Archive for radio

New Podcast

Posted in Movies, music, premiere with tags , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2012 by kc2

Hey everybody!

I’ve started a new podcast…check it out! The Brainfog Podcast is hosted by me and a friend from my radio station. This weekly podcast will deal with fun stuff going on in our lives, living in Los Angeles, movie reviews, today’s music, and every once in a while…I’ll bring in an entertaining guest.
I’ll post an update when it finaly goes live to iTunes…but for now, listen/download through the website – and please leave comments!

Thanks!
~Keith

What Happened to Hard Rock?

Posted in Movies with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2011 by kc2

For those that don’t know, I have worked in radio for about 8 years now. I like to think that I keep up with the latest music. I love anything with a distortion guitar. I used to be pretty closed-minded to where that’s all I would listen to, but opened up to appreciate rap, pop, techno, acoustic, and such (except country, my grandma listens to country, fuck country) ((Garth Brooks and Johnny Cash are ok))

Anyway…back to my point. I’m trying to keep up with the latest music and what’s coming out, and I notice more and more that I’m adding less and less new rock music to my library. With rap, I’m good, I’ve got tons of new stuff, Bad Meets Evil, Tyler the Creator, Kreayshawn, Nicki Minaj, etc… The radio station I work for keeps me updated with plenty of pop and top 40 with stuff like Katy Perry and One Republic. But, there’s no good rock music. I mean REAL rock music.

I scanned the Billboard charts. There’s a bunch of stuff from bands I grew up with. Foo Fighters (a band from the 90′s!) has 2 of the top 10 songs. Seether, Rise Against, Avenged Sevenfold, Incubus – all good bands, but none of them are new. Where are the rock bands of this decade? We’re a year and a half into the 10′s and there are 2 bands on this chart that fit the bill of rock band – Adelitas Way and Art of Dying. Cage the Elephant has a few good rock songs also, but they came up at the end of the 00′s.

Now if you go look at the charts yourself, you may question me and say there are another 5-6 bands of this decade. Those aren’t rock bands. Sorry, this isn’t to say they aren’t good, just not a rock band. The Naked and Famous, Mumford and Sons, Foster the People – besides having 3-worded names – those are all just chill bands. They don’t pump your adrenaline, no one is using these for their entrance music to a fight, and I’m not going to press down harder on the gas pedal.

So while I try not to be as resentful as Henry Rollins, I still just want something badass to listen to once in a while.

10 bands that manage to stand out

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2008 by kc2

There’s been an increase in quotes that go something like this… “I hate all new music, it all sounds the same” Corey Taylor (Slipknot/Stone Sour) was quoted as saying he doesn’t buy new music because he doesn’t think any of it is good. Gary Rossington (Lynyrd Skynyrd) said something similar back in the 90’s about how you couldn’t tell what artist you were listening to on the radio anymore.

My answer to that is – What do you expect?? There are only 12 notes, total. I dare somebody to invent the ‘H’ note.

So, I do agree with the thought that there isn’t much variety or originality in today’s music. Back in the 70’s you knew you were listening to Sabbath, Zeppelin, Skynyrd, etc. Where as today, you can get confused with bands like Evan’s Blue, Hurt, Sick Puppies, Red, and Three Days Grace – not that I’m dissing these bands. These are 10 artists that get radio play that still manage to stand out in today’s radio. (I stuck with ‘active rock’ bands who’s bulk of music came in the 2000’s, and this isn’t about how ‘good’ the band is, so don’t start thowing stuff at me)

10. Breaking Benjamin – For the most part, their guitars and guitar tones sound just like anything else in their genre. The drums are nothing new. Plug in any singer and you’ll have any band. But, Benjamin himself has a voice that is pretty unique…you know its Breaking Benjamin when he starts singing. His voice defines the band just as much as his name.

9. Blue October – Add really meaningful lyrics to alternative rock with a violin. Justin is also a really good singer and frontman. If his voice, the violin playing, or catchy guitar parts don’t grab you, then the emotional lyrics definitly will.

8. System of a Down – Even though they are on hiatus and have different projects. You still listen to Serj Tankian and Scars on Broadway and think ‘System’. Their voices and styles are just too recognizable to be thought of exclusively.

