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Old 11-25-2021, 08:08 PM   #10
ilikeplanets's Avatar
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Originally Posted by T&T View Post
the market has changed.

IN 1996 the telecommunications act, which is good for a lot of things but loosens the restrictions on who can own how many stations fucked up everything. Clear Channel went on a buying spree, and this turns out to be Armageddon for rock radio. Suddenly one dude in Texas is programming nearly every alternative station in the country (or at least enough to dictate the tone for everyone else). Forget local scenesters bubbling up or weidos like with Ween and Presidents of the USA getting airplay - we got pop punk, rap rock, and boy bands on repeat. Music calcifies in 1999. You can even tell when it happens because Enema of the state topped the charts EVERYWHERE for ever.
And women dissapear from rock radio. completely. Lilith fair rans from 1997-1999 and puts out multiple double CD collections; by 2001 you'd think no woman but Gwen Stefani and Meg White ever touched an instrument. And entire burgeoning folk-rock ecosystem got snuffed out. Instead, we got Britney and Christina and the rest. which is FINE, and I don't hate pop punk either, and nu-metal... but that single TEXAN locus of musical control was NOT ok.

if you were a Gen Xer who went off to college, in a cocoon of college radio of 1996, coming back to mainstream radio in 2000 was like surveying an astroid aftermath.

Interesting, I didn't know about exactly WHY the radio changed. I'm a little younger than the demographic you're talking about (born in 1990), but even I remember a shocking uniformity appearing in the early 2000s, aka the start of my adolescence. I loved the radio as a child because of how exciting it was, and by the time I got to high school in 2004, there were only 4 kinds of music being played...pop punk, rap and hip-hop influenced pop, techno, and country. So I had the experience of looking backwards and getting into the music I love. Right as everyone was quitting or dying.

The Pumpkins hadn't released anything bad yet, so I got the worst of both worlds with them. I was too late to see anything during their heyday, although I listened to it my whole adolescence, and was around for the full measure of disappointment in all their material from Zeitgeist onward. I became a fan right in the gap Machina-Zeitgeist gap. It's kind of amazing I was able to attach to them this much, but those first 12ish years are that good.

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