Corporate radio sucks; it has become a bottom--line business completely lacking quality, morality, or common sense. Corporations take their own bands, play them on their own radio stations, rate them (highly) on their own ratings guides, and then sell the music in their own record stores. Wow. And on the actual radio stations, individual personality is neither necessary nor tolerated. In fact, on the few stations that even have people actually in the studio, DJ's only play songs from a playlist and talk about promotions of their station. It's certainly not as magical as it once was (or could be).
The music played on corporate radio is chosen by businessmen--not musicians or music lovers. Limited deviation does happen infrequently, but most mainstream radio music goes through a specific target-market business filter, and network. In essence; you don't get to pick what you like--what you like is picked FOR you.
There is only one branch of mainstream radio that is not contaminated, and even it is a little "tainted". I'm talking about "new music" programs; usually heard on the new rock/alternative stations. These 1 to 3 hour programs are an honest sign of things-to-come, and quality near-misses.
Some of the songs played on these "new music" shows have already been picked to be another one of those songs that soon enough you will be hearing 5 times a day. But some of this "new" music, though extremely good, is never going to "break" into the mainstream. This is very important. Think of it; music that is definitely worthy of industry attention and public praise, but the band did not go through the "cookie--cutter process" that simply must be adhered to for corporate support. One or two songs, once or twice on a new music show is as close to fame as these bands are going to get, ever. It's a sad state of affairs, but it's true.
So; if you're going to listen to mainstream radio, listen to new rock stations. Find out when they air their "new music" shows, and listen to them. Make a list of the bands and songs that appeal to you, and take this list to an independent type of CD/tape store. Go look for some music that has NOT sold a million copies yet. You are capable of deciding what you like; you don't need to have things forced upon you--and then be told that 'it's the music that you want to hear'.
Want some more good ideas? Buy some movie soundtracks; there will be a couple of bands or songs that you haven't heard before. Also, you should find out a little (more) about your own local music scene. More advice? On the internet, type in the name of a band you heard something good about; the band might have a site. And they might have links to similar bands you might like. Also, while you still can/if you still can, go to Napster and look for things.
Very soon there will be a whole new world of radio; internet, more satellite stations, and random format rollover sequencing...bleah. Hopefully, the internet someday will give us the equivalent of a "new music station"; but that will eventually be sponsored by Coke or Nike, and we'll have to move on again. My points here weren't supposed to take this long: Listen to new music shows, and go buy stuff at a "neighborhood" record store where the employees wear concert shirts instead of uniforms. Thank you.
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