December 16, 2009

You listen to soft rock music.

Quit lying.

94 comments:

TMink said...

What is this soft rock music? I listen to some pop music that is soft, I listen to some jazz that is slower and more melodic, I listen to some acoustic music that is slower and more contemplative, I even listen to some ambient type music.

But I do not see how rock can be soft. Some rock bands, like the Rolling Stones, do softer tunes like Angie. But this is amplified folk music.

There is no such animal as soft rock. It is an oxymoron, like Sullivanian insight or Hitchensian tolerance.

Trey

The Drill SGT said...

Not me

Classic Rock or
Classic Classics

mostly CDs of same though, not FM

In my area, DC, the new definition of classic rock is stuff from the 80's :(

rather than digital cuts from the Filmore or Avalon

Chase said...

Interesting to read that country music radio listening was far bigger than people admitted.

Salamandyr said...

The article doesn't give a really good explanation of exactly how this all works. I gather, for instance, that this people meter also measures whatever music station one might overhear at say, the mall, or a restaurant. That in itself would increase the soft rock percentage, since Adult Contemporary, being as inoffensive as it is, is what gets played in most public venues.

But in that case, they're not really measuring public choice, but public encounters with stations.

blake said...

The two things broadcasters have to fear the most: accurate ratings, and accurate analysis of how effective advertising is.

wv: atorocks

Or at least soft rocks.

Bissage said...

This report comes as no great surprise to those of us who bless the rains down in Africa.

campy said...

Nope. Classical, jazz or classic Broadway is my listening fare.

vbspurs said...

From the article:

Some Spanish-language stations’ ratings declined sharply — at Univision’s KLVE in Los Angeles, for example, ratings fell 54 percent in the first quarter of 2009 from the same period the year before, leading it and other broadcasters to testify before Congress on Dec. 2 that the new system is discriminatory.

Inescapable proof that no matter what ethnic group you belong to when you arrive in America, that eventually the English-speaking culture will swallow you.

I have grown up my whole life in the US hearing that in 50 years, America will be majority Hispanic and we'll all be speaking Spanish (not to mention, our next Presidents will be Hispanic-Americans).

The same immigrant hysteria of "taking over" the culture happens every century in this country. When waves of Irish, Italian (Catholics) and Jewish immigrants flooded Ellis Island, the newspapers trumpeted the same thing, and Anglo society mourned the imminent loss of their culture to these "furreners". 100 years later, we've had two (southern) Irish Presidents, only one of whom was Catholic, NO ITALIANS, and NO JEWISH presidents.

I can see what Clear Channel reports in Miami. Sure, there are x-number of Spanish-speaking radio stations, and people from all ages listen to it. But the newer generation, not in the car with their grandparents or at home, tune into the English-channel radio stations EXCLUSIVELY. They speak English overwhelming of the time alone together with other young Hispanics (peppered with Spanish words, which take the form of slang words).

Is this discrimination? No. It's immigrant tastes blending into the fabric of America.

Cheers,
Victoria

BJK said...

“There’s no good radio,” said Jason Pontius, 39, a technology executive in Oakland, Calif. “Soft rock radio is like, ‘Am I really listening to this?’ But it’s the best thing that’s on.”

Most men wouldn't listen to soft rock stations, if the music on the non-soft rock stations were better. If the 'mainstream' station is playing Pink, a 10-year old Bryan Adams song suddenly becomes better than the alternative.

Lem said...

He cautioned that the sample size in markets using meters was relatively small.

Thats the last sentence on the 8th paragraph.

Extrapolation abuse?

vbspurs said...

This report comes as no great surprise to those of us who bless the rains down in Africa.

You're a smooth operator, Bissage.

vbspurs said...

Lem, very good point. Of course, extrapolation abuse could describe journalism as we know it.

Anthony said...

I happily admit it, sort of. When I was an undergrad at UW-Madison 1980-85 my main station was Magic 98. This was in the days of Spandau Ballet, Simply Red, Anita Baker, and Sade. I think they called it 'Adult Contemporary' back then (maybe they still do). That was a great time for 'soft rock' because most of those bands harked back to more classic melodies and rhythms, less of the pop-y stuff. Great times.

t-man said...

