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.

 

 

8 thoughts on “Why KROQ Sucks.

  1. i have to say im getting very fed up with KROQ as of late. they are giving exposure to bands who have no business in the rock genre. Most of these “rock” groups are borderline pop, some kind of electronic sound, boring alternative, etc. There seriously has to be bands that better represent the alt rock genre than Fun, macklemore, Alex clare, and anyone else they have in their lineup.

  2. Amen James. That is why I wrote the screed. Their PD needs to get it. I heard the “hey Yah” song from 2004 or 2005 from Outkast the other day? Now I like that song… a lot. but I don’t tune in to KROQ to hear it. Unnatural. Thanks for the feedback.

  3. KROQ has always played a few hip-hop songs, but within the past year something worse has happened: KROQ has transitioned from being a rock station to being a pop music station. Now they actually play more pop music than rock music!

  4. yea kroq lick donkey balls now
    they actually have all thru out most of the 2000s

    cant really blame them all the way though cuz their are no more guitar bands. THe bands that ‘claim’ to represent guitar music have the guitarist way in the back playing 0 riffs and no solos. I dont mind no solos that much either but even punk kinda requires a good riff and guitars in the front.

    I think they tried with douchy bands like daughtry, stained, hinder watever singer led bands and people realized that their is no difference between them and the rnb stuff being played on other stations except that they have distorted guitar chords accompaning whatever bullshit lyrics the singer wrote. How about incorporating the guitar in the creative process. This is rock, singer’s voice and the fuckn lyrics are the last things I care about.

    so yea, it all goes around, n the radio stations cant play good rock because their are no new good rock bands that have good riffs n solos. they have to play new stuff and cant just play the old stuff. Though I have noticed that every 5th song is still a nirvana or some other 90s alt rock song. This is done to prevent people from marching down to the station with pitchforks in hand

  5. I’ve been saying this for years!
    They play shit music every hour on the hour. Every once in a while they will throw in some tired ass nirvana, foo fighter, linkin park song and then go right on back to mumford and sons crap. The radio in AZ is way better since they actually play new non mainstream rock music. Every time i visit my family in AZ i come back with a new favorite song and renewed hatred for everything kroq stands for.

  6. I remember growing up listening to blink-182, The Killers, Smashing Pumpkins, Rancid, Pennywise, System of a Down, Sublime, Metallica, and etc. on KROQ. Now it’s like let’s play this Foster the People song over and over. Then every once in a while here’s the same Linkin Park song we played over and over last summer. They seriously only play like 5 songs on that station over and fucking over. It sounds like robots crapping into a microphone. Most of the songs I hear on KROQ I also hear on KIISFM WTF!!! Then when they play a song you do like they fucking ruin it for you. I don’t remember the last time I heard a “rock” song on KROQ. Just in case nobody understood, THEY DO NOT PLAY ROCK MUSIC ON KROQ. The word rock is in the the name for god’s sake. I’m fucking pissed just writing this.

  7. By the way if you don’t believe me go to the website and look at their playlist. FUCKING BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. He nailed it when he said the KROQ music sounds like it was written for and played for kindergarten kids. What is with all woo hoos and moaning that is on the music this lousy station is playing. I’m not saying they have to play hard rock or metal but even many of the 80’s bands like New Order, Human League, Gang of Four, Talking Heads, etc were not hard rock but they were creative enough to write some good songs with melodies that captivated you.. Now we have these horrible bands like The 1975, Imagine Dragons Twenty One Pilots, etc that sound like Dr Seuss on a valium holiday. No energy, lack of good songwriting combined with droning and woo hooing like 10 year olds at a birthday party. Sometimes I think I’m just getting old but I know this isn’t the case because I still listen to a lot of current hard rock (not classic rock) which a small segment of the youth does listen to. I ttink the music business has just got to the point where they just want to rehash what is already popular and stifle any creative process because they see it as too risky. That being the case is it any wonder why the young people are listening to this garbage and think it’s good music. After all if you are never exposed to good music and what you get is mediocre or worse then you start to think that mediocre is really good and worse is mediocre. Let me give this analogy. If you live in a 3rd world country where all you have to live on is white rice, bread and water then you start to think that rice is really good stuff. Well if you have never been introduced to beef, steak, turkey, fish, etc that rice sounds great. This is exactly what is happening to our younger generation. They are actually starting to feel emotion in emotionless music. Now I am not saying that every band out there is bad because there are some really good younger bands, although few make it to the KROQ playlist. A couple good bands that have actually made it to the KROQ playlist are The Black Keys and Fitz and the Tantrums, although FATR have recently drifted from that free flowing soul vibe they originally had to a more mainstream generic sound with their new song “Let me hear your hands clap”.

    It saddens me that KROQ disc jockeys have sold their souls to their corporate programming masters and continue to push this awful music with a round the clock playlist of a select number of songs. Had the music business behaved this way back in the 60’s and 70’s The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, John Lesson, etc would have never been heard of because they would have been considered too risky. Instead we would still be listening to Pat Boone, Bobby Rydell and Bobby Vinton. Just think about the future of music for a moment. As things are right now that means that 30 years from now you will be listening to almost the same thing you are listening to now and those talented new artists pushing the envelope in the same way that The Beatles and The Rolling Stones did will never have been discovered.

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