Sunday, February 26, 2006

The science of (s)hit songs

Researchers at Columbia University (where the "Lucy Tricked Me Into Something" lead vocals were recorded) did a study that shows our preference for music is affected by the preferences of others.
[W]hat drives participants to choose low-quality songs over high-quality ones?

"People are faced with too many options, in this case 48 songs. Since you can't listen to all of them, a natural shortcut is to listen to what other people are listening to," Salganik said. "I think that's what happens in the real world where there's a tremendous overload of songs."

Alternatively, Salganik said, a desire for compatibility with others could drive the choice, since much of the pleasure from listening to music and reading books stems from discussing them with friends.
In other words, this study is stating the obvious. They should do another study where they make a mainstream radio station play more good music and see if more people tune in. 'Cause they would. People aren't fools that the record industry takes them for. They can decide for themselves what's good and what ain't.

It's very sad when stations like KRTH 101.1 FM change their playlists to play songs from 1964 to 1979, with a focus on the latter half of that range. Who told them to? And did they think people who listened to pre-1964 music are dying off or something? Where are we going to get our doo-wop, still one of the greatest forms of music ever? Have we forgotten about Chuck Berry, Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper?

And everyone knows that the only '70s music worth listening to are shit like non-prog classic rock, Bowie, Queen, T-Rex, etc. And yet, none of these artists are featured on KRTH. Instead we get a lot of Elton John and disco shit and they don't even play the original version of "Candle In The Wind" anymore. They play this stupid live version. I mean, if you're going to do obscure shit, why not play some obscure shit from great bands like the Zombies and the Velvet Underground. Okay, the Velvets might be atonal and noisy, but the Zombies' Odessey and Oracle album is one of the most listenable, melodic albums ever. Why don't they ever play it? Because the people in charge of Infinity Broadcasting and Clear Channel are fucking idiots.

Speaking of idiotic, you guys remember what Clear Channel did after 9/11, right?

At least KOLA 99.9 FM goes on random play at night. Once I heard them playing "Suspicion" by Terry Stafford. That's a great song, folks, by a singer who sounds a lot like Elvis Presley.

Wait a minute, when was the last time we heard the King on KRTH? They don't play him nearly enough, if at all. KOLA, on the other hand, recently picked up a habit of playing "Kentucky Rain," which is a good song but not as rock-and-roll as the stuff from his "thin" era.