Since I got XM radio, I've been bouncing around among the 40's station (4), the "Classic Alternative" station (44), "2000's and Today" (26); and "Classical Pops" (77). That's about it, though.

vbspurs said...

Anthony wrote:

I think they called it 'Adult Contemporary' back then (maybe they still do).

It was in the article. The industry shorthand is "A.C." (I learn something new every day).

So now I have to dump Anderson Cooper.

MadisonMan said...

One of the stations in Madison (94.9) plays all Xmas music, and we were listening to it and it was someone who sounded vaguely like Streisand -- but much worse -- and I asked the daughter and she said it was Celine. Ugh.

If the son's in the car, I listen to hip-hop (93.1).

All I can say is that politician grannies with their high ideals have no idea how the majority feels.

The Drill SGT said...

Inescapable proof that no matter what ethnic group you belong to when you arrive in America, that eventually the English-speaking culture will swallow you.

On the topic of Hispanic assimilation, I'd lke that your immigrant community in Miami is different than say LA.

I see a couple of countervailing drivers. Clearly, TV and radio pentrate deep into the immigrant community encouraging assimilation. On the other hand, in previous waves of immigration, the government, Elites, media, and schools were clearly supportive of assimilation.

Today, those four groups actively discourage assimilation and try to defend other transplanted cultures from American values and culture.

Joe said...

I listen to a wide variety of music, but no Céline Dion. (Don't listen to Jazz either; I've tried and I even played in the Jazz band in High School, but I just can't tolerate it.)

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ricpic said...

I like Barry Manilow. There. I've said it. Whew, what a weight off my chest.

Lem said...

If Alhouse were a court of law, and I were under the threat of perjury. A close look at my downloads does reveal a couple of Ambrosias, Ann Murray, Boz Scaggs.. the Carpenter dont count.

I will only admit to those.. I will proudly testify however, I do not have nor will I ever download Celene Dion.. Dios mio librame.

(I hope i got my verbs correctly :)

Scott M said...

I did nearly ten years as an active rock (industry term for hard rock including some choice classic gold) and I will unabashedly admit that I have a plethora of "softer" titles and artists.

You can have fun smacking fast balls out of the park for a while, but if you don't get a curve or a screw now and then, it gets old quickly.

Scott M said...

doh...should have read "active rock dj"

AllenS said...

I think that the kind of music that I listen to is called Adult Contemporary or Music That White People Like.

WV: eatingle

vbspurs said...

Today, those four groups actively discourage assimilation and try to defend other transplanted cultures from American values and culture.

I KNEW someone would mention that Cuban-Americans are different from Mexican-Americans, Drill Sgt. I agree, in a sense. The source of immigration for both is very different -- one a prison island that upchucked the great majority of its immigrants 40 years ago; the other, a soggy run or jump over rivers and fences. It stands to reason that Mexican-Americans continue to repopulate themselves with new blood from arrivals in a way that isn't possible with Cubans -- their culture, therefore, has a strong Spanish-language reinfusion every day.

But you know, the same was said of Cubans here in the 60s and 70s. If you had told Anglo-Americans that Cuban kids one day would speak English exclusively at home to their parents, they would've laughed at you. Yet, I see all around me and my CA friends comment on it all the time. By the 4th generation, they're American, full stop.

Univision (the Mexican-owned Spanish language station which Cubans do not prefer -- they like Telemundo) has a stake in the business of Spanish-language immigration. That's why Jorge Ramos, the grey-haired foxy anchor, testified before Congress that immigration laws are too strict. Now they're testifying that the new system in gaging radio listening is discriminatory.

Maybe it is, but they're also petrified to admit that their base is shrinking if not propped up with laws.

Cheers,
Victoria

Brian said...

Since we're dissing Celine:

Weird Al said it best in his Green Day takeoff, "Canadian Idiot".

Sure you've got your national healthcare,
cheaper meds and cleaner air,
but then again you've got Celine Dion.

chuck b. said...

Today is Beethoven's birthday.

Play at maximum volume: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLkZvsp62iU

Paul Zrimsek said...

