Kiwi radio

In Kiwi, travelling on April 18, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Okay so New Zealand is better for the whole multicultural thing than Australia, but the radio stations are just as dire, or maybe the music being made today is just awful, or maybe they all just play the same twelve songs. How difficult is it to not have a playlist during the day, its like being back in the clubs in japan where they play the same songs over and over again, wherever you go, whichever night is on, whichever bar or club you happen to be in.

So I’m driving down from Rotorua to Wellington, and it is pretty much identikit playlists and dj’s you know the bright “funny” ones with the competitions and the banter and the gossip news and the Hollywood news and the oh so alternative but not take on today’s events. The comedy bits, the laughing at your own jokes, the juvenile hyenas wheezing away in the background, the whole structure of it grates on me. It feels very American, very drivetime, very much like all the other shows I hear as I drive through the north island. The radio cuts out everytime I drive past a big hill, which in new Zealand is practically all the time, I’m lucky if I get half an hour of uninterrupted audio, and then I’m pressing the button and moving through the fm spectrum one point at a time for some reason kiwi radio goes from like 79-90, don’t know why and the same stations appear twice at either ends, all I know is there’s a classic rock station, something called zm and the rest all blur together. When will hire companies give you a headphone plug so you can listen to your ipod on the long journeys.

So when the mountainous terrain allows, and the intermittent radio catches a station and will play it for longer than five mins, I am assailed by songs like this

Which is kinda catchy, but has that singsong rapping style, that people that can’t rap take on, because they don’t seem to understand that hip hop is all about the flow, the stop and start, the pauses, the way a word is stretched out, or cut short. That is flow, that is rapping, not trying to shove as many words as possible into a scanned line for fuckssake. Personally I blame the Rza for this thing, he had no flow and just made up for it by shoe horning as many words/similies/metaphors into a line as he possibly could, he also had a monotone of a voice as well, and who wouldn’t be overlooked  when in a group that contained the lyrical genuii? – is that even a word? – of Ol’ Dirty or Meth, or Raekwon, or Ghostface. He had to do something to stand out, but that, giving us this nonsense. Sheeeeeiiiiiitttt!

Then you have the huge huge corruption of Will.I.Am, and the Black Eyed Peas, who on the two albums before Fergie arrived were actually a really interesting group musically. But Fergie arrives and it all goes to shit, its like Will decides that the only way to earn a crust is to go pop. But like De La say, “we might blow up but we won’t go pop” But Will does, and Will don’t care, he’s got all the trappings of success, the songs are played all over, but they are soulless automatons of songs, rapacious in their ability to suck the life out of me just by their ubiquity. His songs are everywhere and they don’t do anything but become gratingly irritating. And he’s not just content to do it with the black eyed peas, he’s now so in demand he can do it for others as well. Including our very own Cheryl Cole. Sometimes I am so glad I don’t listen to the radio very often if at all back home.

This is everywhere, in the clubs on the radio, you can’t avoid this song, it is like a bad smell following me around.

I have no words to describe how much this song disturbs me.

Then you’ve got this David Guetta and Kelly Rowland song, I’m pulling mine own eyes out, or should that be tearing my ears off. Its not even very good house, it is supposed to be house right? God its irritating, grating, fingernails on blackboard irritating, the thing that irritates you most irritating.

What happened to Timbaland? Did he not have enough people clamouring to work with him after his production for Missy and Justin Timberlake, did his two self penned albums with the utterly abominably nasal magoo, show him that maybe he wasn’t meant to be a solo star, and maybe he needs to produce a couple of hits before he can make that next solo album which will push him over the top into people’s consciousness and make him a star so he’s now making bullshit pop/techno/disco tunes with vocoders?!?!?. Its a song that will be big in japan, actually it’ll be big everywhere, one of those songs which slots nicely into the record box of bad dj’s everywhere and is pulled out and played as you cover your ears and wonder why they even have dj’s. And now vocoders are de rigueur every producer and their acolytes are using them, do we need more weasly voiced akon clones, using vocoders to disguise how badly they sing. Do we? For fuckssakes.

And are modern songs all chorus and no verse, they keep playing that rhianna tune rudeboy, which for the life of me I can’t find the verses in it, as it’s pretty much just the repeating of words bunched together. Can it even be classed as song writing? Will this sweep the music awards this year. Will whoever wrote it be proud of that song, or will they be too busy counting the money they earned from it. Give me a break.

On the plus side, I did hear this which was on repeat throughout my journey across New Zealand, and it made me happy.

its a summer song, a fun song, and holds to the idea that Franti expressed to me years ago when I interviewed him up in Newcastle that being angry as he had been in the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy was counter productive, and he hoped to get more people to listen to the message  he was writing happier, more joyful songs.

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