Kill Your Radio: 7 Songs That Need An Airwave Hiatus
There are two problems with the radio. First, the music you’re listening to is completely controlled by some radio dj and/or corporate bigwig. You have no autonomy over what you’re hearing. The second problem is that the same songs are played over and over again. The first point is annoying, but it’s not, as Liz Lemon would say, a deal-breaker. Sure, everyone likes to have control over what they’re listening to, but this element can actually be helpful as you get to hear songs you haven’t heard of before.
The second point, this constant rotation of the same songs, is what kills me. I understand how it works. Radio stations are contractually obligated to play certain songs a pre-determined number of times per day. So it’s understandable that Phoenix’s “1901” was seemingly playing at least once an hour when it first came out. It’s kind of a necessary evil. One phenomenon I cannot abide, however is this: the constant rotation of old songs on the radio. Here are 7 examples of songs that long ago wore out their welcome.
7) Oasis, “Wonderwall”
It’s not enough that every college student with access to an acoustic guitar will attempt to play this song, I hear it on the radio at least twice a week as well. It’s a great song, don’t get me wrong. It’s catchy and it’s sort of an anthem for hopeless romantics. But give it a rest for a while. Mind you, it came out nearly 15 years ago, in October of 1995.
6) Green Day, “Brain Stew”
Here’s a song that inexplicably gets played all the time, particularly on 92.9, despite the fact that it was never that great to begin with. Seriously, out of all the good songs in Green Day’s catalogue, why is this one consistently played on alternative rock stations? For Brain Stew, I’m not even sure a hiatus will get the job done. It needs to go into full-time retirement.
5) Beastie Boys, “Intergalactic”
Back in the the 6th grade, I saw the music video for this song on MTV in the midst of a “sick day” at home. I was just getting into music at the time, and this song and video were essentially the pinnacle of my music-listening career to that point. Ten years later, I can’t even listen to this song without letting out a sigh for the glory days of 1999, when I thought the Beastie Boys were the apex of man’s creativity.
4) Modern English/The Cure etc. “I Melt With You”
File this one under “most unneccesarily covered songs of all time.” Every time I think this song has been put out to pasture, some new band comes along and revives it. The most recent offender was annoying French band Nouvelle Vague. I want the name of the music executive who passed around a memo requiring that every band, regardless of genre, attempt to duplicate this thoroughly mediocre song at one point in their career. Not cool man, not cool.
3) The Postal Service, “Such Great Heights”
If you haven’t heard the Postal Service, I suggest you go download their amazing 2003 album “Give Up.” It’s one of my favorite albums. Alas, the band, which is really just Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard and Dntel’s sole member James Tamborello, released only one album. Luckily, just about every song on that album is awesome. So it only makes sense that the one song I don’t love is the one that is played on the radio all the time, gets covered in movies, and is featured in those annoying UPS ads. All this has led to “Such Great Heights” fatigue. Give me a couple years off, and maybe my feelings will change.
2) Rage Against the Machine, “Testify”
Never got into Rage Against the Machine. I thought they were loud, annoying, and frankly, pretty exploitive. That cd cover with that burning Monk for instance. Anyway, I never understood how these guys seemed to get a free pass, critically speaking, despite making a style of music that was almost universally reviled (rap-metal). What bothers me is that “Testify” continues to get a decent amount of air time, despite being among the more annoying songs I’ve ever heard.
1) Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
It’s time to get Nirvana off the radio. Seriously, stop playing them for a year, maybe two, and then watch how happy people get when they return. They’re arguably the most important band of the last twenty years, and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is widely regarded as the song that changed the face of music for the better. But man, I can’t remember a time when I actually enjoyed listening to it.