If you were listening to classical radio in the early part of the 21st century, you probably got tired of the Italian Baroque fluff after a while and put in a CD instead.

Lem said...

Another fenomena not accounted for in the article is the fact that some music like Tears for Fears, over time, wind up along side Celene Dion.

I thought Tears for Fears was cool.

Rich B said...

Ann-

Thanks for reminding me what a hoot the NYT is. Civilizing influence, my ass.

When we are in the car, my wife will usually request that we listen to XM 23, the Love channel. I never realized just how painful love is. Then we switch to Howard Stern.

Kylos said...

Salamandyr, the article dedicated one sentence to that problem, but not in a way that might catch your attention. It obliquely admitted that malls and other public setting could influence the results. I did a little research on the PPM and found that it relies on an audio code masked into the broadcast signal that is picked up by the device to determine what music you're listening to. So, if you spend much time in restaurants and malls or other public places that don't supply their own playlist, you could see skewed results. It's not apparent how significant this effect is.

wv: masks. A broadcaster masks an audio signal for the PPM to detect. Not making it up.

vbspurs said...

I thought Tears for Fears was cool.

No to mention the muzaked version of "Born to be wild".

Tibore said...

You want to know soft rock/smooth jazz/easy listening hell? Go to Manila or Cebu City in the Philippines and just turn the radio to any station. O.M.G...

I was thanking God every minute that I had the foresight to bring the laptop and the iPod along. Otherwise, I might have killed somebody.

vbspurs said...

Err! Wait, that came out wrongly. I didn't mean that Born to be wild in muzak form was cool (nor 'Like A Virgin'). But rather that it was ACed same as Tears for Fears/Celine.

Tibore said...

"No to mention the muzaked version of "Born to be wild"."

Muzaked??? Dear God... why didn't lightning strike whoever put that together? Surely this is a blasphemy of some sort.

Scott M said...

@Kylos

PPM (personal people meters) have been around for a long time and are far more accurate than Arbitron diaries and completely voluntary.

The masking in question is no different than the signal that's included to tell your funky-fresh digital display what station/song/artist is playing.

As long as they're not sending Der Kinder off to "camps" and sending them back with PPM's, I'm okay with it.

MadisonMan said...

Today is Beethoven's birthday.

I miss Schroeder.

vbspurs said...

You want to know soft rock/smooth jazz/easy listening hell? Go to Manila or Cebu City in the Philippines and just turn the radio to any station. O.M.G...

Oh, wow, Tibore. My mother and I just experienced this phenomenon without leaving the US yesterday. We were at an Uruguayan eatery here, and the music they had on could be classified as "Disco does Montevideo 1979".

Now maybe the owner liked it, or the servers, but it goes to my point (and perhaps yours) that some countries are "stuck" 30 years behind in musical tastes.

This explains why Ray Coniff's band still sells out ampitheatres all over South America.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

This article is all very well, and everything, but it still doesn't answer our age's most pressing musical mystery.

HOW ON EARTH does Midomi or Shazam recognise which song is playing, by just holding up the iPhone to the speakers? Works every time. FREAKY!

Lem said...

Univision (the Mexican-owned Spanish language station which Cubans do not prefer -- they like Telemundo)

The leftist bias on those stations is unbelievable.

Hoosier Daddy said...

This report comes as no great surprise to those of us who bless the rains down in Africa.

And soft rock is the go to stuff when you come on Eileen.

Also when you want to relax and not do it.

As you were.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I thought Tears for Fears was cool.

I came to the conclusion they were evil when they sang about global domination.

Scott M said...

There's a huge difference between "soft rock" as a genre and "adult contemporary" which is more of a programming choice at a radio station.

Certainly Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Dexy's Midnight Runners are adult contemporary simple due to the target demographic.

Soft rock, on the other hand, is the description of the music genre. Celine is definitely in that category.

The singularly identifying song from an English new-wave band who's video for the song in question was banned due to nudity and overt sexuality would not be.

If you have a radio station in your city that has Frankie on with soft rock station ID bumps, that just means you have a radio station run by an idiot programming director.

Titus said...

