Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The real deal with local music

This past summer marked a breakthrough of sorts for a musician from the southern Minnesota city of Owatonna. He had achieved plenty of notoriety via MySpace for his electronica-type music but finally found mainstream success when the single "Fireflies" found its way on to the radio which, like it or not, is still the sort of passive way of finding new music.

The only problem with radio is that they are extremely slow to pick up on new music. Sure, some radio stations add a couple of tracks each week but those are only added because some label executive paid the radio stations a few wheelbarrows of money and gave the station's executives tropical trips complete with the necessary hookers and blow. That doesn't bode well for new music, it bodes well for record labels with a lot of cash to throw around.

I have basically zero faith in local commercial radio. While there is some new music played, it boils down to a half-dozen or so overplayed paid-for pop songs. That creates a problem for a Minnesota artist like Adam Young who is Owl City. Yeah, "Fireflies" is getting radio airplay in the Twin Cities on KDWB but that didn't happen until mid-September. I first heard "Fireflies" in early August via the webstream of WFNX in Boston, Massachussets.

Yep, it took me listening to the stream of a radio station half the country away to discover a musician who is based an hour away from my house. Local commercial radio can burn in hell if I ever once hear any station claim to play local music or even serve the interests of the public because if you have to wait over a month between first hearing a song and hearing it on a radio station you can get in your car then the entire process is broken. And yes, I'm well aware that an example like this is exactly why iTunes exists but if the old ways of media want to compete in an age of increasing fragmentation then they need to break the mold and shake off the old ways of doing business. Yes, Ryan Seacrest is a big name but what does he know about Minnesota?

This is precisely why MinnPics exists. I am at least from Minnesota and sort through literally hundreds of photos each day to find those which you need to look at. Check 'em out today!

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