- August 3, 2018 at 10:45 am #105779ArtisanRadioParticipant
Total posts : 526
There’s been a lot of discussion recently surrounding various musical genres, most particularly album rock, but also hits rock, progressive rock, classic rock, etc. etc.
I’ve never understood the need to attempt to categorize everything that exists, particularly creative endeavors such as music (or art, or writing). To do so somehow diminishes the creativity that surrounds the thing being categorized. With a lot of it, it feels like you’re trying to shove a square peg into a round hole.
How do you file the music of Frank Zappa? Or the Fugs? Or Attila the Stockbroker? Or Alex Chilton? You can’t, without doing them injustice. I chose those artists as examples, because their music ranges up and down the genre spectrum, from straight pop, doowop, rock, new wave, novelty, punk, poetry, ballads, jazz, classical, instrumental and so much more. They’re themselves, their music stands on its own, and I’d like to keep it that way, thank you very much.
When I play music on my Part 15 station (and it’s not the only thing I play, or that others should play, by any means – we’re supposed to be different than the mainstream stations), the only thing I try to do is to make it interesting. I don’t even have to like it myself (although that helps, particularly since I’m the primary listener). Ideally, it makes me think, and broadens my horizons.
Perhaps another word for a Part 15 station should be genre-less. At least in my view.August 3, 2018 at 12:39 pm #105781AMRadiolegendParticipant
Total posts : 335
“Jazz is not dead, it just smells funny.” Frank ZappaAugust 3, 2018 at 4:22 pm #105786Carl BlareParticipant
Total posts : 1540
Artisan Radio has pushed my “activate” button with the comments about genre madness. Borrowed from French, “genre” means “kind”, as in, “what kind of music is it?”
Other terms (expressions) also stand out… such as the word “album”, borrowed from Latin and indicating a “collector’s book”, be it a stamp collection, family photographs, newspaper clippings or phonograph discs, the latter established in the early years with collections of 78 RPM recordings.
The introduction of the 33-1/3 RPM record moved “album” collections from several discs onto one in a single paper sleeve, no longer really an “album” in the original sense, but no one thought about it.
The expression “album oriented rock” is a bastardization which combines the medium with the content… like calling groceries “bag oriented food”.
But again, no one thinks about it.August 3, 2018 at 5:27 pm #105787ThelegacyParticipant
Total posts : 300
Lol that is funny in a way.August 3, 2018 at 9:04 pm #105792MarkModerator
Total posts : 654
The Fugs!! totally forgot about them. Saw them at Massey Hall here in Toronto around 1969.
Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, a lot of what they did could be classified as psyhedelic rock(don’t care about spelling) like a lot of bands around that time including the Beatles Sargent Pepper album and Magical Mystery Tour.
I think Johnny Cash is a best example of a genre of it’s own as it’s not really country and some could be folk but it’s Johnny Cash for sure.August 3, 2018 at 10:42 pm #105793rock95sevenParticipant
Total posts : 60
Genre Less station here then by all means.
It’s(my station) really morphed into something i don’t think anyone can categorize, I just play whatever I am in the mood for.
If anyone hears it and doesn’t appreciate my tastes for music then hey, change the channel. There is that option.
Around here, people are mainly hooked on whatever country music is calling itself these days, rap music and pop. Very few listen to Classic Rock and even less listen to Metal which I am a big fan of.
I just try to keep it different and maybe a bit weird, but i really don’t care because it’s my station. Right?
Edit: Okay I used labels here for the music, but it was just to illustrate what types of music are popular in my area. Also my station air’s talk shows which have for some reason been lumped into the same category as a podcast. Strange huh?August 5, 2018 at 4:07 am #105800timinboveyParticipant
Total posts : 745
An interesting example of genre’less radio might be KLMB-FM in Roundup, Montana (My wife is from Roundup). And they’re an interesting story anyway, if I could even figure out the whole thing. He went on the air in 2000 as a “hobby station with 10 watts” and is now a 5,000 watt fully licensed FM. How that all went down is beyond me. He started the station with the mission of broadcasting the Roundup Panthers high school sports, as the nearest stations in Billings pretty much ignored Roundup. When he went on the air he asked everyone in town to bring him their CD’s, and he simply ripped them into his system, paying no attention to “hits” or genre’, or style or anything. So the station to this day will seque from, say Patsy Cline to AC/DC or from some rap song to a broadway show tune. It’s interesting to listen to, that’s for sure. If you don’t like the song that’s playing, just wait ’cause the next one will be something completely different.
