bar reminds me of the mention of telemarketers in Meadow of the Damned (part, uh... two). They're both things that many people agree upon as evils of the corporate age. I curse the day I first heard their name!

Ah, but here's something I've been listening to recently that you're not likely to hear on any Clear Channel station:

Something Dangerous by Natacha Atlas

Maybe that will salve the wound somewhat (not that Frank and Jimmy would agree).
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 1:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here in New York, we've had to put up with crappy FM radio for years. I've been around other markets in the country, and heard their stations, and have heard stories from others; and I've come to one conclusion: New York has the most rigidly, corporate, formula programed radio stations in the nation.

I haven't heard really good AOR radio since my youthful days in the early '80s. I used to listen to WSOU, a metal station, out of Seton Hall U., in Jersey, but even they went to pot, when the state of metal went to hell in the '90s.

What scares me, is that now, I listen to AM talk more than FM music; which is a sure sign of old age. I used to hate AM talk (AM music...remember AM music... wasn't much better either) when I was a kid. My dad always had it playing in the car (he got hooked because he was too cheap to buy a radio with FM...yes kiddies, car radios used to be AM only) and I used to beg him to turn to something cool. He gave me that old "my car, my radio" jazz, of course.

I got hooked on AM, because Cablevision had a bug up their ass about carrying YES, the channel that carries the Yankee games; and I spent more than a season having to listen to the majority of those games on the radio...AM radio (baseball became "theater of the mind" for me), and somehow I got caught listening to news and talk radio when the games where over. VERY SCARY what's become of me.

Now, excuse me while I wash my Geritol down with a glass of Metamusal.
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Alexander D.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rip Tanion wrote:
Here in New York, we've had to put up with crappy FM radio for years. I've been around other markets in the country, and heard their stations, and have heard stories from others; and I've come to one conclusion: New York has the most rigidly, corporate, formula programed radio stations in the nation.


Oh, god, yeah. I had no idea that radio didn't have to suck until I moved from Long Island to Boston. When I was living in NY, the options were basically "Top 40 with rap" or "Top 40 without the rap." How's that for diversity?

Incidentally, what is Clear Channel? I'm guessing that's the organization responsible for making radio suck?
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alexander D. wrote:
Incidentally, what is Clear Channel? I'm guessing that's the organization responsible for making radio suck?


Pretty much.

From their web site:
evil marketing guys wrote:

Clear Channel Radio, the largest operator of radio stations in the United States, provides advertisers with a coast-to-coast platform of more than 1200 stations. Broadcasting across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Clear Channel programming reaches more than 110 million listeners every week. Advertisers spend nearly 20% of their radio advertising dollars with Clear Channel.


Notice how the Advertisers are the ones they (and all large commercial broadcasting entities and networks, in fact) are doing business with and not the listeners. The listeners are merely commodities that they then sell to the advertisers. Consumers, not customers.

I first heard the name "ClearChannel" shortly after 9/11 when they were quietly circulating a memo to stations with a list of songs they suggested were too sensitive to play on the air in the wake of the then current events. That particular story may not be 100% true, but, even so, when I start to notice that even billboards have the ClearChannel logo at the bottom, then I begin think that they've maybe got too much control over the gates to the major routes of communication. They're clearly not in the music business, but the advertising business, which is why the music their stations play is pretty innocuous and soulless- They just aren't willing to risk that anybody will switch the station if something's played which is offensive in any way.

(In related "reality-check" perspective, consider this- The big corporations that are seeking to sue over file-sharing on the 'net aren't really in the business of protecting the music they own, but the method of distribution they've been using. They're not in the music business, but the technology business (CDs, CD players, etc.).)

As for radio here in sunny Southern California, I'm glad the local NPR station is one as cool as KCRW, which both keeps me up to date with the news and has one of the most innovative and eclectic music programming policies in the nation.
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Scott McCloud
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2003 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KCRW is a terrific station. And it streams 24 hours a day! Check it out.
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2003 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I first heard the name "ClearChannel" shortly after 9/11 when they were quietly circulating a memo to stations with a list of songs they suggested were too sensitive to play on the air in the wake of the then current events. That particular story may not be 100% true , but, even so, when I start to notice that even billboards have the ClearChannel logo at the bottom, then I begin think that they've maybe got too much control over the gates to the major routes of communication. They're clearly not in the music business, but the advertising business, which is why the music their stations play is pretty innocuous and soulless- They just aren't willing to risk that anybody will switch the station if something's played which is offensive in any way.

Yes, Clear Channel is a media KONG-lomerate, that has it tenticles in almost all branches of the entertainment and advertising business. If you go to their main webiste, http://www.clearchannel.com/, you'll find out just how much they're involved in. It ain't just radio stations and billboards. It's almost everything. Kind of scary. Mind you, I'm a died-in-the-wool capitalist, but I'm not a big fan of mega-conglomerates, and monoplies.

