Thursday, February 28, 2008

morning media and consumption

Typical Friday morning. Cigarettes, coffee and NPR's morning edition. A story came on about British singer Amy Winehouse, Brittany's counterpart in the U.K.,drugs, alcohol, rehab, anyways, normally I mentally disengage for stories like this but I enjoyed some of the music they were playing. The piece continued and expanded to cover newer singers inspired by Winehouse. Some of these entertainers gained exposure on the internet, posting songs on "my space".
What most interested me in this story was author and broadcaster Paul Gambaccini talking about crossover styles of music getting airtime: blues, jazz, soul, folk even celtic rhythms. Paul posits, "This is partly because of the diversity in what gets played on the radio in Britian compared with centrally programed stations in the U.S.." He goes on to explain, "In the U.S. it has been possible, with narrowcasting and formatization to hear only the kind of music you know you like. The result of this is that in American music the tendency has been for white music to get whiter and afro-american music to get more ghetto."
Stories like this on American commercial radio? Probably not! For a couple reasons. One, it criticizes our medium. Two, it's not dumb enough.

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