One of my faves, and one that is extremely underrated is Airheads. Brendan Fraser, Steve Buschemi and Adam Sandler are band mates who take a radio station hostage in order to get their song played on the air.
Right as they take the studio hostage with fake guns, the station boss comes in and demands they get the hell out of there (obviously) and Brendan Fraser launches into a great monologue about how much rock radio sucks.
Do you know what it's like to be on the bill and to play for 15 minutes and the only people there to see you are the other bands and their girlfriends? Don't talk to me about Rock 'n' Roll! I'm out there in the clubs and on the streets and I'm living it! I am rock and roll!
After this scene me and Graham kind of looked at each other and came to the agreement that sadly, this statement couldn't be anymore true today than it was back in the 90's.
I hate to break it you - but the music you hear on rock radio is not rock and roll. I know, you're shocked! How could bands like Theory of a Deadman and State of Shock not be rock and roll? How can Panic and the Disco and All American Rejects not be the patron saints of music?
Those bands don't have a single ounce of rock and roll in them. What they have is a sound that does well on the radio. The result? We're bombarded with shit music and told it doesn't stink.
Well, it does stink.
One of my pet peeves about the radio industry in Canada is the Canadian Content law (can-con), which stipulates that your station MUST play 35% Canadian Content or else your violating the rules set forth by the CRTC.
So - do you now understand why bands like Simple Plan, Nickelback, Theory of a Deadman, Shinedown etc, all bands that sound the same and suck get played on the radio all the time? Because we have RULES the force stations to play them, therefore, taking away chances for bands that make actual good rock and roll music to be played on the radio.
If you've ever gone to a club and seen a band play, have you ever noticed very few of them sound like the shitty rock bands all over the radio? They sound.... what's the word...? Great? Yeah that.
There are so many bands who toil away in the clubs all night, who practice their asses off, who make their own demos, shirts, pins and posters. They scrape together all their own money to maintain their instruments, to tour, and make almost nothing in return.
Everyone knows a band, or a singer, or a rapper, who is so incredible at what they do. They saw them in a bar somewhere and think they're amazing. Yet they never get a break no matter how hard they try. The internet (especially myspace) has given a platform to these unsigned bands, and people are using that to discover new music, instead of the radio.
So why isn't radio keeping up with the times and doing more to put the kind of music on air their listeners are seeking out online?
Here's some shock and awe for you - music doesn't matter shit in radio. It's all about the advertising. Always has been. Companies pay to advertise, and the money keeps the station afloat. The better the station does, the more the station can charge for air time. One adage I learned in radio is that programming (the people who play the music) view sales (the people who sell the air time for ads) as a necessary evil, while sales views programming as unnecessary.
If a formula works for a radio station, they won't change it. If they maintain ratings while playing nothing but 90's alternative (which can now pretty much be relegated to classic rock, I mean really...) and can-con garbage like the bands mentioned earlier, they won't change anything.
So really - the people who love the douche rock, but have never been to a real rock and roll show in their life get to hear all their favourite songs, while people who really love music turn away from the radio. They stay in the clubs, they use myspace and iTunes to find real music. And radio stays shitty.
But radio better watch out, because one day people are going to start looking to other sources when they get sick and tired of hearing the same shit all the time. It will happen. And it will happen in all formats (except Country, that's a whole separate entity).
The best music out there - in hip hop, in rock, in rap... it's in the streets, it's in the bars and clubs. Go find it. Listen for it.
If you're looking to the radio for new music - you ain't getting anything new.