Turns out, Clear Channel owns five radio stations here in New York City: Z-100, the teenage-girl Top 40 station; Lite-FM, the harmless Yuppie station; a Rap/Hip-hop station; an Urban Contemporaty station (i.e, Lite-Fm for black folks); and Q-104, the classic rock station (the only one left in the market).

Being a fan of classic rock, I used to listen to Q-104, but they kept playing the same "I've heard this one 1000 times" tunes. In the old days, the classic rock and AOR stations here (there used to be several, once upon a time) played a lot of obscure stuff in the mix, including rare psychadelia, and garage bands from the 60's, and obscure progressive, hard-rock and vintage metal from the'70s, which I could never get enough of. You never hear that stuff on the radio anymore, at least here.

As for Scott's KCRW recommendation...I gave it a listen, but sorry, but that kind of stuff ain't my scene, Daddy-O.

BTW, did you ever notice, drivng between towns or cities, that the music you want to hear is playing on a station that sounds like it's being broadcast from a shack in the hills, using a rusty old antannae tower; while the station playing Barry Manilow and Celiene Dion, is being beamed from a satelite hovering just above your car? Sounds like a very clear channel...ahem.
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Last edited by Rip Tanion on Mon Jul 28, 2003 4:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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buzzard
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clear Channel are notorious for de-localizing stations; broadcasting (or taping and distributing the tapes, I'm not sure) a single DJ/setup etc. to several markets, i.e. several (presumably geographically close) radio stations that aren't competing with each other. They buy up local stations, fire everyone, and replace them with this automatic setup (sharing the remote thing) that requires fewer people. CC gets the job done cheaper, which means, with pure capitalism, they win.

Government regulation prevented this sort of consolidation in the past, but radio regulations were relaxed many years ago, which led to the Clear Channel mess; and now they're in the news again because the FCC just relaxed the regulations again.
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losttoy
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2003 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would also like to point out that ClearChannel also manages bands and runs venues for touring. So the talk today on the news is the fact that if a band does not play by their rules, they do not play.

I too am getting to that "old age" where I listen only to NPR on the radio. The crap that the music stations these days are intolerable (them kids and their music). When I want to listen to music I put in a CD and remember the better days.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just found the link for ClearChannelSucks.org via R. Stevens' Webcomics for Fun and Breaking Even. Thought I'd post the link here for anybody who's not seen it already. It says some of the usual things about CC. I didn't find any new damning revelations.
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Fett101
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 02, 2003 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

losttoy wrote:
I too am getting to that "old age" where I listen only to NPR on the radio.


Sadly enough, me and the majority of my cohorts have reached that stage at the ripe old age of 20. Something very wrong with that.

But Clear Channel, in my lovely home town of Memphis, owns 2 TV stations, 7 radio stations, and just about every billboard I've seen. You can't swing a cat without hitting 'em. Igh...
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2003 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fett101 wrote:
losttoy wrote:
I too am getting to that "old age" where I listen only to NPR on the radio.


Sadly enough, me and the majority of my cohorts have reached that stage at the ripe old age of 20. Something very wrong with that.

Oy, you really got some chutzpah there, kiddo, you know that? You young whipper-snappers all make me sick!

God, I wish I could be 20 again. I had the best time of my life. When I was your age, I was full of energy, going to Art School, going to wild parties, meeting wild girls, and getting laid left and right. Life was a hundred times better than it was in High School. I had a beautiful, long, curly mane, and those Art School chicks all thought I was "dreamy" Back then, I could swig Smirnoff or Jagermeister right out of the bottle, and feel totally fine the next morning.

Today, I'm two weeks shy of my 34th birthday. My life is a bore, my hair is short, and if I have anything more than a few beers, I wake up with a splitting headache. The most exciting thing in my life, now, is watching the Yankees win a ball-game.

Be thankful that your ONLY 20. Enjoy your youth, before you become, as they used to say in the Old Country, an alter kaker, like me.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2003 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rip Tanion wrote:

Being a fan of classic rock, I used to listen to Q-104, but they kept playing the same "I've heard this one 1000 times" tunes. In the old days, the classic rock and AOR stations here (there used to be several, once upon a time) played a lot of obscure stuff in the mix, including rare psychadelia, and garage bands from the 60's, and obscure progressive, hard-rock and vintage metal from the'70s, which I could never get enough of. You never hear that stuff on the radio anymore, at least here.


Hi, short time lurker, first time poster.

