The Enemy of the Good (eideteker) wrote,
The Enemy of the Good

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From the mouth of David Byrne himself: Why New York radio sucks.

All bolding is mine. O is the Onion, DB is David Byrne (the guy in my icon)

O: It seems like other countries have a better track record in terms of getting music from around the world on the radio. Do you see that trend reversing at all in the United States?

DB: Yeah, I do, little by little. I think that, well, U.S. radio has a hole. There are, like, two people who do all the programming, right? And their record collections are really small. But, aside from that, I don't see any reason why... I could see, easily, people having a radio station that played, whatever, D'Angelo, Radiohead, Björk, some of our records, Shuggie Otis, Jim White. And all those [being played] on the same radio station, and people being fine about it. Some of it being in English, some of it being in other languages, and nobody blinking an eye. I could see that happening. I hear silence on the other end. "Hmm, yeah, dream on." [Laughs.]

O: No, I'd listen to that station. Have you ever tried to do something like that to reverse the trend yourself?

DB: Yeah, I went to some investors here. "Come on, what about let's... the radio here... this is New York, and the radio sucks. Let's start a radio station, come on, guys." [Laughs.] It was kind of like, "No, not here, don't try it here." Someplace else, you might have a chance, but here it's just such a cutthroat... There's a reason why radio is so bad in New York. I did try. The FCC, a couple years ago, was going to make a ruling that allowed for low-power stations. I went to a few different places and said, "Let's do this. Let's do some little station." I went to art institutions or art colleges or whatever, and just said, "Let's do something. You guys put it under your auspices, and I'll help put it together, and then you just keep running it." Well, the FCC kind of bowed to the huge pressure of public radio and a few other lobbyists, and essentially they went back on their word and decided not to do it. So I can't do that, either. Luckily, I'm busy enough. Actually, I don't have any more time in my day to do that.

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