Tits.

Just Tits.

Thank you.

edutcher said...

vbspurs said...

Inescapable proof that no matter what ethnic group you belong to when you arrive in America, that eventually the English-speaking culture will swallow you.

I have grown up my whole life in the US hearing that in 50 years, America will be majority Hispanic and we'll all be speaking Spanish (not to mention, our next Presidents will be Hispanic-Americans).

The same immigrant hysteria of "taking over" the culture happens every century in this country. When waves of Irish, Italian (Catholics) and Jewish immigrants flooded Ellis Island, the newspapers trumpeted the same thing, and Anglo society mourned the imminent loss of their culture to these "furreners". 100 years later, we've had two (southern) Irish Presidents, only one of whom was Catholic, NO ITALIANS, and NO JEWISH presidents.


Keep in mind also, about 2 million people - probably more - have gone back to Mexico, and some think they'll stay there since home ownership isn't what it used to be (thank you, Demos).

As for myself, XM is always the Fifties or Sixties with a dash of Folk and movie soundtracks. If I need traffic reports in the morning, though, I'll get one of the, yes, "'classic' (if you will) soft rock" stations, only because it's on the dot.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Tiger Woods listened to soft rock while contemplating 50 ways to leave his lover.

Kylos said...

Scott, don't think I think this is some scary evil new technology that tracks my behavior. My concern (or rather, the advertisers) is that the data are accurate. The article does not indicate that the tech adjusts for accidental encounters with music. People are constantly exposed to music that does not fit their preferences and that they may very likely be ignoring or not enjoying. That information would be useful to an advertiser interested in the quality of their target audience. It's fine to direct advertisement at a captive audience, but an audience that willingly tunes in is likely to be more receptive to targeted advertising.

EDH said...

Have You Never Been Mellow?

There was a time when I was in a hurry as you are
I was like you
There was a day when I just had to tell my point of view
I was like you
Now I don't mean to make you frown
No, I just want you to slow down

Have you never been mellow?
Have you never tried to find a comfort from inside you?
Have you never been happy just to hear your song?
Have you never let someone else be strong?


Running around as you do with your head up in the clouds
I was like you
Never had time to lay back, kick your shoes off, close your eyes
I was like you
Now you're not hard to understand
You need someone to hold your hand

Have you never been mellow?
Have you never tried to find a comfort from inside you?
Have you never been happy just to hear your song?
Have you never let someone else be strong?

Kylos said...

vbspurs, it's really not that difficult. They just have a very large database of identifying beats, rhythms, and sequences they've generated from many songs. The apps then listen long enough to pull enough features from a song for a unique match.

The real question is whether you can hum a tune well enough for Midomi to recognize the song.

Hoosier Daddy said...

There was a time when I had Mrs. Hoosier wrapped around my finger but now she says I'm the king of pain.

chickenlittle said...

Inescapable proof that no matter what ethnic group you belong to when you arrive in America, that eventually the English-speaking culture will swallow you.

My immigrant wife spoke only Dutch until she started kindergarten. She still speaks it, but with the vocabulary of a five-year old.

Victoria, I'm wondering when we will begin to hear stories of latin Americans flocking south instead, to tap into the newfound prosperity in Brazil?

chickenlittle said...

"Soft rock" rhymes with soft cock, and is to be avoided.

wv "rheming" That is an interesting word in the context of Trooper York's most recent stump the chump posting: Link.

MadisonMan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MadisonMan said...

Seems Appropriate

(Reposted -- screwed it up the 1st time)

Hoosier Daddy said...

My immigrant wife spoke only Dutch until she started kindergarten.


I remember when we used to pass the Dutchie on the left hand side.

Then we had the munchies real bad and laughed at hysterical things like the moon.

Lem said...

Common people lets get real.. (as crack would say)

You want easy listening?.. here is a popurri.

its wonderfull.. lol

chickenlittle said...

Titus wrote:

Tits.

Just Tits.

Thank you.


What about u?

vbspurs said...

Tiger Woods listened to soft rock while contemplating 50 ways to leave his lover.

Teehee.