I live in the NY area as well, and unlike most of my peers, listen to classic rock, and listen to Q104.3. I was kind of disappointed when they started playing a radio talk show in the mornings, as opposed to just...music. I've had such fun gettting ready in the morning to "Roadhouse Blues" or what not.
However, I was heartened by the introduction of two new programs, "Out of the Box" and "Little Steven's Underground Garage."
Out of the Box plays new music from un-discovered artists, and the Underground Garage is 2 hours devoted to garage music. Plus, little Steven (of the E street band) gives amusing monologues, and plays random film, TV, radio clips, whatever in between songs- just the opening squenence is something to be heard.
So perhaps radio isn't lost after all.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2003 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both of the markets I've mucked around in have really good options around. Olympia has KAOS, my favoritest community radio station ever (it's based out of the Evergreen State College, if that tells you anything), and the Twin Cities have Radio K for awesome college radio, KFAI for awesome community radio (with Hmong programming - how cool is that?), and if you're within 2 blocks of my school, WMCN for shows that my friends do.

But those are both pretty liberal markets. Good radio is RARE, man.
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 08, 2003 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:

I live in the NY area as well, and unlike most of my peers, listen to classic rock, and listen to Q104.3. However, I was heartened by the introduction of two new programs, "Out of the Box" and "Little Steven's Underground Garage." The Underground Garage is 2 hours devoted to garage music. Plus, little Steven (of the E street band) gives amusing monologues, and plays random film, TV, radio clips, whatever in between songs- just the opening squenence is something to be heard.
So perhaps radio isn't lost after all.


I don't usually listen radio on Sunday nights, so I've only caught bits of Little Steven's show a few times. However, being a fan of '60s garage rock, I like what I heard. Does he still put together those Cavestomp shows? I caught one of them, a couple of years ago, at the Village Underground, down on 3rd St., and it was pretty cool. There were something like three young bands who are carrying on the Garage Rock tradition. They were followed by an original '60s band, Richard and The Young Lions (who ain't so young anymore), who, in an addition to their own tunes, covered several garage and psychadelic classics. They were followed by the legendary Troggs ("Wild Thing") who closed the show.

Q-104 also runs the Eddie Trunk show on Friday nights. Eddie plays a lot of classic Heavy Metal from the '70s and '80s, along with some new bands. He used to have a Saturday night show, and later Friday night show, on WNEW, but left when they switched from a talk format (they were an AOR station for years until a few years ago) to playing teeny-bopper pop not too long ago. My biggest problem with Eddie Trunk is that he loves to hear himself flap his yap, and thus doesn't play nearly enough music. I was walking down 33rd St., a few month ago, on my way the Motorhead/Dio/Maiden show at the Garden, when I walked right passed Eddie (who was MCing the show) and shouted out to him "Less Talk, More Rock" I tuned into his next show, and he obviously didn't get the message. Don't tell me you're going to play some vintage Judas Priest, and then go on for ten minutes about how much you love Priest, and how you were hanging out with Rob Halford. Just shut up, and play the tunes!

Achem. I'm better now.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2003 12:29 pm    Post subject: Clear Channel, Beast of the Apocolypse Reply with quote

(Sigh.) What's worse ? Being a 20-year-old premature old fogey who loves NPR, or being 37-year-old posthumous more indy-than-thou wannabee who can't stomach more than 30 minutes of NPR at a time without developing a rash behind her ears ?

Okay, okay, Ira Glass is all right. And David Sedaris and that woman who wrote "Take The Cannoli," whose name I'm spacing on at the moment (bad feminist, no cool bumper stickers for me. Very bad. :o) Trouble is, now everyone on NPR is trying to be like them, and very few people can pull that sort of thing off without just sounding like smarmy, self-satisfied jerks. Some idiot was babbling yesterday about the Democratic frontrunners and their "faux favorite songs," and she was so insufferable that I begged my boyfriend to drive the car into the nearest wall and end my torment. Luckily, he's used to my tirades against NPR and just ignored me. After all, it is his car.

Plus, NPR is now busy protecting the salaries of its execs while calling for its work-a-day people to take benefit cuts. Yep, just another corporation whose execs say "Do as I say, not as I do" and then feign wonder when this makes the people at the bottom of the food chain very, very grumpy. I'll also never forgive them for their ham-fisted efforts to stamp out other alternative radio stations through national legislation.

I'll stick to KBOO, and KMHD (jazz), and KBPS (classical) when it comes time to open my wallet to local radio. Might as well enjoy them before the Beast comes along and seizes the fragments of the local airwaves that they haven't already got.

Blah.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2003 8:17 am    Post subject: clear channel sucks but.... Reply with quote

They have however introduce a really cool idea at several Boston shows it's called instant live where right after the show you can buy a CD of that show. The great Kay Hanley has done two instant live CD's including her last Boston show before moving to L.A. I believe that the band gets about half of the sale price, but that might have changed. I bought both of these CD's after the show (and had Kay sign them) and they are really good live CD's. Anyway that's all I've got to say about that... Oh and yes I may be a bit obessed with Kay but's it's completely normal... for those interested in seeing more of this obession go to 52 Weeks
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