It's a SemiDaily List!
I'm still saving the world for new things and fighting off The Death of New.
It's not just Hollywood that's afraid of new stuff; the music industry is also afraid of new sounds and new music and new artists... and they're afraid of them because we are afraid of them. (As usual, by "we" I mean you. I have tons of songs on my iPod from bands I've never heard of.)
The music industry is afraid of new music and new artists because music listeners don't want new artists and they don't want new songs. A list of the top 25 concert tours in 2008 shows that only four of the top 25 were anything even remotely new -- if "Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige" can be considered "remotely new." And two of those four are Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers.
So people won't go see new bands in concert. Why? Because they don't hear them on the radio. And why don't they hear them on the radio? Because radio stations won't play new songs for fear that you'll turn off the radio or switch stations; studies show that if radio listeners hear an unfamiliar song, they're likely to turn the station off. (One website mentions this as part of the lesson for songwriters: repetition, it says, is important.) It's a lesson I learned firsthand when I was a college-radio DJ at the least-heard college radio station ever.
But, seriously, how many times in your life can you possibly hear "Brown-Eyed Girl?" Does it make your drive home more fun to hear "Satifaction" for the 1,000,000th time? I'm all for listening to old favorites here and there, but I like them mixed up with some new stuff now and then. And you should, too, or there's not going to be any music once the Rolling Stones and Tom Petty die. To help you out, I've picked out three bands that I never heard of before today -- all of them new bands, and I will give you a great song by each of them:
1. Florence And The Machine, "Kiss With A Fist."
Why Radio Stations Won't Play It (Besides The Fact That It's New:) The relationship in this song appears to be less the "idealized romance" that sells so well in the music industry, and more the "I Can't Believe My Picture's On 'The Smoking Gun' Type of Romance that music industry types actually engage in.
The Old-Standard Song This Should Replace: Radio stations could get rid of "Brown-Eyed Girl" and its sweetly-soporific nostalgic romance. The modern era demands not hazy-eyed looks back at where we went, but a hot-blooded look at where we are now. (Note: I am assuming that all of the actions in this song are metaphorical.)
2. Red Light Company, "Arts & Crafts."
Why Radio Stations Won't Play It (Besides The Fact That It's New:) The lead singer's got funky hair; radio stations got burned by Hanson & Nelson. No more long-haired guys.
The Old-Standard Song This Should Replace: On the other hand, Tom Petty's got hair like that, and aren't we all a little tired of "Don't Come Around Here No More?" There's still room on the radio for American Girl, but we could retire most of Tom's other stuff and put this in place as the new slightly-melancholy arena rocker for the next 30 years.
3. Dinosaur Pile-Up, "My Rock 'n'Roll."
Why Radio Stations Won't Play It (Besides The Fact That It's New:) Well, the name, for one thing. Dinosaur, Jr., had a song on indie radio a long time ago, and is there really room on the radio for two dinosaur-themed bands? Plus, in the South, they're legally required to refer to dinosaurs as "Dinosaurs, those tools-of-the-devil fake fossils." That gets in the way of announcing the song.
The Old-Standard Song This Should Replace: On those top 25 tours, Bon Jovi (1) and Van Halen (11) represent the hard-rockin' segment of the music audience. But listen to Dinosaur Pile-Up and pay attention to the drums and the way those guitars grind it out, especially at the end of the song . Is there any doubt that if it came down to a musical melee, the Dinosaur Pile-Up guys would beat the tar out of Jon & Eddie? They're so tough, I'm going to include a second song by them, "Love Is A Boat And We're Sinking"
Which itself could push all those old Talking Heads songs off the radio, too.
Don't forget to page down and Read The Best New Sport, also posted today!
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Claudius wanted to be the first man to reach the stars... and maybe he was. Alone, drifting through space with nothing to keep him company but the dot... speck... rock that is drifting there, too, Claudius reflects on what brought him to this point: A spaceship, a dream of reaching the stars he always saw when he closed his eyes... and murder.
Eclipse is a Mobius-strip of a psychological horror thriller that takes the reader on a twisting, turning trip through Claudius' troubled childhood, his time at NASA, and a grimy hospital or prison, peeling back layer upon layer of the personality of a boy who could close his eyes and see the stars, a boy who dreamed of reaching those stars... and maybe he did.
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