You know, I'm suddenly reminded that Earl Woods once said that with his very first big money after turning pro, his son installed a HUGELY expensive sound system in his Buick, (paraphrasing) "because the standard speakers muddy the bass in his favourite hip hop songs".

That's the first and only time I ever thought Tiger Woods was black.

vbspurs said...

Kylos, thanks! I didn't realise that. I thought it was a code embed thingie.

Martin said...

I listen to Celine Dion every day - that is, I hear "Heart Will Go On" at work every day whether I want to or not. (I don't want to.)
When I notice what it is, I like to turn to a co-worker and say: "It's my understanding that the heart tends to stop beating at the moment of death."

vbspurs said...

Victoria, I'm wondering when we will begin to hear stories of latin Americans flocking south instead, to tap into the newfound prosperity in Brazil?

Chicken, it's already started! About 4 years ago, I noticed the various the Brazilian marts (ethnic grocery stores) which had sprung up in many places in Miami, were starting to close. Back then, the economy was booming and there were HUNDREDS of thousands of Brazilians here, so it wasn't that.

Lula is considered a great president, and they're even comtemplating allowing him to stay an extra term.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Back then, the economy was booming and there were HUNDREDS of thousands of Brazilians here, so it wasn't that.

Once I tried to introduce Mrs. Hoosier to a Brazillian and she said over her dead body.

I never understood why she didn't want to meet my friend Carlos.

chickenlittle said...

Once I tried to introduce Mrs. Hoosier to a Brazillian and she said over her dead body.

Did you wax poetically or use Occam's razor?

wv: "berver" lol!

vbspurs said...

I may be dense, my darling Hoosier, but I didn't get the point? Why didn't the missus want to meet your chum?

vbspurs said...

OHHH. Brazilian wax. Thanks to Chickenlittle, I got it. *blush*

(BTW, that's my normal wax so I don't think of it as anything special anymore, certainly not worthy of a moniker)

chickenlittle said...

Don't feel slow Victoria-I still don't get the "Carlos" part of HD's comment. :)

chickenlittle said...

Lula is considered a great president, and they're even comtemplating allowing him to stay an extra term.

What are the normal presidential terms in Brazil?

In the 1930's and '40s it seems like every leader was in power forever. Could this make a comeback with economic hard times?

chickenlittle said...

(BTW, that's my normal wax so I don't think of it as anything special anymore, certainly not worthy of a moniker)

What's wrong with POTUS 43?

John Stodder said...

It's sad how little music radio matters anymore. I don't even care how bad the stations are in LA. I've got an iPod full of great stuff, and just lately I figured out how to get Pandora on my Blackberry. I have a Mozart station, a Kinks station, a Miles Davis Quintet station, a Villa-Lobos station, etc., and when I'm listening to it people will think I'm on a conference call.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Don't feel slow Victoria-I still don't get the "Carlos" part of HD's comment. :)

/facepalm....

Oh Beard of the Prophet....

John Lynch said...

I love things like this-- anything that can look at what people actually do rather than what they say they do.

Mark Steyn said that pop culture has been replaced by mutually hostile unpopular cultures. The way people refuse to say they listen to music outside a small genre is a way we divide ourselves.

It's nice to see that actual listening behavior is a little broader.

Hoosier Daddy said...

BTW, that's my normal wax so I don't think of it as anything special anymore, certainly not worthy of a moniker

I always rated the..ah..covering if you will, according to totalitarian dictators. There is the Stalin, which as you might guess is big and bushy. Then you have the Hitler which is short and neatly trimmed. I, however, have always been partial to the Mussolini.

chicken, let me know if you require additional clarification ;-)

Lem said...

BTW - I have changed my Favorite Music list on my profile to reflect todays testimony.

Its time to come out the soft rock closet ;)

chickenlittle said...

I, however, have always been partial to the Mussolini.

benedetto Hoosier!

Titus said...

I absolutely love the word Breast Pump-is it one words or two-I hope two because I enjoy both words very much.