7. Korn – I haven’t liked Korn since Head walked out on them to find religion. Even though Korn has influence many bands to try to copycat their “nu-metal” sound, no one has come close until Head started releasing his own material. The sound that really makes KoRn unique is their bass, and that “rattle” that is in every one of their songs.

6. Sevendust – This band is hit or miss with me for the most part, I have to be in the mood to listen to them. Regardless, Lajon Witherspoon’s vocals are unlike anybody else on the radio.

5. Mudvayne – “Math Metal” – no body else on the radio does it like these guys. There aren’t many bass players that can keep up with Ryan Martinie. While Chad Gray does his share of screaming, it’s his melodic vocals that are really different.

4. Disturbed – Dan Donegan’s guitarwork definitly has a unique tone. You know it’s Disturbed even before David Draimen’s vocals come in, and those are unique on their own.     

3. Skindred – Well, simply put…who else does reggae-metal? 

2. Avenged Sevenfold – I think this is what Guns-n-Roses would sound like if they wore more black and eyeliner. Well, add The Rev’s speedy drumming too. M Shadow’s vocals are unlike anything else in radio-metal.

1. Nickelback – Suprised? You shouldn’t be. They rule the radio. They found the formula that works, there’s no reason to change that. Record labels seem to try to make everyone more like Nickelback too. Daughtry, sounds like Nickelback. Puddle of Mudd, sounds like Nickelback. Hinder, sounds like Nickelback. Get the idea? While there are tons of bands that compare to Nickelback, none of them have Chad Kroeger. No one else compares. His voice sells. Any song they release = instant hit. Hell, Kroeger even helps Santana sell records.

The Perfect Radio Station

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , on September 4, 2008 by kc2

Anybody here listen to the radio? Anybody here prefer a radio over their mp3 player or CD’s? It’s no wonder why many articles state that radio is dying. Radio sucks. Seriously…this is coming from a radio guy. Satellite radio is not the answer. It’s hardly lasting itself. So really, satellite radio proves that the commercials aren’t the only thing killing radio. I think satellite radio is actually bad, because I view it as the “cable” of radio. I don’t want to have to pay for the “good” channels when there’s nothing else on. The music is unedited on XM and Sirius – big deal, you still aren’t getting that many listeners. But, I’ve haven’t really listened to satellite radio enough to critique it, so I’ll leave that alone and stick to what I know.

These are the major problems I find with today’s radio:

Go to fullsize image1. The DJ’s – I want better DJ’s. I don’t care about the celebrity status of who is on the air. I want people who know what they are talking about when it comes to the music they are playing. If you are nothing more than a personality talking about gossip – do a morning show. Don’t interrupt the music with BS. On the other hand, Indie 103 does the celeb-DJ well. They get guys from the music industry talking about the music industry – imagine that!

My solution – If you can, get DJ’s who know something about the music they are playing. Get DJ’s that aren’t awkward when they do interviews. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard how uncomfortable the celebrity is when the DJ is a dumbass. See video below…she actually handles his stupidity pretty well.

2. Nights and Weekends – I hate that many stations turn into jukeboxes because there aren’t any DJ’s in the studio. And, having a DJ do a voice over beforehand is just cheap and classless. But, it’s definitly better than having no voice at all. I remember when my college station would be without DJ’s in the summer, listeners would call the summer staff begging for voices – just to introduce songs if nothing else.

My Solution – Hire more DJ’s! If the station is too cheap to hire someone to talk on air 24/7, then why do you pay people to do board op? There are too many people out there that would love to be on air, so a station could easily hire voice talent for cheap. Pay top dollar to your main DJ’s, but let some rookies have late night experience.

3. Overplaying songs – This is probably what a lot of people would put as their #1 reason for not listening to radio. Well, hate to tell you but…it’s the listener’s fault that songs get overplayed. Some people just don’t know how to quit requesting songs…I.E. “Nickelback”, “Crank Dat”, and “Lips of an Angel” (ps. quit requesting that song for your significant other) The other part of the problem with overplaying of songs is that stations tend to keep a small amount of songs in their library.

My Solution – Get a bigger library of songs. Then really mix new and old. A solid rotation would include your Top 40 songs, 20 new releases, 100 Heavy Rotation, 1000 light rotation, and another 1000+ to be thrown in at random. When callers request songs, play the hell out of them – FOR A COUPLE WEEKS. Then drop it down after that.

