Monday, March 9, 2015

K-Roq in Decline

So here's a lamentation I wrote about K-roq a few days ago. It was more topical then. Here's the context link:

Seems strange for a washed up radio morning show DJ to talk about "technology catching up with people." You'd assume endangered species would try to ban together. But I guess Kroq already considers Kevin and Bean to be luxuries, so Doc and Lisa May had to go.

To me, it's another sign of a fairly steady decline. Kroq billed themselves as a "New Rock" station for as long as I can remember, and it was a meaningful signifier. Around the time they switched to "Always Alternative" the variety in their set lists plummeted; occasionally you will still hear some of that old Offspring, or Sublime, or Metallica, but most of it is the same 8 alternative singles played over and over, ad nausea. I generally like those singles, or at least I start out enjoying them, but so many good songs have been played into the ground. Gotye, Dirty Heads, Tove Lo, Hozier.... 

Lately I've been listening to Alt Nation on Sirius. It doesn't have as much of the nostalgic 80s and 90s punk and metal sounds, and it also plays the hell out of hits, but there is a little more variety and a steadier drip feed of new music. You also don't have to endure Kat and Stryker's obnoxious endorsements. I was neutral about Mercedes Benz before, and now I actively dislike them thanks to Kat's commercials. Don't get me started about Morongo or Jeweler's Touch.

Even Loveline is losing its touch. They really need a permanent female voice in there, and while Mike is the second best co-host behind Corolla, Dr. Drew should pass the torch to somebody who can still give a shit. He's jaded, impatient with callers, and generally sounds burnt out. His perspective is also starting to show its age, particularly in regards to internet related issues.

As for the Kevin & Bean morning show... well. It always kind of sucked, didn't it? That was the sum total of its charm. But Lisa was a crucial counterpoint. The sane, nice person in a room full of clowns. And Doc was this weird grizzled interruption, like pepper in a stew. I haven't heard the new "female personality" yet, but Kroq can afford her, you'd be a lot better off shelling out the cash to bring back Lisa May. Sirius also comedy stations. With acts that are "haha" funny instead of "this is very weird and kind of sad' funny. Think I'll switch to those.

I don't think the station is necessarily dead, these are all problems that it can bounce back from. But even acknowledging this decline hurts a little. For fifteen years of my life, it was the only musical station I would listen to by choice California. Hell, it was the only way I knew how to talk about music. "Who do you listen to?" "I dunno actually. Whoever Kroq is playing right now." "Have you heard this song?" "Do they play it on Kroq?" This may be why my more musically adept friends hate talking to me.

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