Don’t Cry For Me 3 Doors Down

March 17, 2005 at 2:22 pm 7 comments

<img src=”http://www.derekvonessen.ca/images/890425scrawl%5B1%5D.jpg&#8221;

Marcy Mays, the would-be hero to dentist office receptionists everywhere.

Again, anyone who thinks Y-100 and stations like it across the country are the only places to hear new music needs to get their heads out of their asses. Interpol did not need to do an interview to promote their show as it was already sold out! That station failed, like others in the country, because the programmers put their heads in the sand, and were reactive instead of proactive. While the paragraph below applies to the WMMR’s of the world (mixing classic rock with non-threatening new bands like 3 Doors Down), it could definitely apply to so-called modern rock stations. The fact of the matter is that corporate-controlled radio has just rendered itself obsolete and did nothing to stop it.

Mainstream rock has been hit the hardest: Album-oriented rock stations that rely on staples like Three Doors Down have seen listenership fall seventy percent since 1998. Meanwhile, stations that play harder bands like Godsmack and Alter Bridge haven’t developed a larger audience. The poor numbers have left programmers complaining about the quality of recent music. “Some good new bands are getting airplay,” says Dave Wellington, program director at Boston’s WBCN, a station that plays a mix of modern and classic rock. “But nothing has really emerged as the new grunge, a single style that creates a massive radio movement.”

WXPN on the other hand (and the whole concept of Adult Alternative), while evil, is very smart, realizing that the only people who listen to rock music loyally are aging baby boomers, and programs accordingly with the Norahs of the world.

Years ago, I used Scrawl’s version of “Public Image” as my outgoing message. It was from Nature Film, their swan song for Elektra, who dropped them soon after. The receptionist from my dentist’s office called to confirm my appointment and loved the song. She asked me who they were and what it was when I came in for my appointment. My dentist is in Cornwells Heights (a Philadelphia suburb best known for its proximity to bound Septa R7 line that goes to downtown Philly or up to Trenton to get to NYC). This is not the kind of woman who would listen to indie rock or know who PIL is (but I think could have been the right audience for Marcy Mays and co.). But my point is, people aren’t as stupid as you think they are. Music is like buying food for a party. They will eat whatever you put out, whether it’s Lay’s or caviar or anything in between. If it tastes good, they will come back.

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jimmi  |  March 17, 2005 at 5:01 pm

    Radio is a dying media. It is almost obselete. With Mp3’s and word of mouth, people are turning on to a larger, varied form of music groups and styles.

    Reply
  • 2. Ant'ny  |  March 17, 2005 at 5:47 pm

    according to Lacunae, Scrawl’s reuniting to open for Shellac in Chicago and are looking to put out a retrospective of their pre-majors releases. Scrawl fucking rule.

    Reply
  • 3. Pixiestix  |  March 17, 2005 at 9:01 pm

    I have to make a HUGE “wait a minute” to you hun, and it’s directed not ness this entry specifically, but various things i’ve read that you’ve written recently. I’m a tad offended.

    First, I’m not a raging “i miss y-100” person, while i find it was a shame, and want just about anything except a rap or gospel station on the radio, i don’t really care about Y-100 itself. Now then, that being said – Y-100 was NOT a modern rock station, it never promoted itself to be one, it was “alternative” {as alternative in the mainstream is known, and not true alternative as in college stations}, The last “modern rock” station we had in this area was WDRE, and it WAS a true modern rock station that promoted many unknown bands as well as big known ones such as Nirvana, Sound Garden, Sonic Youth, etc.

    And while y-100 suppodedly failed because the programmers had their heads in the sand, it was actually because the people that bought them wanted a gospel station – nothing more, nothing less. While the excuse that y-100 wasn’t doing good exsists, the y-100rocks.com webcasts are doing vasting better than you would/could dream. I would also like to point out you should take a look at how many bands, big and little, are jumping on to have concerts sponsored by the webstation {The Mars Volta, for instance, who are a non-radio play band whom both Brian & myself love}. Not to mention the huge out cry of proof that it wasn’t doing as badly as it was claimed in the first place.

    If your arguement is JUST against people who are pure radio listeners, well, not everyone has the money/time to go to clubs, buy “new” albums, etc. You are at an atvantage working IN the music industry in two seperate forms, please try to remember, the rest of us don’t.

    Reply
  • 4. maura  |  March 18, 2005 at 8:46 am

    hey, a y100 apologist who can spell!

    (i’m kidding.)

    anyway, the ‘huge outcry’ is proof that y100’s listenership wasn’t low? uh, try again. that ‘huge outcry’ was more likely a) amplified by the media, which needed an ‘other side’ for its y100-death stories, and b) proof that its listeners were people who knew how to get attention for their causes — hey, at least they learned something from those early lollapaloozas.

    also, the bar for a successful webcast is a lot lower than that for a successful commercial station. you’re comparing apples and oranges there.

    finally, i don’t think sara’s argument is against the listeners as much as it against the programmers — and it’s a squarely correct argument. commercial radio has been completely drained of its vitality by central-office PDs who want little more than to ‘play it safe,’ and who engage in new versions of payola in order to get there (ever wonder how the bills for the big radio station festivals are dreamed up?) — and on the flip side, you have the obnoxious, asshole on-air ‘personalities,’ who are providing a rebellious ‘cover’ for the staid attitudes of the dudes who are signing their paychecks.

    Reply
  • 5. Sara  |  March 18, 2005 at 5:22 pm

    My comment is mostly directed towards how the stations were programmed. I mean, c’mon, they couldn’t even play The Shins, who I could care less about but the Garden State soundtrack is one of the few rock records at Stupid and Crazy that has stayed in our Top 25. There’s a lot of music out there that they dropped the ball on that would have pleased their core audience and kept bringing in new ones. And what is all this talk about Beck not having a home in Philly? WXPN is probably all over that record already.

    But the point I was making, is that, you don’t have to be an industry biz person to hear new bands. That’s what’s great about the internet and college radio. Most people who turn me onto things are not music biz people at all, just rabid music fans or mp3 bloggers who are willing to dig a little bit.

    Reply
  • 6. Diet Tab with Lymon  |  March 22, 2005 at 12:29 am

    My god, Maura is fucking delectable. Right on.

    In addition, Scrawl… Yay! Much, much better than an episode of “Becker”…

    Reply
  • 7. DvE  |  March 23, 2005 at 8:44 pm

    That would be Marcy Mays and yes it is a mighty fine UNCREDITED photograph of a wonderful person… who, by the way, was photographed in Buffalo, NY by Derek von Essen in 1989.

    http://www.derekvonessen.ca

    Reply

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