Things have to be categorized somewhat. Can you imagine a library if all the books were simply placed on the shelf willy-nilly? You might go in for a romance novel and come out with a book on whittling lures. Or seek a book on radio repair and walk out with a low-fat recipe book. It makes things easier. “I’m looking for a new vehicle” “Oh, what did you have in mind?” “Oh, I dunno, one that drives”. Now you can insert an “economy car, an SUV, a luxury sedan”, whatever.
With music of course as time goes on basic genre’s or styles change. If I say “country” that’s a pretty broad category. Hank Williams Senior? Or Luke Bryan? Two VERY different things. The Lightcrust Doughboys or Patsy Cline? Two very different things. Yet all under the country banner.
As I upload the Oompah Hour this morning, it’s the same with Polka music. It’s mostly divided by ethnicity. German, Polish, Slovenian, Czech, etc. But then it breaks down within each as well especially in the Polish category as there are very different regional styles. Chicago style, Cleveland style, Pennsylvania Style. When I choose records for the Oompah Hour each week I try to mix it up. A Polish style polka record from Minneapolis will sound different than one from Pennsylvania. At least to a polka fan.
In my record store we break down the records slightly. Just enough to prevent a customer from having to look through a couple thousand LP’s before they find what they want. We have “Pop/Rock” “Country” “Comedy” and “Quirky” and “New Arrivals”. That last category contains all genre’s but are all records that have been added to the store since the last time we were open. So the regular customers can easily browse through the new stuff easily. And because I have so much of it we also started a “Vintage Jazz” section, and I’m quite astounded by how much of it sells. I would have never predicted that in a tiny town in Northern Minnesota. The Rock/Pop category is just that. Everything from Frank Zappa to Debby Boone. Barry Manilow to Black Oak Arkansas. While I try to prevent shopping from being a pain in the butt but dividing them up somewhat, I don’t want to break up the pop/rock category too much or I remove the odds of “chance discovery”. e.g. a customer on a quest for a certain artist may discover something else of interest that they didn’t know they were looking for. Or they see something that makes them say “Hey — here’s a great CCR album, that would be a great gift for…..” even though they may have been looking for an Abba album. So, I try to make it somewhat convenient, yet still allowing for surprise discoveries.
As for the definition of “Album Oriented Rock” to ME that means that if I listen to that radio station MOST of the music I hear will NOT have been a charted hit. Similar to what is often called a “deep tracks” format. Album oriented rock relies on the non-hit album tracks. But a hit now and then also fits in. It’s “oriented” not “exclusive”. But then, you need to decide your specific rock genre’. If you’re an AOR station, and you’re playing obscure Black Sabbath, BTO, Zappa and Todd Rundgren tracks, can you throw in a Bill Haley & The Comets, or Elvis track or a Chuck Berry track, that were NOT hits? I mean, you can’t argue that they’re not rock. Or are they “rock and roll” which is different than rock? Is Elvis “rockabilly” or maybe only till he was drafted? Or are they “Oldies”? and can’t oldies also be rock and roll? And where does blues rock, and experimental rock, and psychedelic rock fit into this? But If I’m listening to a station that claims to be album oriented rock, I better be hearing very few hits. I remember the format “Middle of the Road” and we used to call AOR “All Over The Road” LOL. Middle of the Road, of course is just around the corner from “Easy Listening”.
Those of you interested in categorizing music might find this list interesting: http://www.musicgenreslist.com I stumbled on that a while back and it does get updated from time to time. LOL.
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