Indie Music Hour with DJ HotJack

A regular journey around the music scene

Radio GaGa?


I read a very interesting post on another blog HERE – have a read yourselves and you will also see my reply to the post in the same place. If not, I have copied it below.

I agree – well said.

However, as The Jam said: “the public gets what the public wants.” Let’s be honest here – the country is teeming with brain-dead couch potatoes who don’t want to think for themselves or make an effort to discover new things. They are quite happy to let the likes of Chris Moyles and Scott Mills dictate what they should find funny, cool or clever.

Things only survive as long as there are markets for the product being sustained. As long as people tune in and zone out there will be a constant procession of vacuous ‘entertainers’ on mainstream radio.

However, the tide is turning and a split is increasingly developing between those who are hungry to experience fresh new music and those who are happy to sit back and accept the muck they are fed. Let the latter group keep their Coldplay, Keane and Lady GaGa gigs whilst we get on with finding stuff that excites us.

As for musicians, things have potentially never been better in terms of opportunities to promote themselves in creative and cost-effective ways. I share your dismay with Radio 1 but I think we are very far away from the death of talented musicians having creative outlets.

What are your thoughts? The article in question deals with Radio 1 in the UK (hence the pic of Fearne Cotton – it’s all relevant, honest!) but really the same type of discussions are probably going on around the world. What is the music scene like in your country? Is it difficult to find worthwhile radio stations? Is music struggling because of this or are we in an exciting age of creation and self-promotion?

Have your say 🙂


July 26, 2009 - Posted by | indie music, Music Scene News, Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,


  1. Ah Radio, a tale of woe! In Germany it is more or less the same. It does depend on where you live though. In metropolitan areas like Berlin or South Germany there are more stations and therefore more to choose from. Where I live (in the far Northeast) there are only a handful stations – one worse than the next.

    The presenters are really annoying, know nothing about music, the music is mostly current charts plus “the best of the 80s, 90s and of today” (seriously, EVERY station in Germany has a slogan like that!).

    My reckoning is that the only people who listen to (daytime) radio are workers (office, car, construction site). That way it doesn’t matter that they play last year’s singles because nobody would notice.

    I only listen to the radio those few minutes between waking up and getting up. The rest of the day my computer provides the music (mp3 collection, Spotify,, podcasts, … the possibilites are endless and guaranteed that I like what I hear).

    So yeah, I think radio is dead but music is so not! I have never discovered so much new music in such a short time and I’m loving it!

    PS: Your comment is not (yet) visible on the other blog.

    Comment by juliaL49 | July 26, 2009 | Reply

  2. Hi Julia. Thanks for your comment – it’s always interesting to hear how things are in other countries. I have posted my reply to his blog post in my main post now and you will see that I very much agree that creativity and innovation is alive and well in music.

    Comment by hotjack | July 26, 2009 | Reply

  3. Good points well made mate.

    Comment by youhearditherefirst | July 26, 2009 | Reply

  4. Shooting from the hip here, regarding the death of radio, the problem in the US started when alternative became alternative ™. This was ‘round the time of Nirvana’s big blast onto the scene. Independent radio as we knew it, died. Cost-cutting measures suddenly created these rotating cookie-cutter playlists around the country. I’ve got friends raving about Clear Channel – that it’s allowing dj’s to produce shows without restrictions…but I’ve not listened so I can’t comment. I depend on online sources (thank you for yours, dj hj) and the local college radio stations which have always been aces in Boston. Especially those from Emerson College and MIT. Here’s an interesting link to an article posted on the Future of Music Coalition’s website – an analysis of playlists over four years, across the country. Unsurprisingly the name of the report is titled “Same Old Song”.

    Comment by Siri | July 26, 2009 | Reply

  5. Thanks for the link, Siri – it makes interesting, if rather depressing and predictable, reading.

    I actually held some hope of becoming a professional radio DJ when I was younger and I managed to get in touch with a few who were currently employed in the field. I found out that, in most cases, the DJ has very little control over content and is lucky to be able to choose 3 tracks per week if they have a daily midweek slot. Their perspective was that the show producers had all the power but, of course, the producers are getting their orders from higher up the food-chain.

    I guess it all comes down to what the majority want. It’s something I’ve battled with when DJing in Second Life as it’s obvious that people want some familiarity and aren’t always too open to hearing a setlist full of material that is unknown to them. I gradually moved away from trying to please that crowd and, although I felt creatively more fulfilled, the raw numbers of listeners suffered.

    Interesting subject. Hope others chip in with their views too 🙂

    Comment by hotjack | July 27, 2009 | Reply

  6. erratum: ooh! I commented too quickly – what I meant to mention was Sirius radio- not CChannel

    Comment by Siri | July 27, 2009 | Reply

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