Random Pet Peeve: Mainstream Radio

This post is not meant to be the anti-pop music diatribe you’re probably expecting out of me. Believe it or not, I actually like *some* pop music. I think it has its place. I have been guilty of car dancing the moves to N*Sync’s Bye Bye Bye, I will admit it. That probably shows my age, and it also points to the era when I was last enjoying pop music on the radio. It’s what the most memorable road trips are made of.

My radio pet peeve today is that DJ’s (are they even called that now?) never tell you what they are playing. Probably because they’re not playing it — it comes on a pre-recorded disc from Clear Channel based on what they think will sell, and they just hit play. It no longer has anything to do with people who are really passionate about music sharing awesome new stuff with their audience. I think nowadays you don’t have to know anything about music to be on the radio — you just need a good voice.

As some of you may know, my dad has his own radio show. It’s on public radio, and it’s called Celtic Winds and is all traditional Irish/Scottish music. It comes on Sunday afternoons, and he’s been doing it for like 20 years. When I was a kid (around middle school age), I used to go with him and answer the phone to take requests during the show. I was also in charge of recording the play list on paper, because the station maintained records of them, and because I had good handwriting. Those afternoons were some of the most fun days I ever spent with my dad growing up, and one of the few things that we did together, just me and him.

Maybe it’s different with public radio, but to this day he maintains a strict policy of telling people what tracks he’s playing and by which artists. How can you turn people on to new music if they don’t know what they’re hearing?

Today on my way home from work I was actually listening to pop radio, which I rarely do anymore because it never seems to hold my interest. And I heard for the first time in a really long time, a great pop song — “Burning Proof” “Bulletproof” by La Roux. I only know that because I Googled it. (Is it appropriate to capitalize that when it’s a verb? My spell-check doesn’t know.) Anyways, the DJ sure wasn’t going to tell me what it was. And obviously, I misheard it the first time and then publicized the wrong title (thanks, Pam)! Score one for my argument.

It strikes me as a one-hit wonder kind of song, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It sounds really modern in that retro-80’s way with synthesizers. But I was singing along. I actually saw a picture of La Roux in a recent issue of Rolling Stone, and I skipped over it without reading the article because A) I couldn’t figure out what was up with the hair and B) I thought it was some hipster guy trying to be all cool and failing hard. Turns out it’s a girl. Huh.

One last thought on it — and another pet peeve — Yahoo! Answers is not a good place to obtain information, for those of you under the age of 25 who may not already know this. “La Roux” does not mean “the red.” That would be “la rouge.” “La Roux” means “the sauce” in French, which is way cooler anyway, fricking idiots.



  1. Jen said,

    July 8, 2010 at 1:27 am

    That’s a girl??

    And yes, that is one of the many reasons I hang onto my Sirius radio. Clearchannel, and the FREAKING COMMERCIALS. Cannot abide the loud and annoying radio ads that come on every 8 seconds. Oh, and on satellite, the song and artist is displayed clearly, so: bonus!

    • meggitymegs said,

      July 8, 2010 at 2:11 am

      Yeah, I’m jealous of your satellite radio. Maybe I should “break” my car so I can borrow yours again and listen to it for a while!

    • meggitymegs said,

      July 8, 2010 at 11:51 am

      Also, Jen, I kinda think she’d be a lot hotter if she played up the stone butch look. LOL!

  2. Pam Keener said,

    July 8, 2010 at 4:39 am

    The title of the song is “Bulletproof” which I agree will probably be a one hit wonder but a gr8 song nonetheless.
    Love & Hugs,

    • meggitymegs said,

      July 8, 2010 at 4:43 am

      Pam, thanks for the correction! See, I think this supports my argument that they should be telling you what they’re playing so idiots like me can figure out the right CD to buy. Er, I mean, MP3. I am old. 🙂

  3. Jessica said,

    July 9, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    That song has been stuck in my head for at least a week now. And I detest clear channel. I’ve been doing pandora and blip.fm a lot lately.

  4. October 3, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    I’m into pet peeves and pet hates too – big time! If you’re interested, you might check out my cartoon blog at http://www.cartoonsbysheila.wordpress.com
    Cheers, Sheila

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