I moved to Los Angeles for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was the kick ass, legendary rock music. What NYC is to hip-hop, Los Angeles is to rock music. In NYC there was no longer not even one decent rock-n-roll radio station and in Los Angeles there are at least 4 or 5 coming in on my dial daily.
Now NYC is not much of a radio town anyway, what with all the public commuting going on. But you can’t walk down the street without some thumping bass from a hip hop beat being forced into your ears from a too loud radio from some a*&hole in a car stuck in traffic. Either that or salsa or cheezy electronica. I believe in freedom of choice in music, I recognize that not many people share my particular narrow taste in music, but I would sure appreciate all the many sheeple who listen to nothing but mainstream garbage, keeping their mainstream garbage to themselves.
You didn’t hear me, rolling down the streets of NYC with Social D., The Casualties, GBH, Bad Religion, Anti-Flag or even more mainstream acts like Green Day, NOFX or Offspring blaring so loud car alarms were set off. And it wasn’t just because I didn’t have a car. Nope, I respect people’s right to not give a sh*& about the music I hold so dear.
Yes, NYC for such an amazing city hosts an amazing array of narrow minded and non adventurous musical “tastes”. People who think they’re cool, but they are so not. The Long Island suburban kid who grows into a man/woman thinking Jay Z, 50 Cent, Nas, Big Pun, etc. represent his / her street life. The rappers/hip hop mogul know it. They cater to these lily white, Italian, Hispanic, Asian and yes, even black posers with nary a brain wave, identity or independent thought of their own.
It’s all hip hop all the time and they don’t know any other speed, in the clubs, in the bars, in the cars… it’s regurgitation of information and music with leaders in other creative fields like fashion, advertising, TV and film, happily following along and lapping up the garbage spoon fed to them. It wouldn’t be so funny or annoying if it was just another subculture, but it’s not a subculture in the least. It’s mainstream and has been co-opted by the NFL, MLB, AFL-CIO, NAB, AARP and any mainstream corporation or entity you can think of to sell stuff or an idea.
Jay Z and Beyonce are regular guest at the White House. I generally support Obama but I find it offensive to have the guy who helped make the “N” word cool again, while inspiring countless droves of young men to call women ‘bitches’ and “Hos”. Is it balanced out by Beyonce’s “empowering” message to women? One side of the marriage tears women down while the other one tries to build them back up and both getting filthy rich and famous in the process? Only in America.
Want some relief? Then head to Brooklyn and be overrun by hipster heavy flavor of the month stuff like Mumford and Sons, Grizzly Bear or Deer Tick and people who play not only guitars but washboards, and fiddles and harmonicas and wear beards, mustaches and ‘britches” like their great, great Irish / Scottish/German immigrant grandfathers.
Or worse, much worse, some prog sounding, clap happy sing along songs that sounds like they were written for and by kindergartners from bands with names “Fun” and “Gee Whizz” and “Golly Gee”. Exhausting. But once again, I respect the musicianship and the right of people to listen to what they damn well please, and I’m pretty sure, they all think my music sucks too. All good.
But can you imagine my dismay, when I tune into a Los Angeles iconic radio station like KROQ only to hear Em and Em, M&M, or EMinEM, or however he spells it or whatever that now kind of fat white dude who raps from Detroit is called. Is he still around? Geez! (no, not the name of a new band, that’s an actual “Gee Whiz” shortened to”Geez”).
What the hell is he doing being played on the local rock station? Followed by some electronica stuff that only by the loosest of interpretations could be even remotely considered the rock genre. This isn’t alternative, this is mass pandering.
And then there was an entire hour dedicated to nothing but this new type of stuff coming out that I don’t even know what it’s called. Maybe “Sludge” or “Dub step”? What it exactly is I’m not 100% sure. Through the magic of words I’ll try to describe it. It’s like an electronic Whuhh, whuushh, whhhhuhhh, whhuuuu sound. Muse has a song featuring this sound, Smashing Pumpkins too..It sounds like a team of robots took over the studio controls and though I respect both of these bands, at least one of them is copying the other.. or I suspect both are being unoriginal.
To me, it sucks no matter who plays it.
It’s not music, it’s just a keyboard or computer filtering real music and then replicating a sound that sounds like the soundtrack to the 80s and 90s’ Terminator movie series. If you need further proof that it blows chunks, then lo and behold if Madison Avenue isn’t eating it up. It’s all over the latest round of Lexus commercials bombarding the airwaves, you know the ones trying to get you to buy your husband, dad, mom, wife or other loved one a new Lexus for Christmas. Geez (again, not the band) whatever happened to a tie or a sweater or a puppy for little Jimmy and Jane. Puppies and Toy Trains.. so 3rd world.
The U.S.. Our top 3 wishlist items for holidays are 1) Lexus 2) FlatScreen 3) Ipad and most of the rest of the world? 1) Food 2) Water 3) Shelter.. bahhhh humbug.. but I digress.
Less importantly but more to the point of this rant, what happened to KROQ? Why do they suddenly suck soooooo, soooo badly after being sooo soo good for sooo soo many years?
I don’t mind a little “Mumford” and “Foster the People” every now and then… do what you gotta do for God’s Sake… and yes sometimes I even enjoy that music. But the reason I moved here is I could actually hear Social Distortion or Pennywise or Rancid on the radio, not just on a CD or my ipod or at a punk show waiting for the band to play.
It’s great to see punk rock appreciated “in the now” on the west coast, rather than denigrated and only fondly remembered as something that thing that happened in the seventies like it is on the east coast.
But Eminem? Seriously? And back to back to back to back dubstep whatever the hell that electronic garbage that is really just dance music slowed waayyyyy down and passed off as rock is? That is too much.
KROQ you suck. You suck bad. So bad, I’ve taken you off the car’s auto-dial. Because fortunately there are still some good stations left on the dial in the Los Angeles market and unlike in NYC, I don’t have to put up with 9 bad songs to hear just one ok one and 20 more to hear one good one. Or I could just turn off radio all together (like most people in the U.S. have done for the past 10 years or so) but thankfully, here in LA, I have a choice damn it.
Shape up or ship the f&*k out I say. This is Los Angeles for God’s sake. Act like it!
Or I might have to take my ass back east and fight the good fight out there. And we wouldn’t want that now, would we? I said, “Would we?”.. hello.. anybody out there? Hmmmm.