So Many Channels, So Few Alternatives: article on the decline of alternative radio (in Cleveland at least). One commentator nails the obvious cause – when alternative music got onto radio in the first place it locked itself into the fashion-cycle of popular taste, and decline was inevitable. The fact that most big alt.acts were putting out sub-par product certainly contributed.

Most of the article, though, is devoted to getting moist-eyed over a dead alt.rock station, and planning the fightback. “”I’m not going to watch kids I see in middle school and high school having to grow up with only canned gangsta or pop role models,” Rossman says. “Molded consumers make bad fellow citizens, in my humble opinion. Having these kids never hearing views or satire expressed in songs like Lust for Life, by lggy Pop, would make me very bummed.”. He should move perhaps to Britain, where I suspect that only the profoundly deaf will not have heard the satire (??) expressed in ‘Lust For Life’, due to its post-Trainspotting status as adland’s #1 track. A swift visit to any pub with a jukebox on a Friday night would set the fellow straight on Iggy’s potential to improve his fellow citizens.

That aside, quotes like this bring home how uncomfortable I am with alternative music culture – aside from the dubious idea that kids listen primarily to music for ‘role models’, there’s a pushily evangelical streak in a lot of pro-alternative writing, which tends to combine grossly patronising statements about people being ‘molded’ or ‘sheep’ with the smug suggestion that everything would be alright if said people just listened to Iggy Pop.

It’s a rare indie rock fan indeed that can resist having the odd parasitic pop at the mainstream, and generally the closer these people actually are to the mainstream the more they’ll flail against it – my untested theory is that someone into RATM and Radiohead is more likely to bitch inanely about how much ‘pop sucks’ than someone into Cursive. Sometimes I think writing about other genres could benefit from a bit of this thick-skinned arrogance, at other times I just wish these people would stop patting themselves on the back and think a bit more.

All the sites I link to are completely beyond this criticism, of course. Oh yes.

Special and ongoing thanks to John at Us Vs Them, by the way, for very helpful advice on design and readability issues. Hit his site a hundred times a day.