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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Another five-minute theory on modern music consumption

A 12" record, a 7″ record, and a CD-ROM.Image via Wikipedia
You know, when I was a kid, we used to listen to a lot of radio.

One of the things about radio those days was that you heard a pretty broad range of programming and tunes.

I want to be even more specific about those tunes: Not only were they diverse in style and tone, but they were also much more ranged in chronology. You were far likely to hear "golden oldies" – even entire shows dedicated to them – on your regular programming.

This most likely accounts for an even cursory knowledge of some pop music history for people my age.

Listening to 5fm a few days ago, I noted how few tracks featured were five, two, even just one year(s) old. The focus of commercial music programming today seems squarely and unmovingly modern and new top 40.

It may be great for moving CDs (at least theoretically, but certainly not in practice if the labels are to be believed), but it does little for the collective musical memory of "the masses".

A shame it would be if the next generation of high school graduates entered the culturally significant part of their lives never knowing who or what artists like Elvis, Makeba,  Clegg, The Beatles, The Stones, Robin Auld, The Dollyrockers, …

Because, you know, they were born in 1993…
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