4. The “TOP 40” – (Sort of continuing off the above) The way that R&R names their top 40 songs for all formats is a rather archaic and vague process. I don’t really even know how they figure it out. Its something like they ask a certain (small) portion of the country which songs they prefered to hear during certain hours of the day and hand write them down, then those answers get processed and somebody who got a B- in their high school statistics class does some equasions on them and then some record label execs decide if they like the result, then what they pass on is considered the top 40 songs…er something like that.

My Solution – Should be fairly obvious…quit using whatever that process is. Start getting real statistics on what is actually getting requested by listeners. Sure, this could turn into a grueling process, unless you do it right. Everything is done on computer anyway, so ditch the pen and paper and embrace Excelsheets. ClearChannel puts all their stations in the same place anyway, so that’s already consolidated. I think you’ll find as profound of changes in Top 40 requests as when the Nielsen Sound Scan changed their system for calculating CD sales.

5. Requests – Stations stick too closely to their formats and pre-generated playlists. And, I’m tired of this new gimick that a lot of stations have adapted – “My 3 at 3”, Your Six at 6, “The badass 8 at Ocho”. Wait, you’re saying I can’t get ONE request when I call in at some point during the day, but you’re going to give somebody else 8 requests all at once??

My Solution – Take requests all day everyday. This will get people excited to listen to the station, they’ll be listening for their song. I don’t necessarily want these listeners to get their voice on the air nor any dedications, but as long as they can get a request in at any point in the day…that’s cool.

6. Commercials – Last but not least…quit it with the commercials. There are too damn many of them. You know why I don’t blast radio in my car? It’s because I don’t to be sitting at a stoplight when an over amplified commercial for some car dealership or fast food restaurant comes on – yeah, I’ll look cool.

My Solution – Basically what I want to say in this paragraph is the same thing Jerry Maguire said about being a sports agent – and that got him fired. Less commercials + more music = happy listeners! Yeah, I know…the commercials are what make the money. Well, limit the amount of available spots, make the deals more exclusive, and you’ll be able to charge more for the spots. Oh, and you’ll be able to tell your advertisers that there are more listeners paying attention instead of tuning out during the 100 minute commercial blocks.

 

Basically, radio can survive. People need a place to turn to when they are looking to discover new music. Like it or not, it’s still the best place to go when looking for new songs and artists. Sure there’s the internet, but everyone isn’t as proficient and know where to look as others. And, radio is great for winning free stuff, like concert tickets! Oh, and get rid of those station “sweeps” that play during the segue between songs. I used to love getting songs on my cassette recorder from the radio. And those sound effects F*** it up! 😉

Why, honestly…why?

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2008 by kc2

Amy Winehouse. Why should I care about her? Why is she always in the headlines? Why did she win so many damn Grammys? Why won’t she go away?

Everytime I go searching around for the latest music news, I always get subjected to this. I first heard of Amy when I was music director for KBVU during 2006-2007. We got her single “Rehab” and was in with other alternative singles. I didn’t upload it – only for the reason I didn’t feel it fit our station’s sound (alternative/active rock). I think you’ll agree on that one. Then I noticed on R&R’s top 40, this song was on the alternative charts! That song (I don’t know about the rest of her songs) fits [today’s] Jazz and Pop. It kept rising and at one point I pulled out the CD and began uploading it. Part way through the song, I was annoyed with it and shut it off…I couldn’t subject our listeners to this.

Amy WinehouseThen the media attention started. I constantly heard how ‘amazing’ this new singer was and how original she and her music was. Then the headlines were all about her drug and addiction problems, then her relationship problems. I really just don’t get why we should care. I don’t understand why she should win awards when there were others that were much more deserving. Record of the year?? Foo Fighters and Justin Timberlake are so much more talented and released great records. Best new artist?? Paramore is better. Song of the year?? “Before He Cheats”, “Hey There Delilah”, or hell even “Umbrella” should have beaten out “Rehab”. Best songwriter??     …    words can not express how wrong that is. Go shave your head and get pregnant so I can stop reading about you. I don’t care about your new found emphysema. Oh, and if she dies from her addictions, I will strangle anyone who compares her to Lennon, Joplin, or Buckley.