So errotic.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Reminds me of something I saw years ago on VH-1 about the Bee Gees. They interviewed Alice Cooper, who said something like "I wanted to hate them, but they were great songwriters." He then described having them on when he was alone in the car, then turning it down right before he got to wherever he was going.

chickenlittle said...

chicken, let me know if you require additional clarification ;-)

Hoosier, so where does Mao Zedong fit into your analogy?

blake said...

MadMan,

The definitive version of that song.

Complete with mod dresses. Heh.

sonicfrog said...

sier... it should be:

Tiger Woods listened to soft rock while contemplating ways to leave his 50 lovers!!!

No Dion for me. Sade and Anita Baker are more my style. And Sade's band are fantastic musicians.

mariner said...

Hoosier:
Tiger Woods listened to soft rock while contemplating 50 ways to leave his lover.

He was contemplating a way to leave 50 lovers.

He listened to too much hard rock, methinks.

John Stodder said...

Reminds me of something I saw years ago on VH-1 about the Bee Gees. They interviewed Alice Cooper, who said something like "I wanted to hate them, but they were great songwriters."

Good for Alice Cooper. He's right. The Bee Gees aren't "soft rock." They are genre-hopping geniuses. About the only disco songs that are still worth listening to are theirs. But their twee early stuff is brilliant too.

Pogo said...

Music, for me, is a single dot in a pointillist painting of God. Some singers or composers manage an entire brushstroke.

Some songs, frequently sappy ones, make me fall in love with them, so that I have to listen to it over and over again until I learn all the words like when I was 12, even though I am almost 50. And then I have to hide it away, lest it breed contempt.

There are however a few styles I cannot abide, including Mexican songs that sound like Polish polkas, Mariah Carey, and high school bands. Surely even God winces.

Once I listened to a station near Appleton WI for 20 minutes, thinking it was an industrial ambient tune on a cool college radio station. Turns out it was just static. Kept listening even though I had figured it out.

Ralph L said...

If the son's in the car, I listen to hip-hop (93.1).
Poor you.

How does Mariah Carey sell so many records without radio play, or is there a radio frequency only teenage girls can hear?

Rock radio in DC seems to be dead, compared to 20 years ago. Everyone downloads, I guess.

MadisonMan said...

blake, that is classic.

Theo Boehm said...

John Stodder is right, as usual.
The Bee Gees aren't bad, especially to relive your youth by.

People may know me as a musical snob. And it's true: Musically, I mostly live in the 17th century or fin de siècle Vienna.

But the other day, my son caught me listening to the Bee Gees on my laptop.

I explained it was Early Music, a bit like Rameau or something.

Anthony said...

I do like the one Celine song (My Heart Will go On), though I suspect it's because it's a great song and not the actual singer. It's a fabulous song.

I think I played my cassette tape of Lionel Richie (Can't Slow Down) almost to nothing for a couple of years.

Ralph L said...

The BeeGees did have some good songs, but a little falsetto goes a long way.

Paul Zrimsek said...

The windshield may stop the rest of my body, but my heart will go on.

Celine Dion's actually not that bad a singer so long as she keeps the volume down. But when she opens up, she brays like a donkey.

Pogo said...

I hated the Bee Gees disco period with an incandescent heat in the 1970s, preferring punk and New Wave to disco.

Only in the last few years have I been able to listen to their songs from that period on the radio.

I mean, Good God, John Travolta and Saturday Night Fever were my proof of the decline and fall of music in America, at the time.

Elvis Costello, 50s Rock-n-Roll, the Beatles, This Mortal Coil, and Brian Eno were sufficient for me then.

Stayin' Alive?
Stayin aliiiiii-hiiiiiive.
Ack, whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother.

Methadras said...

I listen to death metal, doom metal, sludge metal, melodic doom metal, melodic death metal, ambient, trip-hop, electronica, trance, chill-out, and downtempo music. I'm not lying either.

mariner said...

Pogo:
I mean, Good God, John Travolta and Saturday Night Fever were my proof of the decline and fall of music in America, at the time.

And now it doesn't seem half bad, compared to rap, hip-hop and black-women-hollering.

Pogo said...

Too true, man.

sonicfrog said...

Not to mention the Emo-Screamo-Death-Glam...

mavzoley said...

мультфильм
электронная почта без регистрации