Radio is Shit; Hunt Down Music Like a Boss

If you haven’t noticed that radio plays the auditory equivalent of shit purée by now, there may be no hope for you. You may be forgiven for not knowing why this came to be, or what to do about it, however.

Radio doesn’t sell music. Radio sells people’s ears to advertisers.

"If you are not paying for it, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold."

After a bit of legal shuffling, Clear Channel realized this market was inefficient, and started buying up radio stations. It soon wound up with a large majority of all US stations. Since music is not the product, and the listeners are not the customers, Clear Channel decided that they should do what makes business sense; minimize the costs associated with keeping ears. Translated: fire the people who did actual work finding local, interesting, or unusual music & rehash centrally planned shitty top-40 lists as much as possible. Sort-of luckily, Clear Channel turning radio to crapola only greased the wheels of the MP3 takeover of music distribution.

So Where Do I Find Music Instead?

Luckily, the Intertubes democratize audio broadcasting in a powerful way. Any yahoo with a laptop and a condenser microphone can record music or a podcast. This means there is plenty of garbage, but also almost certainly someone talking about just what you want to hear. You can find decent music podcasts by going through the big branded stores (Zune, iTunes, etc), or just searching around for podcast lists. Grab a lot, delete the ones that suck, revel in the remainder.

Want a more active approach? Here are some ways to go hunting for good music directly:

  • Hit the Amazon music store, rate some albums and see what the almighty recommendation algorithm pulls up for you.
  • Try one of the sexy discovery applications/websites; Grooveshark,, Pandora, or The Hype Machine.
  • Try a new music platform like The Sixty-One to get exposed to things you wouldn’t otherwise hear.
  • Ask a badass you know for bands worth checking out, and they’ll tell you about great bands that almost never get play on the radio like: Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, M83, Of Monsters and Men, Angus & Julia Stone, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Deadmau5, Johnossi, The Vincent Black Shadow, Ratatat, or The Diablo Swing Orchestra.

Now go forth, and suffer shitty music no longer.

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