Sunday, December 31, 2006

Remember When the Music

MVY is showcasing its picks for the top 25 albums of 2006. This year they are playing songs from the selected albums over the course of an hour of programming a piece. The songs are interspersed - diluted if you will - between other songs, news, and advertising. In past years the station has played albums in their entirety, from start to finish, with barely a station identification break in the middle.
What's going on here? Is it that we no longer have the attention span to listen to several songs in a row by the same artist? Is it because we can't listen to less-popular songs unless they are precluded, and then followed by, something familiar? Or is it just because the station can't sell advertising around large chunks of uninterrupted music? Is something lost in never hearing an album from beginning to end with the songs in the order the artist originally intended? Do musicians and songwriters even consider the total package any more or do they just strive for one hit at a time, figuring that people are just going onto online and downloading the one or two songs they like.
Whatever the reason, it stinks. Not because I'm a big fan of any of this year's top 25, most of the artists I haven't even heard of, except for Death Cab for Cuties, but I can't actually name anything they sing. I just think it's a sad state of affairs when we can't concentrate on one particular group or musician for a full 40 minutes. No wonder attendance is down at the symphony, who can sit through a whole concerto in D minor?

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