Sunday, March 25, 2012

Weekly Whine: Music

Back when I was a teenager, if I liked a song I heard on the radio, I'd do the following:

I'd turn on the radio on my boom box and stick a blank cassette tape inside. I'd then camp out listening to music all day. When the song came on, I'd race over to my boom box and hit record.

Clearly, this was less than ideal. So if I liked a song enough and especially if I liked more than one song by an artist, I'd go out and buy the album.

Kids these days don't have to do that. If they like a song, they just go to iTunes and download it. In a way, it's great. I mean, how many crappy albums did I have to buy in order to get one song? Let me tell you, I did not need to own 14 tracks by Superdrag, that's all I have to say.

Yet I can't help but think the kids are missing out too. If you just get the songs that are on the radio, you're missing out on some other tracks that are amazing but maybe not as commercial. How many albums do you own where your favorite track isn't one of the ones from the radio?

Obviously, kids can still download an entire album (and probably cheaper than back in my day). But will they do it if they can easily get the tracks they like for cheaper? I think it's kind of sad that all these non-radio songs are getting missed out on.

17 comments:

  1. I think kids listen to more than just the radio songs. My kids (teenagers) find music that I would have never heard on the radio, and they order whole albums quite often. I think the digital age and social media has made it easier to explore music.

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  2. Having just listened to Superdrag's one hit, did you need to own even one of their tracks?

    As for the effects of the digital age on music, for me it has definitely expanded my musical horizons. Now when I hear a song I like on a tv show or someone's blog, I can easily find out more about the artist and listen to more of his/her/their songs online to find out if I want to buy the album. (Being old fashioned, I still buy physical CDs to add to my collection.) It's definitely introduced me to some artists and musical styles that I never would've discovered just from listening to the crap that my local radio stations play.

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  3. Or, you can go to YouTube and get a copy of the best music video in the history of mankind as a freebie:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QE7Sm--Trc

    Yeah, I'm old, sue me.

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  4. Do kids still listen to the radio?

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  5. Waiting to tape the song also teaches patience, something sadly lacking out there.

    "I want my MRI TODAY!"

    "I took one of your pills last night, and it did nothing! I want something else!"

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  6. I remember doing that! I also remember when I would go into my room just as the song was half over and being devastated and annoyed. There was something charmingly fun about it though :D

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  7. That's why Pandora is great! I've found a lot of new artists through it.

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  8. *I* still listen to the radio! And I'm assuming other people do because it still exists and gets advertising. I mostly listen to it while I'm driving, and that's how an old fogie like me learns about new music.

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  9. Speaking on behalf of kids everywhere (granted I am 24 haha), I usually find out about my music through youtube. However, I listen to a lot of underground music, which means I can't get my music through youtube. I listen to a lot of metal, but I'm into mostly everything really.

    Internet radio is pretty awesome too. I hate normal radio and I only listen to it when I'm forced to while driving. Pandora as aforementioned is a mainstay, but a friend turned me on to di.fm (that's the website name) for electronica music.

    Anyway, buying singles definitely makes you miss out on music. An album is an experience, and good musicians will craft their album so that it is better if you listen to it all the way through!

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  10. you forgot the charming bit where you try to call the radio station and request the song, sometimes dedicating it to your middle school crush, but often having to wade through a thousand other callers trying to do the same thing...

    oddly enough, I was just thinking about this the other day, and wondering what sort of b-sides I'm missing out on because of my iTunes instant gratification...

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  11. Pandora? I have discovered so much music I never would have heard otherwise.

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  12. Arjuna is right, radio is horrible. They mainly replay the same 10-15 songs over and over. YouTube is the way to go, sometimes songs from a movie soundtrack can also be pretty good.

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  13. Oh how I miss the mixed tape. Spending all Saturday night in my room rewinding and fast forwording tape after tape.

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  14. Oh my gosh- I remember doing this!!! And at the beginning and end of the song you'd hear the DJ, so it almost because a conditioned expectation to hear it every subsequent time you heard the song on the radio.

    My two I vividly remember recording and then listening to until the tape broke: Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) and Taja Seville - I & I

    Ahhh good times!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  15. I like your blog, and I find your thoughts interesting in this post, but I think your premise that "kids these days" are only exposed to music through the radio, and thus are not exposed to other good music, has two faults: 1) I don't think we listen to the radio nearly as much as you seem to think we do, and 2) We have other ways of finding, listening to, and downloading music.
    I'm 21, and the only time I listen to the radio is for about 3 seconds every morning: the amount of time it takes to turn off my alarm clock, which I have set to a radio station, because the other option (alarm) is much less pleasant to wake up to.
    Other than that, I don't listen to the radio. Maybe it's just me, or maybe I speak for my generation and those younger than me, but to me, the radio seems old-fashioned, relics of a bygone era. I listen to music on iTunes through my laptop. In the car, I listen to my iPod. I like being able to choose songs I like, and not having to listen to the ads or talk between songs that you get listening to the radio. I find new music through Youtube and Facebook.

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  16. And this is why God invented BitTorrent...

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