Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I've just finished reading Good Morning Nantwich, Adventures in Breakfast Radio by Phill Jupitus. Mainly about his time as the inaugural presenter of the 6 Music breakfast show, it chronicles his love of radio from using the old radiogram at home to make weird noises through to him chucking in his dream job of chatting to people while playing records. It's a great read and I recommend it to anyone with a love of radio, especially anyone who, like me, was wont to talk out loud to an imaginary audience while changing singles on their old Dansette, alone in their bedroom as a youngster.

It highlighted a problem with many music stations which has been annoying me for a while. Why do radio stations employ people as DJs who have a deep love and knowledge of music and then foist a playlist on them? As I'm currently 'between jobs' I've been spending a lot of time recently listening to 6Music. I love the diversity of music you get, even during the daytime but it bugs the hell out of me that several times an hour I get to hear something that I just heard 3 hours ago on another program. Every single day. I couldn't count the number of times I've heard Melancholy Hill by Gorillaz in the past month. It's not a particularly great record, neither do I think it's a bad one either. Now I just think that it's an intensely irritating one due to its ubiquity on the country's premier radio station. It got so bad I was ready to throw the DAB out of the window.

I know I'm not the only one that gets irritated by this as shown by the 6 Music message boards but things do seem to be improving acccording to this recent Guardian article. Let's hope TPTB at 6 Music will listen to their, er, listeners and keep the variety. At least I can console myself with the fact that I don't have to put up with the monotony (and adverts) that constitute XFM nowadays. Leaving the music selection of every program completely up to the presenter is probably an ideal that can never be achieved in a controlling environment like the BBC (even less so at a commercial station) but a less heavy-handed approach to the playlist would be an improvement.

I've now decided to limit my listening to 6 Music a bit and will spend more time with my extensive record & CD collection and accept that 6 Music has made me a bit lazy. Since coming to that decision this morning I've already listened to some absolute gems: Belly, The Breeders, Ultravox (the John Foxx version), Talking Heads, Jimi Hendrix, Faithless and The Fall. I just hope I don't get too lonely without somebody talking to me every few minutes.

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