Friday, March 18, 2011

Satellite radio's loop de loop

And I will hold on hope
And I won't let you choke
On the noose around your neck

If we hear these lyrics again this week  -- and if the radio's playing it's going to happen, several times  -- we're gonna round up a posse and have us a hangin' party.

We love satellite radio. Love it!  And we appreciate the opportunity to listen to it during our work week. Yet we can't help but wonder why songs on some stations are played in a continuous loop, day after day after day.  Or so it seems. Is it too much to ask for more variety and less repetition?

Case in point: The Spectrum (Sirius 18, XM 45) gets old in a hurry.  Last week alone they gave 28 spins to Mumford and Sons' "The Cave," from which the lyrics above are taken.  And that was only good enough for ninth on the list of most-played songs. The leader: Abigail Washburn's "Chains," which got 36 spins.

We love Angus and Julia Stone's "Big Jet Plane," or at least we did the first few dozen times we heard it. But that plane took off 23 times last week from The Spectrum's runway.  The chorus of "Big Jet Plane" includes the line "Gonna take her for a ride on a big jet plane" that is repeated 10 times in the song, meaning, well you can do the math.

For those unfamiliar, The Spectrum plays "Adult Album Rock," which is a pretty broad category.  You'll hear everything from the Decemberists and Coldplay to Peter Gabriel and Van Morrison, and a whole lot in between.  There are certainly enough artists and songs to go around.  So why can't we hear something new every day?

Sure, we can turn the channel. And we'll do that tomorrow as soon as we start hearing David Gray's "Fugitive" for the umpteenth time this month. (Grey was the fourth-ranked artist on The Spectrum last week with 43 plays, behind U2's 71 spins.)

We've discovered a lot of great music at The Spectrum, and for that we say thanks. But a station that's thinking about its listeners wouldn't leave us kicking at the end of the proverbial rope.

1 comment:

  1. Lee Abrams ruined FM radio with the "AOR" format. Then he went to XM, and the situation you're describing is the legacy of that. He was most recently at the Chicago Tribune company, and their newspapers have all fallen faster than Snooki's panties.

    So, great job, Lee!